Wednesday, June 19, 2013
If I were to be any one person out of the Bible, can you guess who I would be?
I wish it would be someone mild and meek and full of faith. I wish it would be someone who was a graceful leader full of wisdom and able to fully grasp the truth.
But no. You know who I would be?
Are you familiar with him? (If you aren't familiar with him, go read the book of Genesis starting at Chapter 25:19)
He was the second born to his mother, Rebekah, and his father, Isaac. He was a twin who was literally born hanging onto his brother Esau's heel. Jacob's name literally meant, "heel grabber."
Jacob, in his early days, was a liar, a cheat, and a deceiver. So much so, that he cheated and tricked his father into giving him the birthright instead of giving it to his older twin brother who had the rights as the first born of the family.
Not only was Jacob a cheat, a liar, and a deceiver, but he also struggled with God his entire life. He questioned everything. God eventually renamed Jacob, Israel- meaning "He struggles with God!"
Jacob questioned God so much that he literally spent a full night, physically wrestling with God. Jacob tried to lay the smack down on God. He refused to let God go until God blessed him.
Who does that?
In the middle of their brawl, God reached out and touched Jacob's hip, dislocating it. That's what it took to get Jacob to finally listen and trust- a freaking broken hip that he limped with for the rest of his life.
Jacob. That's who I would be.
You see, I struggle with God. Somedays, I accept him and trust him. Other days, I fight with him and scream at him. Sometimes I pick fights with him just because I can. Yes...this is God who I'm talking about. And yes, I realize there is no winning.
I've been in a mood lately. Maybe more of a funk. Maybe its just PMS. Who knows. But I'm fighting with God again.
I crank up my worship music during the day and I spend a good hour scrubbing my floors and cabinets and countertops and sink (or whatever surface I deem worthy of a good hand scrubbing) and I scream at God. I yell at him. I bare my soul to him. I ask him why. I tell him he's not nice. I tell him he isn't fair. I act like a total child. I demand that he answers me. I demand a "blessing" of peace in my soul. And I cry until I have to get a new pair of contacts.
Once my fighting is over, I'm left battered and exhausted but you know what? I have peace. I have peace that God is who He is. I have peace that He knows what is best for my life and the lives around me. I have the blessed reassurance that Jesus loves me so much that he would die for me when I don't deserve it.
See? I'm totally Jacob.
Joshua's life and death broke me.
That's right...It broke me.
I will never, nor do I want to, be the same person that I was before Joshua came along. Joshua's life and death killed a part of me that will never come back. His life and death took my innocence. It took away my happy and optimistic outlook on life and replaced it with a very realistic view of the world, myself, and God.
These are not all bad things. Joshua's life has made me much more compassionate to the struggles around me. His life and my struggles with God have opened my heart to the Holy Spirit in ways that I would have never imagined. Joshua's life has taught me that the reality of faith is that we will never understand why things happen they way they do, and that we simply need to trust in the promises and character of God.
But, dude. I'm telling you. Sometimes, I just gotta duke it out with God. Sometimes, it's because of anger and frustration towards him. Sometimes it's because my grief and anxiety makes me so dang mad. Sometimes, it's because I know the attitude of my heart is starting to become out of line and I just need a good butt kicking, and I know God's good for that.
Tonight (and for the past week or so), I'm Jacob.
I'm fighting with God because my heart is so confused about the things going on in the world around me. I'm so angry that He allows things to happen when they just simply DO. NOT. make sense. I'm fighting with God because I'm tired of being anxious...and mad...and bitter...and exhausted...and frustrated...and lonely...and grief-stricken (you get the point, right?) and I know he will put me in my place.
But here's the best part about being Jacob. I always come back to the place of learning to trust. I come back to the peace that God gave me 6 months ago when I surrendered my struggles and my burden at the feet of Jesus. I come back to knowing that He is good- even though it takes a broken hip (or a broken spirit in my case) to get there.
My fights with God leave me wounded, but they leave me whole. I guess, being Jacob isn't so bad afterall.