I don’t know how your elementary schools ended their field days but mine always culminated with a great big game of tug of war. We lined up on opposite sides of a mud pit, grabbed hold of that dirty rope and held on tight as we wrestled with the team on the other side. We strained against the pressure, heaved and hauled as hard as we could. Back and forth we’d go as the bystanders hollered and our faces turned purple. We grunted and groaned until we either fell on our backsides in victory or found ourselves face down in the mud pit of defeat.
That was fun.
Those tug of war games remind me of Jacob’s wrestling match with God, and what a wrestling match that was! Jacob, a mere man, afraid, vulnerable, and completely at the mercy of God, versus the Lord Almighty, the ultimate power of heaven. Is it just me, or do you too find it interesting that, while Jacob was terrified of his brother, he didn’t hesitate to take on God? I love that! It speaks of the intimacy that had developed in Jacob’s relationship with God.
There are two different kinds of wrestling we enter with God. One is the kind that begs us to hold on tight until God gives His blessing (Jacob’s kind of wrestling), and the other is the kind that comes when we refuse to let go of our own agendas, our own solutions, and our own rights and ambitions. That kind of wrestling becomes a tug-of-war with God. Two things are going to happen when you play tug-o-war with God…He’s gonna win, and you might be dragged through the mud before it’s all said and done.
I have to confess that I have done some tug-of-war wrestling with God. It’s tricky! I think I’m wrestling like Jacob to hang on until God blesses me…but instead I’m wrestling with wanting God to do things my way. In order to wrestle with God like Jacob did, you have to let go of the details. You have to stop telling God how to bless you and simply insist that you will not turn loose of Him until He does.