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Wrestling for a blessing – holding on

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By Dave Henning / August 20, 2019

“I’m wrestling for a blessing. . . .  I try desperately to hold on to invisible divine presence while longing to live in the blessing of peace realized in flourishing relationships.”- Tina Boesch

“I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.  And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.”- Ezekiel 34:25-26 (ESV)

In Chapter 10 (“Transformation – Wrestling for Blessing”), the final chapter of Given, Tina Boesch talks about Jacob.  She notes how Jacob transforms from a taker to a giver.  Hence, Tina searched the intervening years to find the key.  Jacob encountered God three times, with each encounter marked by a blessing.

  1. God met and blessed Jacob at Bethel.  Jacob’s on the run, fleeing from Esau.  There Jacob dreams of a ladder connecting heaven and earth.
  2. Jacob encounters God at the Brook of Jabbok.  This occurs shortly before Jacob reunites with Esau.  But first, Jacob winds up wrestling for a blessing.
  3. Again, God meets Jacob at Bethel.  This happens right before the deaths of his wife Rachel and his father Isaac.

Since Jacob dealt dishonestly with his father Isaac, we expect God to chasten him during their first meeting at Bethel.  Yet, as Tina points out, God’s revelation brims with blessing, not condemnation.  Because the explicit focus is on God, the given blessing depends on God’s character.  Not Jacob’s moral perfection.  The author explains:

“Even though the blessing is not dependent on Jacob, it begins working inside him, reorienting his heart, reordering his affection.  Jacob cannot possibly misunderstand that his blessing is directed to him and is for him.  He’s left to decide if he will walk with the Lord and live in the blessing.”

Today’s question: When do you recall wrestling for a blessing – and holding on?  Please share,

Tomorrow’s blog: “Hang on to God for dear life “

About the author

Dave Henning


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