This was a dangerous place to be and often led to a lot of heartbreak, guilt and shame.
It wasn’t until I found myself pregnant with my daughter that I truly felt out of control and a flood of fear came rushing in. That wasn’t the plan I had for my life; how was I going to raise another human when I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my own life? I was just out of college, newly engaged and ready to move forward with my life but I still felt so helpless and alone. I cried out to God and what I didn’t realize at the time was that separation from the world was exactly what I needed to shift my perspective and surrender to the life God had planned for me.
In Genesis, we see how Esau and Jacob had a past full of shame, lies and heartache, too. When their father, Issac, was very old and it was time to give his son’s their blessings before he passed, Jacob deceived him into thinking he was Esau. He takes the blessing that was intended for his brother. This leaves Esau outraged and ready for revenge after mourning his father’s death. So Jacob flees.
Years later, the day finally approaches when Jacob is to see his brother again. Jacob tries to prepare but can’t help but let guilt and fear back him into a corner. Jacob turned to prayer and God met him where he was. The story tells us, “Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man” (Gen. 32:24-25). Jacob was in a hard place mentally and God was there with him, as “The man said, your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome” (Gen. 32:28).
God wasn’t telling Jacob that he actually won. The Lord allowed this match to continue for his own purpose, to deliver Jacob from his own self-reliance. After wrestling all night, he put up a good fight but in the end was tired, weak, in pain and left holding on to God.
When we feel completely helpless, we are reduced to a place where all we can do is hold onto Him.
I believe God did the same for me by throwing a wrench in my plans. After years of wrestling, He opened my eyes to how much I truly do need Him, which led to my surrender just like Jacob.
Friend, if you are trying to do this life on your own, like I did for far too long, I invite you to reach out to the Lord. Bring your struggles to Him and hold on tight, because He is faithful to walk through it with you hand-in-hand.
He loves us and wants to lead us on a beautiful journey, if we are willing to follow.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:4 (NIV)
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Angi Morrison Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes