Saturday, September 3, 2011

God of Jacob

There's this song on the radio (Christian radio, that is) that has been driving me crazy. It's called "Blessings" by Laura Story. Now, if you know me at all, you know I am a music snob. I generally hate anything new. As in... I've had the same music on my iPod for nearly two years and I'm quite content with it. I like new music by my old favorite artists. It just takes a lot for me to REALLY appreciate anything completely new. I don't know why - it's just really hard to compete with ten years' worth of John Mayer and Hillsong!! But, I've been listening to the radio a lot because my phone and iPod share a charger and the phone usually wins.

Back to the song. The first time I heard it, I was immediately drawn back to the three and a half years I spent working at Gospel Supply and the beginning of my hatred for all things CCM (Contemporary Christian Music). Sorry, anytime you are forced to listen to 4Him or RelientK or Nicole Nordeman for any extended length of time, the redundancy of the lyrics and sappy-ness starts to wear on your nerves. Then I wondered why I was even listening to the Christian radio station....

Then the lyrics to the song appeared on Pinterest. GREAT. Now people are going to fall in love with this song and I can't stand it.

And then I heard it again. And again. And again. And I finally let the words sink in a little.

The reason I hated the song so much was because it was True.

What if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand lonely nights
are what it takes to know you're near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

Wednesday night, I wept during our monthly Encounter Night. I cried out of anger, out of confusion, out of surrender, out of gratitude. In the middle of the night, I woke up and wept some more. My sweet husband rubbed my back and reminded me of the story of Jacob and the man. Jacob was heading back to his homeland and to his brother, Esau, as God had commanded. Jacob was frightened - afraid that Esau would attack him for all he had done. Jacob prayed to God for Esau to receive the gifts he was sending and to welcome him home. Jacob was following God's command, though afraid, and trusting Him through it all.

And then he comes upon a man. Jacob is all alone, and he and the man begin to wrestle. They wrestle all night. Finally, morning begins to break and the man says, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let go until you bless me." The man gave Jacob a new name: Israel, because he had struggled with God and with humans and have overcome. (Taken from Genesis 32:22-27.)

I'm heading in the direction God has called me, and I am not letting go. So my healing may come through wrestling, through tears, through restless nights, through snot and puffy red eyes. However it comes, I am not letting go until the God of Jacob blesses me.

And, as one of our pastors recently challenged me - "Name one person in the Bible who God used mightily who didn't go through what you are going through." Uhhh... how about "impossible." I guess that settles it. If you want God to use you mightily, you have to let him use every last bit of you.

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