Thursday, June 4, 2009

One Life

Then the man said,
"Your name will no longer be Jacob,
but Israel, because you have struggled with God
and with men and have overcome."
Genesis 32:28

Like a well-written daytime drama, the book of Genesis is an amazing book to read. Deception, thievery, murder, love, lust, redemption, promise -- and that's all in the first six chapters! Right now, in my 90-day reading plan, I am in the middle of the Jacob (Israel)/Joseph saga.
Abraham (Jacob's grandfather) lied about Sarah being his wife, then slept with her handmaid thinking he was "helping" God fulfill the promise given to him.
Isaac (Jacob's dad) also lied about Rebekah being his wife and was deceived by both his wife and son.
Jacob stole his brother's birthright and received the blessing intended for Esau. He then ran away and married two sisters, one he loved the other...not so much (although I doubt he complained too much as she did give him 5 sons plus another 2 with her handmaid!) In all Jacob has 12 sons by 4 different women. He and his father-in-law played an early form of Survivor: who can outwit, outsmart, outplay, outlast the other in a 20 year battle for Rachel's hand in marriage.

As I read about these amazing people -- amazing because I wonder how they ever thought they could get away with the hideousness of the behavior -- I am humbled. God chose them to give birth to a nation, the nation of Israel. He promised Abraham and Isaac that their descendants would out number the stars in the sky and the sand under their feet. (Genesis 17) The drama plays out much like Days of Our Lives or All My Children or One Life to Live. The legacy left by these men was one of adultery and deceit, yet God was very present in their life. Jacob wrestled with God himself and lived to tell about it.

Even today I find myself wrestling with God. Should I find work outside the home? Should I try to find work I can do from home? Should I TRUST Him to provide us within the lifestyle he has given us? Should I take on more volunteer work or less?
(Thankfully God hasn't pushed my hip out of its socket to remind me of our wrestling match! (Genesis 32))

God's clear message seems to be this: I AM. He was and is and always will be. He has always provided for us, he is providing for us even now and he will never stop providing for us. A gentle reminder that though he allows us to live life to the fullest, he is there to catch us when we fall.

How are you living? Are you living with caution or with passion?
How does God use you?
Have you wrestled with God lately?


MichelleOfApronStrings said...

I have been wrestling with the Lord lately...a lot...and I'm not getting anywhere. I think it's time for me to really Be Still and know that He is GOD! Thanks for putting into words much of what has been in my heart.

Lisa said...

I feel like I've been doing my own form of thumb wrestling. Thanks for the great reminder.