Jesus and Jacob Wrestle with God.

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In my last post, I wrote about feeling overwhelmed. I said I thought Jesus was overwhelmed at Gethsemane when he pleaded with his Father to find another way to save the human race. Jesus felt the sins of the world pressing down upon him and felt like it was killing him. He said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

 After Jesus continued praying and great drops of blood came from his forehead, God sent an angel to strengthen him. God will do this for all of us who are overwhelmed.

Jesus is our model of what to do when we feel afraid and desperate. What did he do? He prayed; he prayed until he received help. He didn’t pray for awhile, get up and do something else. No, he stayed where he was and prayed until he could face what was happening.

This reminded me of Jacob, who was afraid of dying by his brother’s hand. The Bible says he was in great fear and distress. He was alone by the river. A man came and touched him; Jacob thought he was an enemy and wrestled with him, but as the night wore on, he realized it was a holy person.

Then he (God) said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

Then the man (God) said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”   Genesis 32:28

“I will not let thee go, except thou bless me,”—It is evident that Jacob was aware of the character of Him with whom he wrestled; and, believing that His power, though by far superior to human, was yet limited by His promise to do him good, he determined not to lose the golden opportunity of securing a blessing. And nothing gives God greater pleasure than to see the hearts of His people firmly adhering to Him.

One Bible commentator wrote that Jacob had believed in God previously, but also trusted in his own strength to get things done. That night by the river, Jacob knew he could do nothing to help himself. God had to do everything for him so he and his family could live. That is why he wouldn’t let go. He had to know God would save them.

I have a lot to learn about the power of prayer. I am no example to anyone on the subject of prayer. But a few times, when I was severely depressed, I did say to God, “I’m not getting out of bed, and I’m not going to stop praying and reading the Bible until I feel better.”  Previously, I had been forcing myself to get up and face the day. Well, that prayer always ended up with me feeling better about the coming day. The Lord did bless my perseverance.

Some of us don’t have the luxury of not getting out of bed in the morning. Lol  I do because I’m retired. So, for those who are working, taking care of children, doing housework and yard work, I would say, pray as often as you can and as long as you can when you are overwhelmed. Pray while you are working at home, pray at your lunch hour, pray when the kids are in bed. Keep praying, God will bless you. No doubt about it.

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