We can learn so much from the Old Testament stories taught in Sunday school. I always had trouble with the one about Jacob wrestling with God. It seemed hard to understand why anyone would want to fight with God when you know that He’s always going to win.
A few years ago I was watching a PBS show about Helen of Troy and they talked about the history of the sport of wrestling and things finally came together for me. The Greeks wrestled, not to hurt one another, but so that one of the two would submit to the other and finally give in.
Maybe this is what the story of Jacob and his battle with God is all about. We go about our daily lives, trying to plan our futures and control all that life throws at us. It isn’t an easy road all the time. Still we try to stand on our own two feet and stay on top.
God invited Jacob to wrestle with Him when He appeared to Jacob as a man. The struggle continued all night, but in the end, God was the victor. The wrestling was an opportunity for Jacob to submit to God’s will for his life, so he was a winner too. By sustaining the injury to his hip, Jacob was also reminded that his earthly struggles would be painful at times.
The fight can go on for a long time too and we may never understand why we have to go through it. When life seems hopeless by our standards, it’s good to know that by submitting (allowing Him to do what is best for us) to God’s will, we will gain the victory.