Lenten Devotionals

Monday, March 11th

Author: Bev Bowles
Verse: Genesis 32:22-32
Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

22 The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24 Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” 27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket, because he struck Jacob on the hip socket at the thigh muscle.
A man (God?) wrestled with Jacob and wrenched his hip. Then Jacob clung to Him until God blessed Jacob (verses 24-25, 29). 

Jacob was self-reliant until God chose to wrestle with him. God finally wore Jacob down to where he realized that he needed God, and he asked for God's blessing.

Too many times I have been self-reliant, asking God for His blessing as an afterthought. A few times God has chosen to visit me in dreams – long, hard dreams where I was searching for something lost or attempting to fix something that was broken. Upon awakening, it was crystal-clear that God was giving me direction to correct the wrong choice I had made. 

Have you ever asked for a refill in a to-go cup and then removed the lid so your cup could be filled? God's blessings are like that. First we must ask, then we must “remove the lid” to our heart, so God can fill us with His blessings. God desires to pour out His blessings on us, but we must ask Him and be open to receive the blessing He chooses to give.

God is always waiting to fill our cup. Sometimes He chooses to make us aware that we have left Him out. Rather than wrestle with God, we should let our hearts cling to Him and depend on Him to conquer our earthly battles. God does not want to be an afterthought, but rather to be in constant communion with us so that we are filled with His love and everything we do reflects that love.
Lord, help me to open my heart to your love, grace, forgiveness and blessing so that when I ask, You may fill me. Amen.
Are you ready to rely on God and “take the lid off” to your heart so He may fill you with blessings?