“God welcomes the ones who hang on to him for dear life, refusing to let go. But he doesn’t leave them the way he finds them, because his blessing transforms character and instills faith.”- Tina Boesch
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant.”- Genesis 32:18-19 (ESV)
As Tina Boesch continues Chapter 10 of Given, she first talks about Jacob’s prayer (Genesis 32). First, she notes that Jacob’s prayer contains no pretense, dissembling, or boast. To dissemble means to conceal one’s true motives, feelings, or beliefs. Furthermore, Jacob puts his greatest fears into words and lays them at the Lord’s feet, Thus, Jacob comes to terms with two things – his unworthiness and total dependence on God’s steadfast love.
In addition, Jacob’s learned that he can’t manipulate God into extending His blessing. Instead, Jacob cries out transparently, desperately, and honestly. And, following his wrestling match, God rewards him for his tenacity – He gives Jacob a new name. God names him Israel – which means one who strives with God (Genesis 32:28).
As a result, Jacob wrestled with God and prevailed. Also, Jacob limps away with a blessing. Because Jacob held on, even though weakened with a hip wrenched out of socket. Tina adds:
“The man who strives with God — this name becomes the name of those God chooses as his own. He blesses the ones who wrestle. . . . This transformation is often painful — in Jacob’s case . . . leaving him with a limp. But the struggle is worth the wound, because through it, he meets the source of blessing.”
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you hang on for dear life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Like the oxygen surrounding us”