In our Old Testament reading today, we learn about how Jacob wrestled with the Lord.
“The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s his was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day has broken.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ And he said to him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Jacob.’ Then he said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.’ Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.’ The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.” (Genesis 32:22-32 ESV)
The Lord disabled Jacob to show him that HIS strength was sufficient. I think he gives us each disabilities in life to prove this to us as well. I personally struggle with anxiety. It keeps me humble and keeps me relying on Him to make it with through life without being constantly wrapped up in fear. Another great way to battle anxiety is to meditate on scripture.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever.” (Psalm 145: 18-21 ESV)
On a good day, my focus is on eternal things. I focus on who God is, what He can do when He chooses to and whose I am. The psalms are a great way to express my heart’s struggles and desires. So in these crazy days we are living in, I need to be kingdom focused. Our new testament reading urges us to be ready for His kingdom.
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake- for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning- lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all; Stay awake.” (Mark 13:32-36 ESV)
Like Jacob, You can use my anxious nature as a way to keep me dependent on You. Help me to keep an eternal focus, especially in times of anxious struggles. And let the struggles be for my good and Your glory.