WRESTLING WITH GOD IN THE DARK (a snapshot of my sermon last sunday)

1474489_793143837378332_154487302_nGENESIS 32:22-29:  Jacob wrestling all night with a man he didn’t recognize is a curious story.  He’s on the way to a home where he had cheated a brother he was afraid of and he was fleeing from a father-in-law who also felt cheated.  He had a wealth of livestock and two wives, so of course he sent everything across the river and stayed alone on the other side.  What was he thinking?  To up the curiosity-o-meter the unnamed wrestled wrestled him all night only to simply pop Jacob’s hip out with a touch.  Jacob then knows he has seen the face of god and lived…….When I wrestle with my grandson I wrestle just hard enough to let him struggle, not win , but not lose either.  It is growth I want for him in the exercise and I don’t need to demonstrate my superiority.  So why the hip-pop? Was it so important that Jacob knew who he was wrestling?  Apparently YES, it was that important…..Now to you and I; what do we wrestle with in the dark?  For me, I wrestle with questions I cannot answer and am too afraid and/or ashamed to admit in the day.  It’s not politics, economics, or philosophy for I can wrestle with these questions in the light of day.  It is questions about my Creator.  I experience injustice, the lose of life, of innocence, tragedies that make me want to scream out.  But I don’t scream out.  I say all the things a good sunday school teacher would say, and then, if I’m honest, I wrestle all night with questions for God;  Where were you?  How could you?  Why didn’t you?….When morning comes I am riddled with guilt.  Who am I to question Him?  What right do I have to presume I have that right?  After all: “…..what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9)…..But then it dawns on me, God knows I do not know.  He knows I could not know.  He knows very well that when I face the tragic lose of a loved one years before their time that I cannot possibly understand.  And although He rarely answers my why questions He does allow me to wrestle with Him all night long.  When the morning came to Jacob there was a blessing.  Elijah wrestled with being the only one for 40 nights and when morning finally came he had a whole new calling.  Jesus himself wrestled one night with His calling and when morning came He saved the world…..So, for you and I, it is ok to be in the dark when we are in the dark.  It is ok to wrestle with the questions we cannot answer.  But morning will come, eventually, and there is no promise that it will not bring pain or more questions, but it will be time let go of ‘why’ because a new morning will shed light on a question God will always answer.  ‘What now?’

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