Saturday, June 18, 2005

Wrestling for a Blessing Conclusion

The defining part of the blessing is not about things at all. It is about relationship. The blessing is the RELATIONSHIP. THE relationship with God is not part of the blessing. It is not a benefit of the BLESSING. It is THE BLESSING.
A relationship with a God that looks down upon you like a doting father, and whose face shines upon you. THE BLESSING is a heavenly father that looks down on you and says, that’s MY GAL. THAT’S MY BOY. That is my beloved, wonderful child. That is my friend. That is the one I adore.


The blessing is the blessing that overwhelms John in his epistle.
See what great LOVE the father has lavished on us! (EXCLAMATION POINT—(make gesture and emphasize)) That we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

CHILDREN OF GOD!!! That is what we are when we receive the BLESSING. The blessing of a relationship with Almighty God.

Maybe you don’t believe me. Maybe you think I am reading things into the story. OK. Lets return to the story of Jacob.

He wrestles with God. Until it is almost daybreak. He says he will not let the being he is wrestling go until he has a blessing.

And what is the last thing that Jacob says after the blessing is pronounced upon him? What gave Jacob assurance of the blessing. Was it that the circumstances of his life would suddenly be better. NO.

Was it that he would suddenly have more money that he knew what to do with?

What was the blessing from Jacob’s perspective. I SAW GOD FACE TO FACE. I SAW GOD AND LIVED. That was the blessing. And that was enough.

Now there is a type of wrestling that I described at the beginning of this story that I loved. It was about success and accomplishment and all that. I have to share with you. There is a kind of wrestling that I liked even better than that. That is the kind of wrestling I did at home, and occasionally when I could get away with it with the youth I work with and my friends.

I think about the most fun I have had with my uncles and my cousins. A lot of them have been either dancing, or wrestling. I remember my little cousins at five years old all coming at me at the same time to wrestle, trying to tackle me while I stood at my knees. And I would pick them up sometimes two at a time and place them on the ground.

When my uncle, who is almost like a second father to me, wanted to show physical affection, he often hugs. But even more than that, he starts roughhousing with us. As does my aunt sometimes by the way.

And sometimes before youth group, when we are kicking the soccer ball around and someone like James Dockum or Brian Gale or Ben Beasley throws a tennis ball at me and look at me and grin, they know whats coming. I chase them around the room, pick them up, throw them on my shoulder, spin them around a little bit and set them down on the couch. And we laugh and we smile.

Why? Because just like Jacob with God, when we are wrestling with God we are being in a relationship. We are not wrestling like enemies. We are wrestling like brothers.

It is interesting that in Hebrew the root word is the same for the words wrestle and hug or embrace. With Jacob, he came into the wrestling match thinking he was in the battle for his life. When in fact, he was in the loving arms of the heavenly father whose face glowed or shone upon him. AND THAT WAS THE BLESSING. AND THAT WAS ENOUGH. THAT WAS MORE THAN ENOUGH.

Now the choice is yours. RECEIVE the BLESSING. God is ready to grab on to you, love ya, and never let ya go. Don’t run away from that BLESSING, even if you feel that you are going to have to wrestle to get it.


Michele said...

That gave me chill bumps. WOW! What a sermon. I missed church today, but that was such a "blessing" !! I am going to go read the scripture now. I will not ever read it the same way again.

Friar Tuck said...