Have you ever picked a fight with someone? Or maybe you were the unfortunate target of a fight-starter.
I think that there are times of difficulty when God lets us pick a fight with him. Or, I’m just sure of it, He is the One who starts it. When fighting with God, you go into it knowing that there is no way you could ever win. But you are so angry that you don’t care.
The Holy Spirit often speaks to me in word pictures. During one of my seasons of wrestling, the word picture He showed me was of myself as a 5 year-old, storming up to God, stomping as hard as I could on His foot, and running like mad to get away from Him. I expected that He would respond in anger and retaliate. When I admitted this was in fact my attitude towards Him, the most difficult thing was not confessing, but rather discovering that He would not retailiate. He would not crush me with His righteousness. There was no sarcasm in His voice, no ridicule or irritation. You mean….you are not angry with me, God?
Sometimes what we need is not a calming hug but someone to fight with us. We have to get our arguments out. We need to reveal the anger and injustice and betrayal we are protesting. A suffocating hug can be a betrayal in itself; it is patronizing and condescending, a cover-up and pacifying act that makes us angrier.
Wrestling gets it all out there. It is honest. It is face to face. You can’t wrestle via a long distance conversation. Wrestling doesn’t work if you just snarl at each other on opposite sides of the mat. Ignoring your anger is even worse. Of course, God knows when we need a hug and when to just flip us on our back and say, “Game on!”
Wrestling with God also means pain. This is Creator- inflicted pain. It is a very special kind of pain. Why, God, are you intentionally hurting me? During experiences we do not understand, we lay the blame on the mysterious soverignty of God. He is in control and He knows what He is doing, we just have to trust. This may be true but….I think there is a more personal and simpler possibility. Throwing us into crazy circumstances is not God’s way of showing us that He is in control.
This Father does not have control issues.
This wrestling match is for our benefit. He uses it so we realize what is in our hearts and what we believe about many things; but mostly, about Him. On the mat things fly out of our mouths that we didn’t know we were believing. We recognize ugly things that we usually just see in other people, not in ourselves. They don’t surprise Him, but they sure surprise us.
Wrestling is a very STRATEGIC move on the Father’s part, who can wrestle with us without destroying us. Forget the theological stuff for a moment, it is getting in the way of truth. And the truth will set you free.
Here is the message, from God, to you, during a wrestling match:
“You are safe with Me.” and
“I love you.”
There is someone reading this who needs to stop right here and just recieve that message; it will change your life as you know it.
I have been in un-divine arguments where I came out destroyed, and in fact, that was the whole essence and purpose of the fight; destruction. But when you wrestle with God, you come out stronger; not in your flesh and in the things you trusted in before, but stronger and settled in who God is, and who you are. Surrendered, but at peace. Defeated but not destroyed.