Day Two: Dear God, I’m Hanging on ’til You Bless Me

READ:  The devotional for today comes from Genesis 32.  Here you will find the story of Jacob wrestling with “a man” on the brook and him refusing to let go until God blesses him.

 

THINK:  In this section, the reader is challenged to picture the scene.  Specifically, the book says:

(1) Picture yourself in this passage.  Are you Jacob?  Are you an invisible bystander watching it all? 

 

(2) What moment in this passage resonates with you most?

  *wanting desperately to be blessed

  *wanting desperately to know more of God

  *other

 

I don’t know about you, but every time I read this, I am Jacob.  I feel like I have been begging God my entire life to bless me.  But also, I want to see the face of God, Peniel.  Or, as it is in Hebrew, P’nay-El, which is literally, the face of God.  “P’nay” means face today, still.  And “El” is still short for Elohim, or God.

 

PRAY:  Without even realizing it, what I have been doing, in my spare time, while I’ve been here at class, is searching desperately for God to bless me and to show me His Face.  Perhaps, more than either of those things though, I want to believe that I can be seen by God and not have to worry if I’m good enough, to not have to worry about whether or not He will actually see Christ when He looks at me, even though I have taken all the necessary precautions to make it so.  I want to be able to read the passages in the Bible that tell me He rejoices over me with singing and actually believe them for myself, and not just for everyone else.

 

LIVE:  I will share this part with you verbatim:

  “Sit quietly before God, imagining the night sounds and the smell of running water.  Try to be comfortable with God in this wild atmosphere.  What does it feel like to trust and to reveal the desires of your heart?  Be honest if you feel uncomfortable.  What would you like it to feel like?  Rest in that.”

 

What does it feel like?  Unsteady.  Uneasy.  Like maybe it doesn’t matter what the deepest desires of my heart are if He’s going to do what He wants to anyway.  But, what I would like it to feel like is that He was listening.  One song from my grandfather’s church hymnal sums up what I would like it to feel like.  It is called “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”  If you’ve never heard it, here are the lyrics:

 

      1. What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
        Leaning on the everlasting arms;
        What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
        Leaning on the everlasting arms.
      • Refrain:
        Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
        Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.
      1. Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
        Leaning on the everlasting arms;
        Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
        Leaning on the everlasting arms.
      2. What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
        Leaning on the everlasting arms?
        I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
        Leaning on the everlasting arms.

 

 

If you’d like to listen to it, you can click on the link below to get to a YouTube video of Alan Jackson singing it. 

 

 

I will leave you with that for now, and with this final thought. 

 

I am trying to make Proverbs 3:5-6 my prayer on days when I feel like I can’t see the path God has laid out for me, or when I find that I have been struggling to make sense of this world.  I hope it will give you some comfort too.

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

     ~Proverbs 3:5-6 (New King James Version)

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