Obedient Wrestling

“If I tell Jesus my anger, he’ll throw me out of the room.” The young woman’s tears glistened on her cheeks.

During prayer ministry time, I had just encouraged her to be honest with God about how she felt. Her husband had cheated and she’d been downsized. She was furious with her husband, her boss, and with God for letting it all happen.

“What makes you say he’ll throw you out?”

“I dunno. But that’s what my father would have done.” She wiped her tears with a crumbled tissue.

“But you’ve turned your back, your arms are crossed, and you’re ten feet away from him, right?”

“Well, yes.”

“There’s a world of difference, in our anger, between facing away and facing toward him.”

“Oh.” She looked at me, a half-smile mixing with her tears.

“He knows your anger. But he doesn’t know you in your anger. He wants to know you.”

“He won’t reject me?”

“Did he reject Jacob? I’m not talking about cursing God. I’m talking about a respectful but intense wrestling with him. Like Jacob did in the wilderness when he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. That was where Jacob’s name changed. It was that honest wrestling that changed Jacob’s character so much he needed a new name.”

“Oh. How do I wrestle with a God I can’t see?” She stared at the carpet.
“Write a letter to him.”

A letter allows us to pour out our emotions in words to the God who listens. It also enables us to confess to God our dark desires to hurt others as we’ve been hurt.

The Father of Jesus is unlike any other authority figure most of us know. He invites us into an obedient wrestling.

To wrestle is to learn the contours of your opponent’s very body.  To wrestle with God is to experience him and let him experience us.  Not only will God stay in the room with us, obedient wrestling will teach us the contours of our hearts–and of his.

Jesus, give us grace to wrestle.

2 replies on “Obedient Wrestling”

  1. I’ve long wrestled with God. I’m thankful I learned this skill. It isn’t the moves and the tricks that are important. It’s persistence, and knowing that your opponent loves you. Then you can get to a finishing point, rather than one winner and one loser. You get to a place where there is understanding and mutual respect. (God always understands and always respects, but we need to return that and know of his understanding and respect for us!).

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