Looking back on this last year, I’m still struggling with being thankful for situations and people whose tenacious grips keep me in a repetitive wrestling match. I want instead to break free and hear God’s blessing.
My husband was a wrestler in high school. So, when a match is on TV, he thoroughly enjoys watching the competition. I was watching such a match with him and found myself mesmerized by the rhythm of the athletes: fast, fast, hold, release, fast, fast, hold, release. Since I don’t fully understand the wrestling point system, I found myself wandering and instead focused on the stillness and strength of the holds.
I thought of life’s challenges and how a problem can hold me in its grip like a vice. It mirrors a wrestling match. I can size-up my opponent, anticipate the attack, be grounded in my defensive stance, yet still be caught in a fierce struggle. However, I can wrestle for just so long before I have to break the hold with one maneuver or another, break in one direction or another. Something has to give! I can’t sustain that hold and still make forward progress.
Read all of chapter 32 in Genesis. Jacob wrestled with his brother Esau throughout his adulthood. He faced one conflict after another, each time breaking free and moving forward in a productive direction. Right before Jacob’s dreaded, impending confrontation with Esau, he slept an exhausted sleep. In the depths of the night, he wrestled with God. In his dream, Jacob refused to break the hold. He said, “I will not let go unless you bless me.” God released him from his lifetime of conflict with his brother and told Jacob, “you strove with me (God) and with men, and prevailed.”
I’m here to tell you that just when you think a person or situation has a vice-grip on you, the release is imminent. Recognize with whom or what you’ve been struggling. Follow through with doing the next right move. Live in peace with God’s blessing.
What struggle has a hold on you?
To feel great love and freedom, to find the presence of God within you, all of this stored pain must go.