Wrestling with God


“And Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.”  -Genesis 32:24


Jake was at a crossroads in his sport. He didn’t know what to do. Should he continue to strive every day and work hard only to sit the bench? Was it worth it? He was at a point in his career in which he needed to make a decision.

Does this sound familiar? Many athletes face similar situations in their careers, and they wrestle with what to do.

In the Old Testament, Jacob faced a similar decision. His brother Esau was coming to meet him, and Jacob did not know whether to flee or to face his foe. (If you don’t know the story, Jacob and Esau had a strained relationship due to an unfortunate falling out in their younger days.) Jacob sent his family across the stream and was left alone to ponder his past. At that point, he was confronted by a man who wrestled with him not for a moment, but until the next morning. At the end of the confrontation, the man touched Jacob’s hip and put it out of socket. The two then had a conversation. Jacob knew he was not wrestling with an ordinary man, but with God himself. Of course, God could have crushed Jacob, but He did not. Instead, He blessed Jacob and changed his name and course in history.

Jake wrestled with his decision all night, as well, but in the end, he decided to face his challenge and continue being the best role player he could be. He rarely played, but he made everyone around him better.

Like Jake and Jacob, we too wrestle with decisions and, sometimes, even with God. “God, why did you allow this to happen to me?” “God, why am I struggling so much with this issue?” We’ve all asked those questions at one point or another. And while they are challenging, there is one thing that I do know: God will wrestle with us until He gets our full attention, no matter what it takes. Jacob learned that the hard way, and as a result, was forced to limp around for the rest of his life as a reminder that his life was forever changed that night. 

If you are wrestling with God today, just remember His record. I think it’s something like a gazillion and 0. He has never lost and He never will, so you might want to tap out, say “uncle,” or submit to His authority. If you do that, He will take your circumstances and bless you in the way He sees fit--which is always the best way. So, whatever it is you’ve been wrestling God with for days, months or even years, face the fact that He has already won and start following His plan for your life. In the end, you will find it is a whole lot easier than what you had planned.


1. Are you struggling with a decision today?
2. Are you wrestling with God? Why are you fighting Him?
3. Do you need to examine the Bible for promises of His faithfulness?
4. Will you submit to God’s leading and see where He leads you?


Genesis 32:22-32, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 84:11, Isaiah 55:8-9, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 1:6


Lord, thank You for Your patience. Give me wisdom as I am faced with difficult choices or circumstances. Today I ask that You lead me. Show me how I can glorify You. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
Philippians 1