Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Dead Patch of Grass

Scripture: Genesis 32-35; Psalms 18; Matthew 21-22.

I would love to talk about Matthew 22:14, but I'm not sure how to deal with it. I seems to contradict the way I believe salvation works. I would love to pretend I didn't see it, but that's not a habit I'm interested in forming. I'll have to get back to this one.

I love that (in Genesis 32) God wrestles Jacob. It's interesting that God would choose to interact with him that way. Its also interesting to me that the Bible covers it in like 10 verses. God comes to earth in human form and wrestles with a man and then decides to tell the story in 10 verses. It doesn't even get a chapter. It makes me wonder if God comes to earth like that more than we know. How is this not a big deal? I would love to know more about that match. What did God look like? What were his signature moves? Was it like wrestling in the Olympics or channel 125? I can't get over the fact that this isn't more of a story. I once wrestled a buddy for like 45 minutes until we both got tired and quit. I can't tell that story in less than 10 minutes. God can tell about the time He came to earth as a man and wrestled Jacob until morning in like 45 seconds.

The other thing that is strange to me is that God couldn't beat Jacob. Pop his hip out with one tuouch, but not beat him. Its also interesting that just a few verses before the Bible makes it clear that Jacob is very rich and yet he gets God in a headlock and won't let him go until God blesses him. How selfish is Jacob? Honestly, how many female servants to you need? Did he want like 25 more sheep? It seems God and I are always wrestling. My quiet time is quite often physically exhausting. God I and don't take many quiet walks on the beach. The aftermath of our time together more closely resembles a trampled spot in the grass than footprints in the sand. Quiet time is frightening - prayer terrifies me. I never know when God is going to break something. I usually walk away feeling totally defeated, completely broken - unspeakably blessed.

You can't wrestle God and not be completely changed. Jacob did not end up a better version of Jacob, he became someone new. God changed his name. I thought at first that maybe God just told him his real name. Revelations talks about God having a name that he calls you - your true identity. I thought maybe Jacob got to know his ahead of time, but then I remembered that when Rachel was pregnant with Jacob God told her what to name him. Jacob was the right name for him - until he experienced God. He had heard form God before, but experiencing Him like that fundamentally changed who Jacob was. I hope that's what my quite time becomes - an encounter with God. I don't want to read about God, I want to be moved by Him. I don't want to just talk to God, I want to take hold of Him. Being touched and broken is nice, but I want to be changed. I want to experience God. I want a new identity and I'm not letting go until I get it.