“Fear causes most of us to run away. That’s what Jacob did. That was his pattern, until finally there was nowhere to run. That’s one potential that always becomes real: the place where there’s nowhere else to run.”- Kyle Idleman
“Your name will not longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”- Genesis 32:28 (NIV)
As Kyle Idleman continues Chapter 2 of Don’t Give Up, he discusses how Jacob, the son of Isaac, showed great skill at manipulating situations to his advantage. Yet, Jacob avoids confrontation at all costs. When his poor dealings – like stealing twin brother Esau’s birthright – caught up with Jacob, he took off. Thus, Pastor Idleman states, with giving up there’s no:
- fighting through the night
- getting the blessing that comes in the morning
Yes, Kyle knows, the challenge not to give in to fear is real. But, so that you can step into your role as God sees you, sometimes you must choose to say, “Enough!”
Therefore, when Jacob wrestles with God, he refuses to give up. Instead, he pleads for God’s blessing. As a result, Jacob learns a valuable lesson: you cannot run away from God.
In his book A Grace Disguised, Gerald Sittser describes a fatal accident in which a drunk driver hit the family minivan. Professor Sittser’s mother, wife, and youngest daughter lost their lives. However, Gerald walked away uninjured. Hence, he believes, the path to blessing goes through suffering, not around it. He writes:
“The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west, chasing after the setting son, but to head eastplunging into the darkness until one comes to sunrise.”
Today’s question: What Bible verses sustain you when you find there’s nowhere else to run? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Just plunge into darkness”