Do you ever wake in the morning entangled in the bed sheets and clutching your pillow. Maybe, like Jacob, you've experienced some "Late Night Wrestling". Sometimes issues/problems that can be ignored during the day surface during the night when we're free of the activities and noise and activity.
Jacob is returning to face Esau, his estranged brother. With good reason he is fearful of what this meeting will be like. That trickster Jacob not only tricked his older brother into giving him his birthright, he also tricked his dying father who's sight was failing into giving him the Blessing that was really for Esau.
As he sleeps alone on the river bank he is challenged by an unidentified opponent. Was it Esau who had come out to over power him? Maybe it was a robber finding easy prey in this man sleeping alone.
The wrestling match continued through the night ending in a draw. Increasingly we sense that the unidentified opponent is actually God. Unable to overpower Jacob he dislocates his hip. Refusing to identify himself he never-the-less grants Jacob's request for a blessing - this took considerably more effort than the blessing he tricked his father into giving. God then changes Jacob's name to Israel - for he has struggled with God and prevailed. Jacob is left with a limp, but he has also received God's blessing.
As we talked in the Bible Study following church, we all face struggles, even the church struggles at times. Decisions to take out a mortgage and enclose the courtyard required some serious discussion/wrestling. Members felt that the decision was only made after everyone was encourage to have input- made to feel that they were part of the decision. The same was true of deciding to build The Triumph House. Both were bold steps.
Why did God choose to wrestle with Jacob? Maybe because that is a very one-on-one type of match.
It certainly put Jacob up front and personal with God.
Life is good at Sunnyside - The mortgage was paid off early. The Triumph House was blessed today.
So what is the challenge? That, my friends, is the question. What is God calling us to wrestle with now?
We have received God's blessing in the past! How is God waiting to bless us in the future?