So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. -Genesis 32:24-25 (NIV)

Have you noticed how painful and difficult life can be when you stubbornly pit your will against God’s will for your life?

Sometimes, you know where God is trying to lead you, and maybe it doesn’t agree with the path you want to go down, but He has His reasons for taking you down His preferred path.

Jacob’s life was a colorful one, of deceit, fear, and struggles. And at one of his lowest points, when he had sent all he had to try and bribe his brother Esau out of killing him, he fell into a deep sleep on the banks of the Jabbok river.

Can you imagine being completely spent and at rock bottom, and wanting nothing more than sleep? Sleep would’ve been nice, but a mysterious being appeared and wrestled with him till daybreak. Depending on the account you read, it may be an angel, or God Himself.

Jacob was relentless and would not release the man with whom he was wrestling till the man blessed him. The man renames Jacob to Israel (“he struggles with God”) and blesses him. But Israel walked with a limp for the rest of his days. God also fulfilled His promise that through him would come many nations.

God can wrestle with you longer than you can. He can toy with you and go on forever. But, He may also need you to learn some humility as well in your prideful stubbornness to do things your way. And when you cease struggling and acknowledge your own brokenness and submit to His will and His great plans for your life, He will bless you. After the dark, troublesome night come His blessings in the morning.