Wrestling Towards

I have boxes and boxes of my old journals stored in my attic. I have no idea why I keep them, except that every once in a great while I’ll pull them out and read them. Usually, I have a good laugh at childhood drama and teenage angst. But the one thing I always notice in my journal entries, even from an early age, is that I always wrestled towards God. Something deep inside me always believed that no matter what is going on in my life, that God sees and knows more than I do, and that I would look back and see His faithfulness.

I think the Psalmist David had the same wrestling match in his journals as I had in mine. He started so many of his Psalms with — My heart had almost failed, I cried unto the Lord, Why so downcast oh my soul.

And then there comes this point where He begins to consider, not his own circumstances or his own limitation, but how big His God is. By the end of the Psalm, David looks at those same circumstances and declares how God will be victorious over his enemies, his situation, his problems. He wrestles with the problem, wrestles with the greatness of God, and his perspective shifts.

David did the same thing when he fought Goliath. Can you imagine how inadequate and ridiculous David must have felt wearing Saul’s too-large armor after boasting that he would fight Goliath? I’m sure the armor swallowed more than his body, it probably swallowed his confidence as well. So what does David do? He goes for a walk and picks up stones, and I can imagine him once again wrestling with both his situation and with His God. But as was his way, he wrestles towards God. We know this because, by the time he stands before Goliath, this is what he says…

You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand. This day I will strike you down, cut off your head, and give the carcasses of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the creatures of the earth. Then the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. And all those assembled here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47

Whatever you are going through right now, whatever you are wrestling with, I want to encourage you that the answer isn’t a “what” or a “why” to your questions… it’s “Who”. If you’re a journaler, don’t stop writing until you’ve remembered His promises. Don’t stop with your questions until you’ve pressed closer to remember Who He is to you and how big God is in the face of your circumstances.

Don’t just wrestle, which will only wear you out and steal your joy. Wrestle towards your heavenly Father. Fight to see Him in your circumstances. Consider His faithfulness in the past. Consider His love for you. Consider His promises.

Do you remember Jacob’s story of wrestling all night with an angel? Jacob didn’t just wrestle all night, end up exhausted, and go about his journey. He was wrestling towards God. Even when the angel told him to let him go… he refused.

“But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[a] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
(Genesis 32:26-28)

Jacob wrestled all the way through to who he knew God to be and that was a God of blessing. And because of that, his name and his future were changed by the blessing of God.

Don’t just wrestle. Wrestle until who God is becomes larger than your questions.

That’s what I’m doing today. Today, I’m pouring out my heart to my heavenly Father, and then I’m asking Him to speak to me about who He is in my circumstances and in my life.

I want to encourage you to do the same. Write down what God has said and who He is at the end of every journal entry, at the close of every prayer. Otherwise, if you only pray or journal the problem, your awareness of yourself and your problem simply increases. Don’t just wrestle. Wrestle Towards. Because what we all need isn’t more awareness of ourselves. We need the confidence of David that says, “I might be small, but my God is mighty.”

Comments 1

  1. Tracy I love this blog. Love your insight to wrestle towards God. I have watched you do this many times! You really do live what you preach.

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