For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. – Mat 16:25

One of the most interesting story in the book of Genesis for me is the story of Jacob wrestling at Peniel (Gen 32: 24-32). It is said that Jacob have striven with God and have prevailed (verse 28), that God changed his name to Israel, which means God strives. I am attending Logos Bible Study group, and currently we are studying the book of Genesis from Catholic Scripture Study.

During this wrestling part, the lecturer mentioned something very beautiful. Wrestling is a sport where we use so much power and strength in order to win against the opponent. When God wrestled with Jacob, He used equal force such that Jacob prevailed. If God used more power, He could destroy Jacob. God always gives us Grace equals to our capacity to receive. God always allows problem to happen in our live equals to our ability to solve it.

The lecturer linked this story to Mat 16: 5, Luke 9: 24. The paradox of this wrestling is to let God prevails. So that when I lose, God win, then I win. That is why whoever loses his life for His sake will find it. However,many times in my life I wrestled with God, and with God’s will. He wrestled with my with me to defeat my self-centeredness , and sinful behavior. Many times I did not let God win this wrestling.

So what practical lessons I learned from this passages?

1. Being Alone With God: On Gen 32:24 it is said that “Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day”. He encountered God in his solitude. Being alone with God is very important. How long do we spend time being alone with God? Physical and spatial solitude with God.

2. Prayer: When we are with God, we are praying. We raise our heart and mind to God. This wrestling is a prayer. In our prayer, our desire wrestle with God’s desire, our thought wrestle with God’s voice. We can learn to let God win the wrestling. Let His voice be heard, let His will be done. Spend some time to Listen in prayer.