My post this month is a continuation of my thoughts from last month's post by looking at it from a different view point. It is inspired by having read a post on Crosswalk.com, How Wrestling with God will change you forever by Dena Johnson,. In it Dena talks about Jacob wrestling with God. She pointed out something I hadn’t noticed before (I love it when that happens don’t you?). She showed us how Jacob changed how he referred to God after his divine wrestling match. Before his encounter with God we read this,
“Then Jacob prayed, O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who said to me, 'Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,' (Gen 32:9).
After his encounter with God Jacob is given the name Israel and we read that,
“There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel [God, the God of Israel].” Gen 33:20 .
Before his wrestling encounter Jacob describes God as the God of his father and grandfather, but afterwards he speaks of more personally by referring to the God of Israel. Wrestling with God actually brought Jacob closer to Him.
And boy oh boy can I identify with that. Over the last 6 years I’ve struggled with God, as I went through all kinds of pain, doubt and loss. At the time I was going through it I didn’t imagine it would have the blessed outcome that it did. I felt like a failure. I was an evangelist with no faith, a food addict and my dreams were in pieces around my feet. Like Jacob I was alone, and like Jacob I fought with God for a blessing. But like Jacob I came out of my experiences with a far strong relationship with God.
While writing my book, He Never Let Go, about my experiences I realised that prior to this a lot of my faith was actually faith in the Church with God supporting this. Now my faith is in God with the Church supporting. I didn’t realise how much I was piggy-backing on other people’s faith until I found myself wrestling with God alone.
But I am so glad God trusted me with that experience. It has ultimately brought me much blessing. I have been freed from food addiction and am gradually getting back to some kind of ministry with my writing. Knowing that what I write helps others is a huge blessing.
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If you are wrestling with God, please don’t give up. The blessing you receive is so worth sticking with your divine wrestling match. Stick with God, He will never let go of you. He loves you.
Lynda Alsford currently works a GP receptionist and writes in her spare time. She has written two books. He Never Let Go describes her journey through a major crisis of faith whilst working as an evangelist at a lively Church in Chiswick, West London. Being Known describes how God set her free from food addiction. Both books are available in paperback and on kindle on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
Lynda loves living near the sea in Sussex, UK and can't stop taking photos of the sun setting into the sea. Find out more about her at www.lyndaalsford.com or at www.patch-work-blog.blogspot.co.uk