My times with God aren’t always easy. Sure, there are times I sing or pray where it’s as if I’m standing in the midst of the Holy Spirit. I feel such deep peace, such incredible joy that it’s almost overwhelming. It changes my day, puts a bounce in my step. His powerful love carries me confidently forward. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit sometimes it feels like anything but.
I have to wrestle a lot with God, honestly. Oh, I know that God loves me, that He has me. I know that His plans work better than my own. And He’s shown me this time and time again. I suppose it embarrasses me to a degree, this fear and doubt that can overwhelm and consume me. But when that relationship ends, or the next door I’m meant to walk through isn’t readily seen, or the fears and worries that can haunt me like a bad dream take over, I have to wrestle.
Wrestling with God is the spiritual work it takes to grab what I know to be true in my head and send it on that seemingly miles long journey until it firmly arrives within my heart. It’s laying down all the lies I can hear from within and without and exposing them before God and His words to me. It’s doing the work I need to do so I can embrace my spiritual truths.
The lie: Things should be perfect. God’s truth: “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world,” Psalm 37:25.
The lie: I can’t do this. God’s truth: “I can do all things (everything!) through Him who gives me strength,” Philippians 4:13.
The lie: I have to figure this out on my own. God’s truth: “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand,” Psalm 37:23-24.
The lie: I’m not good enough for God to love me. God’s truth: “To me, you are very dear, and I love you. That’s why I gave up people and nations to rescue you,” Isaiah 43:4.
The lie: I don’t have enough faith. God’s truth: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He can’t disown Himself,” 2 Timothy 2:13.
Sometimes it can take me time to get down to the lie, to dig out the roots that keep making it resurface. Even then, planting the truth in my heart can take time and lots of tending to for it to grow. But grow it does because God’s word never returns empty in my life—or yours (Isaiah 55:10-11).
So, I keep wrestling. I get better at it, certainly. But being human means I’ll be wrestling until I finally get to check out of here and head to that ultimate destination spot called Heaven. And when I think, I’ll never get this, I remember God’s promise: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness,” (2 Corinthians 12:9). I know that God uses each and every one of those wrestling matches to help me get a little bit closer to who He created me to be. And that, I love.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT: What do you wrestle with? Is it believing you can find a loving relationship on this earth? Or a satisfying job? Or overcoming your past mistakes? Whatever it is, make space this week to write down the lie and then replace it with God’s truth. The Bible isn’t meant to be a stagnant document; scripture is meant to be used! Visit a website like biblegateway.com if you need help finding relevant scripture, but work to find them. And remember yet another promise to you from God: “The truth will set you free,” (John 8:32).
PRAYER: Lord, I get tired sometimes of the trials and struggles of this life. I don’t always feel like connecting with You. I can give in to anger or fear and get bitter or depressed. But I know you are always with me, even when I don’t feel it. I know You love me, even when I feel unlovable. And I know you have me and hold me firmly, even when I feel lost and disconnected. Thank you, Papa. You are such a good and gracious God. Thank You for Your faithful patience with me. Give me the strength I need to wrestle through my challenges and grow to a position of faithful trust and surrender. Open my eyes so I can see Your handiwork in my life. And though it’s hard, thank you for the wrestling. It teaches me to fight for what matters in my life which, in turn, makes me strong. You continue to mold this lump of coal into a rich and rare diamond. I am truly blessed. May I remember to lean into You each and every day. Amen.