I’ve shared some of my struggles in past posts. Today I confess that despite my attempts to ‘get past’ my thorn, to live in joy, to spend time with Jesus, to allow the Holy Spirit to work in me, what’s been happening is just the opposite. Instead of eagerly seeking time with Jesus, I find myself angry and frustrated with Him. Here I am, getting ready to leave everything for Him, and things aren’t going like I thought they’d be.
Every part of my life feels out of control right now. But, I’m trying to serve You! Why isn’t the funding coming in more quickly, why can’t I get things together at work, why am I still struggling with my thorn, why aren’t You sending me reassurances? And, really, on top of it all, I’m sick?!
As my fear about the future seeps in, my time with God has become increasingly trite and shallow. I shouldn’t tell you this, but there have been times lately when I haven’t even really liked Him. And so, I’ve kind of been avoiding any real interactions. Oh, I’m going through the motions because I know it’s the right thing to do. And, honestly, at a deeper level, I know that this is not about Him, but about me - Which is hardly comforting!
I am so tired of the struggle. I feel like Jacob in the Old Testament, wrestling with God through the night. Like Jacob, my tomorrow looms ahead with scary stuff. He was going to face Esau, with a real possibility of pain or even death! Like Jacob, I’ve thrown everything I can at the situation in the vain hope that somehow I can control the outcome. Like Jacob, I am engaged in an all-consuming match, holding tight, refusing to let go.
As dawn approached, the man touched Jacob’s hip, and it was wrenched from its socket. Jacob walked with a limp from that day on. So, all I can look forward to is yet another wound to carry with me? This is also not particularly comforting!! All of this just makes me even more exhausted. I am taking a sick day today because my body has told me in no uncertain terms it needs time to rest and recuperate. I’ve kept pushing ahead through my cold, and probably prolonged getting better through my sheer stubbornness.
Being in control is a huge issue for me. You might call it an obsession, even. Am I trying to wrestle God into coming near? Is my holding on for dear life not a virtue, but another issue of trust? Did the ancient wrestling match go on all night because it was God’s choice, or Jacob’s? If one touch displaced his hip, God could have stopped things at any point. I wonder… Was Jacob’s wound perhaps not punishment, but actually merciful? Did it take something that severe to get Jacob to stop fighting long enough to ask for a blessing? I don’t know, but it’s worth pondering.
I don’t have a nice, neat bow for this post. For today, I’m just naming my exhaustion. For today, I’m not going to fight. For today, I’m not even praying that I’ll wake up tomorrow limping yet restored. For today, I’m just going to be sick and tired. And for today, that’s going to have to be enough.