Wrestling with God
Some might look at my life and think I’ve “made it” as a Christian. But I am only just learning a complete dependence on God. I am only just learning the tender side of Him that loves me relentlessly. It isn’t outward service or supposed success that teaches me who God is. Just like Jacob in the Bible, it’s not the progress on the road that changes me. It’s the wrestling.
When I lost a child who called me “Mommy” for years, I wrestled to see good, to believe the words I was trying to teach others. My cry was that of Jacob when he wrestled God: “I will not let go until you bless me, until I see you here.”
And so I began to scribble down all the blessings I saw. Sticky notes lined the walls of the kitchen, testifying to all God had given us. I needed to see. I needed to believe it. And so I wrote: “Laughter at midnight and a warm baby in the sling.” “A full house with every space used for loving.” “Sisters who help.” “The wind in my hair.” The kitchen filled with these small reminders to myself, written between the peeling of potatoes and the tending of hearts and the bending over the laundry pile after children were snug in bed.
And when my head pounded with the question “Where is God in this mess?” my heart started to know the inexplicable reality that He was right beside me. Some blessings were big and some were small, but there was no denying that they were everywhere. I knew His presence in a way that I had not known previously. Gratitude was healing me. Giving thanks to the One who both gives and takes away, and remains my Savior in either circumstance, refocused my heart and made me strong. I still hurt. The God wrestler, I walked with a limp. I was still just barely grasping all that He had for me, still just learning to see. In the wrestling, He began that long process of opening my eyes. Clean laundry, rain dancing on the tin roof, friends who listen. Mangoes from our tree, whispered bedtime prayers, mercy for today.
Gratitude brought me into communion with God. And He did not let me go.
When has gratitude brought you closer to God? What are you thankful for today?