Sometimes, like Jacob, we wrestle with God. We wrestle over the pain of the past, the 'whys' of the present, the uncertainty of the future............
Tim Timmons is a singer/songwriter with cancer. He calls his Song "Great Reward"* a wrestling song. He worries about what will happen to his wife and kids when his life is over. He wonders how he will continue on the path that he's walking. When someone speaks with one foot into eternity, it's good to listen:
I trust in You for every heartbeat
As long as I'm alive
Your love endures when I wake
And when I close my eyes
Help me to know You are God, I am not
Remind my soul--You're in control
Praise to the Father
With every breath I take
In joy and sorrow
All for Your kingdom's sake
Be Thou my vision
Be Thou my hope restored
Now and forever
You are my great reward
Him. Our great reward.
The thing that's great about wrestling with God is that at least we're holding on to Him. We're grabbing a hold of Him. Tight. And that's not a bad place to be.
You can usually tell someone who has wrestled with God. They often have a 'limp', a mark on their life that shows that while they are weak, He is strong. It's a badge of being His. They may not 'walk' with quite as much ease as they used to on their own, but their step is more sure, their vision more clear, their hearts more full of everlasting joy.
And they know that they're marked as being His.
I had a glass Coke bottle explode in my face years ago in Fiji. I picked it up out of my car and while I was transferring it into my other arm pressure that had built up inside made it explode outward into hundreds of little pieces. Right in front of my face. Amazingly I only needed five stitches in my forehead. There was even a cut across my eyelid that showed that the glass had hit so fast that my eyes were still open, but my eyes were fine.
The scar on my forehead is hard to spot now, but for years I looked into the mirror, saw that scar, and remembered that God knew where every piece of glass was going even faster than I could blink. I liked that mark. It was a mark that inspired my faith. It was His.
I like the wedding ring on my finger, too. While I can wiggle it off it's there all the time. It's a mark of a commitment, a mark of faith and trust in each other, it reminds me of who I love and that I'm his. I'm marked.
And then there are the marks on our souls that no one else can see. Painful once (or still), but becoming precious because of what they represent. Times where we wrestled with God and finally relaxed into His hands. And received His blessing.
I like being marked as His.
Him. Our great reward.
And His nail scared hands marked Him----for us.
*Listen to Tim Timmons sing "Great Reward" here. It's worth it.