Pete’s Blog

 

Mondays with Pete

August 7, 2017

Good Morning;

If you like action-packed adventure, check out Genesis 32.  It is the account of Jacob’s Jabbok River wrestling match.  Jacob is on the run and stressed out.  He is camped out next to the river awaiting a confrontation with his estranged brother.  His worries and his fitful sleep are interrupted when a stranger jumps him in the darkness.  The battle rages.  No crowds cheering.  No support from ringside.  Just Jacob and his foe in the middle of the night.

In the morning he realizes he has spent the night wrestling with God.  Somehow he manages to limp away blessed. His hip has been dislocated and he will forever walk with a limp as a reminder of the night wrestled with God.  His name is changed from Jacob to Israel. Jacob, now Israel, learns that God is more than willing to wrestle with him, and holding on for dear life is the way to go, even if he came away a little less perfect in the his eyes and world’s eyes than when he started out.  He realizes he has been blessed.

Hanging on to dear life is how many of us live our lives.  We jump from one crisis to another, many of which are not of our own making, but some are.  The rush of the treadmill of life powered and accelerated by the expectations of our jobs, our peers, our commitments, our family is reinforced and applauded by our society.  Being rushed and just hanging on for dear life is one of society’s and our self-imposed criteria of success and often finds us exhausted by whatever river or place we go when we are at the end of our rope.

Many of us struggle with God in these precious moments of retreat.  Our sleep is as fitful as Jacob’ was the night he wrestled with God.  More often than not we to come away from this encounter with God very much blessed, perhaps bruised, and maybe even marked for eternity by the hand of God as a reminder of the struggle.  The mark is not so much a punishment for having wrestled with God in our anguish, anger and desperation.  The mark is reminder that God is with us and cares enough about us to wrestle with us and for us through the struggles, conflicts and dark times of life. But there is more!!

God also wants to laugh and rejoice with us through the “good times.”  God wants to stroll with us through our everyday existence no matter how mundane.  God wants to run with us through the rush of living in this twenty-first century world.  You see, God just wants to be with us – to be in relationship with us.  God wants to walk with us each and every day of our lives through each and every circumstance.  We just need to set our self, our agendas and our pride aside and realize we cannot live a truly blessed life without God.

Carolyn Arends, Christian music artist writes after a struggle with God:  “I don’t know that it ever feels good to have our own strength overcome. But, if we want to be blessed, if we want to relocate from living in our own resources to resting in the middle of God’s goodness, power and provision, sometimes a little dislocation is necessary.”

Struggle with God if you need to.  Be angry at God if you need to.  But more than anything else BE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, for this is His desire for us.  Do this and you will be blessed and marked for eternity.  Have a great week living in relation with God.

P.S.  Headed to the river to escape, rest, recreate and recuperate for a couple of weeks.  Be back with you on the 20th.  Be blessed and stay awesome.

Rev. J. Pete Hyde

Pastor

Santa Rosa Beach Community Church
850-267-2599