Unless You Bless Me

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26b

I’ve heard a lot of things said about this passage, and certainly there’s something there. A wrestle with God. At night. A demand for a blessing. A name-change. A blessing granted.

It’s very strange. What would it look like for me to wrestle with God? My thoughts tumbling against words of Scripture. My personal prayers punching through the devout holiness of a church service. My depression spiraling holes through the hope and joy God has always provided.

Or is this wrestling with God only something that happens before the blessing of justification, the beginning of sanctification? Maybe fighting with God now is just rebellion. Or getting out of bounds.

I’m back to my post now after helping herd large calves back into their pen. Good thing there was a full moon. They were on the road and had strayed a long way. They had been eating grass for awhile and were not in the mood to move, which tried my husband’s patience to no end (that was a direct quote). So maybe God also likes it better when we’re feisty and willing to move. Maybe He’s more likely to bless us then, even if we’re not exactly where we belong, and we need a lot of herding. Moral of the story: don’t get fat on the neighbor’s forbidden grass when there’s a pile of nutritious corn silage dumped right into your pen. Another moral: if you do find yourself out of the pen, get up and cross a road a few times, moo really loud (i.e. let God know that you know where you are). God doesn’t want you out of the pen, and He won’t ignore you.