Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Until You Have Blessed Me"

Until You Have Blessed Me
"And Ya'akov was left alone, and [a] man wrestled with him until the ascending of the dawn. And [when the man] saw that he was not able to overpower him, he struck the socket of [Ya'akov's] thigh.... And [the man] said, 'Let me [go] away, for the dawn has ascended.' And [Ya'akov] said, 'I [will] not let you [go] away until you have blessed me.' And [the man] said to him, 'What is your name?' And he said, 'Ya'akov.' And [the man] said, 'Your name will no more [be] called Ya'akov, but Yis'rael, for you have persevered with G-d and with men, and have prevailed.' ...And Ya'akov called the name of the place P'nuel, for 'I have seen G-d face to face...'" B'reshiyt (Genesis) 32:24-31
What Ya'akov lacked in judgment, he made up for in tenacity. Though taking advantage of people was Ya'akov's strong suit, on this night—as he wrestled with the man—he was finally unable to get the upper hand. Not one for losing, Ya'akov instead held out all night, ultimately forced to settle for a draw. But was the contest worth the cost?
Though Ya'akov successfully wrestled a blessing out of G-d, it nevertheless left him limping from the mat. Like Ya'akov, we, too, often struggle with G-d, and come away from the match a little beat up. We fight with G-d as if we could win; we hold Him down as if we could force Him to stay. What are we thinking when we go in against G-d?
Too often, we contend with G-d for His blessing, rather than being content to just be with G-d. Like Ya'akov, then, let us hold onto Adonai and refuse to let go—but not just so that we can get the blessing. Instead, rather than fighting Him for what He already wants us to have, let us hold on to Him for dear life while He takes us wherever He wants us to go.

Adonai, I praise You, because even when I fight against You, You refuse to let me go. Lead me, Abba, and cause me to no longer resist, but to willfully follow in all Your ways. I bless Your great Name, O G-d, for You do not hold me so gingerly that I cannot feel Your presence. Bruise me, Adonai, if that's what it will take to get my attention.

Taken from Messianic Devotional