I only have to attempt to imagine closing my fist around his wrist to find myself standing right there on the desert floor, deep in the 32nd chapter of Genesis, the echoes from the wilderness of Peniel whispering through these walls at strange hours of the day and night.
Grieved by a broken relationship with his brother, Jacob, a flawed but chosen man, finds himself in an all-night physical brawl with the divine. Jacob. Israel. He-Who-Wrestles-With-God.
Really, I get it. These days, when I’m under the slightest impression that God has somehow pushed me, I push back hard, immediately, and without conscience.
Perhaps it isn’t God I have trouble with; perhaps it’s His church. It’s the craziest thing, the ministry. Besieged by destiny, you push forward, all the while finding yourself beset on all sides by conditions you just didn’t anticipate. Since you must always listen for God and to other people, weeks, months, and years of voicelessness and silence go by. Then one night you awaken to discover you must speak… and you do so with your fist, striking hard, immediately, and without conscience.
Wrestling the lion, only to find He is also the lamb.
Considering how challenging it is to let the relationship between God and human grow, how do we mere humans maintain connections with each other? Having spent years studying, scrutinizing, and investing in this faith, now it’s like standing barefoot in the kitchen, created with Creator, shouting, smashing plates. Ours is a deep love, an ancient love, a violent love, and inevitable love, and at this point, I honestly have more questions than answers.
It is human nature to disagree with those you love, to push back from intimacy while salivating for it like a junkie. To offer the olive branch of peace with trepidation, with asterisks, with amendments, with paltry human ideas of closeness. To foster connections with sweat and tears weeping to the floor in rivers, raining down like great drops of blood.
There is no pain, no passion, no open door like kindred souls locked in hardcore opposition.
Each punch thrown is part of the acceptance that I am flawed, I have been chosen, and my dual natures love and hate it. Perhaps that is why I, you, Jacob–wrestle with the Divine, demanding, I will not let You go until You bless me. I will not let You go until all of this means something.
I can limp around for the rest of my life if I know there is hope in this union. I will never let You go.
How inconvenient the collisions of heaven and earth. How sad. How hopeful.
How dark, but lovely.
Have you been there?
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