Monday of the Second Week in Lent

Today’s Reading: Genesis 32:22-32

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 18:1-15; Mark 6:14-34

And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” (Genesis 32:26)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Have you ever wrestled with God? You know, you pray and pray about something and it doesn’t seem like God is listening. Or you beg Him to take away a particular sin and yet you still seem to keep doing it. You hear that you are forgiven yet you continue to suffer under the weight of guilt. You go to church and hear one thing and end up living a different way when you’re around your friends. It’s bad enough that your sinful flesh is against you but it sure seems like God has got it in for you, too.

Well, there’s a trick to wrestling with God and it’s knowing who He is and what His intentions are for you. Jacob knew the trick: “I’m not letting go until you bless me!” He knew that for all of the struggle he faced as he wrestled the Lord that night, the Lord had to bless him. It’s what the Lord does.

In your wrestling with the Lord, demand the same! “I won’t give up until you bless me!” That blessing may or may not be the desired outcome for whatever is troubling you. But that blessing DOES always mean His forgiveness and life. Jesus wrestled with the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. He sweated blood not to go to the cross, but in the end did the will of His Father and took our place on Calvary as our Savior. Then He rose and triumphed over death. Jacob rose that morning, with God’s promise ringing in His ears and you rise from your seeming battles with the Lord, having been raised in your Baptism and strengthened with all of Jesus’ promises by His Body and Blood.

The Bible says Jacob wrestled with a “Man.” God became man in Christ, so that our wrestling with God becomes a game of Father and son rather than a life and death struggle. The Lord won’t ever destroy you but give you life everlasting even if there’s a struggle on the way. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

From God can nothing move me; He will not step aside But gently will reprove me And be my constant guide. He stretches our His hand In evening and in morning, My life with grace adorning Wherever I may stand. (From God Can Nothing Move Me, LSB 713:1)

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