Up until I was 4 years old, I was the only granddaughter on my father's side. I had 3 boy cousins, real roughnecks;Raised in the country, played in the woods, fearless. So, to save face with them, I quickly learned to be tough.
They were forever getting me into some kind of headlock or wrestling hold and telling me, "say, 'uncle'." I had no idea what that meant but I knew 2 things:
1. If I said it, they let me go.
2. If I said it, they didn't want to play with me anymore.
Then they would wrestle each other and try to force each other to "say uncle." None would give in. They would stay locked together for long periods of time.
Over time I toughened up some more and could last longer. And every once in a while I would resort to hair pulling or a good bite. I never, ever won at wrestling and cried "uncle" so much that to this day if I see my cousins, I just want to throw my arms up and say, "uncle, uncle, uncle." Haha
Yesterday at church we heard a sermon about Jacob. Jacob wrestled with God, literally. Some believe it was an angel, some believe it was Jesus. But it truly was God whom he was wrestling.
And here's the thing, Jacob had the upper hand. The angel cried, "uncle."
But Jacob didn't let go. They wrestled the entire night. This angel didn't resort to biting or hair pulling, no he pulled Jacob's hip out of joint! But Jacob still held on to the win.
Can you imagine fighting God? Can you imagine winning? It seems like crazy thoughts but is it?
How many times have you lain awake at night, tossing and turning with troubles going back and forth through your mind? There doesn't seem to be any peace for you at all. Who is your opponent, friends? Family? Finances? Pain? No, we are wrestling against God.
Jacob did not receive his new name and blessing until he surrendered. We, too, have a new name (Christian, child of God) and a blessing (promise of peace and having our needs met) when we surrender to God.
Say "uncle" to God. Because when you wrestle God if you win, you lose.
Afterwards, Jacob went back and spent the rest of the night alone. A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak. When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint. They kept on wrestling until the man said, “Let go of me! It's almost daylight.” “You can't go until you bless me,” Jacob replied. Then the man asked, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. The man said, “From now on, your name will no longer be Jacob. You will be called Israel, because you have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won.” Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.” “Don't you know who I am?” he asked. And he blessed Jacob. Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive.” So he named the place Peniel. (Genesis 32:24-30 CEV)