Thursday, February 10, 2011


“Wrestling with God is not a bad thing. It’s impossible to wrestle with someone who is far away from you. You can only wrestle someone who is close to you. Sometimes we interpret it as failure, but I think God sees it as intimacy.” (Stuff Christians Like Blog 1/30/2011)

I’m not sure how common this is with the younger folk these days. Does anyone remember when you were younger (a long time ago for this guy) when perhaps your dad or an annoying uncle or an older cousin would play a little “rough” with you. I remember times like that and they were fun but at times it could be frustrating too. I remember times when the “bigger” person would put his hand on the top of my head and hold me at arms length while I would stand there flailing about trying to reach him. Because my arms were shorter, I could swing like crazy but never make contact. The person being held would often want to stop in frustration while the holder would continue on thinking it was great sport. Sometimes it would be a good old, get on the floor, wrestling match. This was usually fun even when the older loved one who could “pin” you at any time but was just enjoying the play. I remember doing this with my kids too when they were younger and it was always in good fun.
Recently, I came across the above quote on a blog I enjoy reading. (Stuff Christians Like by Jon Acuff) and was struck by the point that we really only “wrestle” with those we love and are close to. (Unless you are into competitive wrestling, which is completely different and not what I’m referring to.)
I am familiar with wrestling with God. As, I’m sure, almost everyone is. In those most difficult times when we can’t figure it out, when we can’t figure God out, when things go wrong and seem so completely different from the way we would do it, we “wrestle” with God. Why, why me , why her! We get angry, we yell, we cry, we feel entirely helpless and sold out. I get the mental picture of God holding my head at arms length while I flail about swinging, kicking but never really reaching Him with my swings. I also see myself, when exhausted by the exercise, falling into the strong, soft, comfortable arms of God and receiving the biggest, lovingest (apparently that’s not a word, spell check didn’t like it, but I do so I’m leaving it in) hug I can imagine.
Many people have told me that it’s ok to be angry with God, that He has big shoulders and can take it. I think, as this quote states, it is more than that. I think God loves us so much He is pleased that as we struggle we take that struggle to Him. That indicates a level of dependence, of intimacy, that we simply do not have with someone we know really doesn’t care what we think. This verse from 1 Peter 5:7 comes to mind “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Simply put God invites us to cast our burdens, struggles, complaints, anger right at Him because He cares for us, perfectly.
So I will try to remember that. When those things I feel are so wrong inevitably come my way, instead of pouting, having a snit and walking away from God, I pray that I will feel compelled to “wrestle” with my loving heavenly Father and that he will let me have it out with Him until I simply fall into His arms.
Forever Loved