Heard at Café: 9/26/2017

On Tuesday night, we began Café by discussing one of the most pressing questions of our generation...

Who would win in a fight:

After some serious debate, we moved on to talking about other forms of wrestling - not just physically, but mentally, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually - and eventually turned to a story from the Old Testament of the Bible about what it's like to wrestle with God. 

Jacob, a man known for his trickstery, deceives his dying father into giving him the family blessing... an honor that was intended for his brother, Esau. After doing this, he ends up running for his life until he decides to stop running and face what's coming for him.
Genesis 32:22-30 (NIV)
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 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. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

Jacob, after trying to flee from his problems, meets some sort of manifestation of God and ends up wrestling with him all night until he can't take anymore. It's a strange story, but it's important to note that God allows Jacob to fight with him until daybreak - fighting him as an equal, not instantly overpowering him, and eventually giving him the name Israel which means "the ones who struggle with God". It's almost as if God knew that his people would be struggling with him for years to come.....

God uses this situation as an opportunity to say "I know you're going to struggle, but I'm still here in it with you." A lot has happened in the past few weeks - on campus/in our country/around the world - so it's reassuring to know that God allows us to come to Him with our questions and doubts and struggles, and that He's willing to wrestle with us through it all. God meets us where we're at, and reminds us that working through questions and struggles and doubts with Him will make only make us stronger.

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