“Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed” And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip” (Gen 32:24:31)
It is more than four weeks since I fell and broke my ankle. My husband is my hero in this time of need! He is a champion and a true man of a God. He is helping me the best way he can. I thank God for his life! But he is also a very busy man. So, I am alone in my room most of the time. I now have more than enough time to read the Bible, to pray and to meditate about God and my life. It is my desire to find a higher level of the grace of God. I don’t want to waste my pain. This is a great opportunity for me to have an encounter with God. Because of the cast, I cannot go to church as usual. But nothing shall stop me to go to the throne room of God. I do not need legs to go there. I only need faith. I have faith!
I am interested in particular in the scriptures that describe the blessings associated with brokenness, which is the Royal Way of the Cross. One of best stories is found in Genesis 32. We see here Jacob wrestling with the Angel of God who is the pre-incarnate Christ. It is the story of Peniel, seeing God face to face and live. Jacob is coming back to the Promised Land. The pain and the blessing found at Peniel is the visa to enter the Promised Land.
Jacob ran away from home because he was afraid Esau will kill him. He cheated his older brother by taking his birthright. He deceived their father Isaac and took away the blessing of the first son. Afraid for his life he runs away from home. He has an encounter with God at Bethel. He goes to his uncle Laban. God prospers him there. He marries and has children. He becomes a wealthy man. At part, he deceives Laban by running away from him. His name Jacob means ‘Deceiver’. Deception and scheming was his strategy of success in life. And it worked for him in the past.
He is now ready to come back home. Jacob is humbled. He needs a new strategy of success. He does not want to deceive Esau like in the past. He wants to live as a man of God. He wants to be a worshipper. He needs a change of heart. He needs to be delivered from himself. He needs to discover his weakness. He needs to know the power of God in his weakness. He needs a new name and a new identity. He needs God to bless him with a true new beginning. He needs the anointing of God for ministry.
How can God bless him? By breaking his will, by killing his flesh, by crippling him. This is the strange way God blesses strong men for ministry!
Jacob is left alone. He wrestles with God in Christ the whole night. God dislocates his hip. From now on he will limp and use a walking stick. But from now on the Sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ, will rise on him with healing in His wings. His name will be called Israel, Prince with God.
Here we see God’s grace hunting and hurting a man until he conquers that man. We see God and man wrestling on the ground until the connection of holiness and the eternal blessing is established. In the natural, in a wresting match, there is a winner and a loser. It is a battle for control and superiority. But in an encounter with the living God there are no losers. God wins and man wins! There are two wrestlers and two winners. This is the way of The Lord! Pinned to the ground, finally, God has His man in the grip of His grace. From now on, God can trust man with His resources. Delivered from the power of flesh, man can now rest in the power of a new identity and a most special blessing.
Waiting for God to heal my broken ankle, there is nothing more I desire than the blessing of His presence upon my life. Let my pain lead the way to Peniel! Let me see God face to face! Let my travail be not in vain! Let it bring forth eternal fruitfulness to the glory of God! Like Jacob, let me lean on my staff and worship God! May the power of Christ find my weakness acceptable as a dwelling place! May God bless my husband with a stronger anointing for ministry! May God bless my children (natural and spiritual) with the blessings of Christ! In Jesus name I pray, amen!