Our OT readings continue with Jacob and his journeys. He wrestles with an angel (?), a man (?), God (?). I’m glad Jacob was in good shape as this match went on for some time!
In our passage in Romans, Paul too has both an emotional and intellectual struggle: how can it be that Israel, God’s chosen given the promises, the Law, the Prophets, can’t see God’s new work in Jesus the Christ? And this very Jesus, in Matthew, upon hearing of John the Baptist’s brutal death, withdraws to himself in a lonely desert place. But, quickly he will have to struggle with the needs of the ill and hungry crowds that follow him. AND his slow-to-learn disciples!
The walk of faith is not without its struggles. Almost everyone likes it when “all is well,” and we are at “ease in Zion.” That works but doesn’t work all the time! When the wrestling with God and with people comes upon us we better be well nourished and in some measure of “good shape.” Are you strong enough to wrestle like Jacob? Are we willing to put our minds to work like Paul and study and receive from God’s word?
Finally, are we willing to humbly be fed spiritually when in the desert, in a lonely place, when with others “sick” and hungry as are we? Good questions perhaps. To answer them may require a measure of faithful perseverance and sharing this together with others wrestling with God as well!
Don’t be afraid! Jacob, Paul, and the disciples made it, climbing out “of the ring” victorious, and one day, indeed, sitting down for a truly heavenly banquet!
May it be true for us as well….as we wrestle with God……