Tap Out

“Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law; you grant him relief from days of trouble.”  Psalm 94:12-13 NIV


I picture a referee on his hands and knees, slapping the mat as he counts, “1-2-3-4…”  When he reaches ten, he grabs Jacob’s arm and thrusts it into the air showing the victor.


But as Jacob stands, sucking in every breath from exhaustion, the foe reaches up and touches Jacob’s hip. Jacob collapses. The foe stands, taking the place as the conqueror—arms in the air doing his best Rocky dance. The crowd hisses and boos at the “cheap shot”, but the foe is unscathed.


It has to be one of the oddest, yet comforting stories in the bible.


The verse is even labeled, “Jacob Wrestles With God.” (Genesis 32:22 NIV)


Jacob, son of Isaac, faced a very troubling time with his brother Esau. There was no love loss between the two. Trouble had replaced kinship between them. There were huge consequences facing Jacob, as he would meet with Esau. Fear gripped him.


Jacob was troubled and therefore set out to talk to God about it.


Little did he know some guy would be yelling out, “Let’s get ready to rummmmmble”!




We’re told to take our problems in prayer to God yet in return we get a WWF match?


Like I said, one of the strangest stories in the Bible.


But maybe the story can actually help us.


Anyone ever wrestle with God? Ooh, I do. I do.



Photo Courtesy of Google Images: http://ilifejourney.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/wrestling-mats-photo.jpg


If we’re honest, at times in our darkest moments or our deepest prayers, we wrestle with the One who will make it right. We wrestle with the One who has the answers. We come up with the solutions on our own. We add a lot of “yeah, but…” in the prayers.


Seems that’s what Jacob was doing.

That’s what I do.

Is it what you do?


Oh, we’re very good at crying out to God. We’re very good at bringing our petitions to the King—but then. . .


But then we hold on.

We decide to give the problems to Him, but quickly take them back. (wrestling)

We decide to hear a small voice telling us what He wants, but then discount doing it. (wrestling)

We respond like Jacob and try to make the best of a bad situation. (wrestling)


I do it more often than not.


But God knew what Jacob needed, and us as well.


Jacob needed to win a bit to enhance that bravado he was carrying around. But God needed to win a lot, to show who was the master. God needed to bring Jacob back to his senses and perhaps say, “boy, are you ready to do it my way yet?” Hence the little love tap on the hip.


And when that happened, Jacob knew. Oh he knew right then and there what happened. He knew God was God and he wasn’t. Jacob realized no matter the situation, no matter the pending fight, God needed to go first in everything.


So, you ready to tap out yet?


Tapping out—a move that wrestlers do when they’re done. A move that says from one opponent to the other in a simple touch, I’m at my limit, I can’t fight anymore. No words, no screaming—just tapping.


Jacob tapped out. He was shown the God of his fathers. He was shown God’s majesty.


And when Jacob tapped, he begged for blessings. He wasn’t letting go without a blessing that would sustain him. Jacob had full knowledge of whom he went up against and he wanted the complete protection of the great I Am.


God honored that blessing. Jacob became a new man.


So let me ask again, are you ready to tap out? Whatever you’re struggling with, whatever you’re wrestling God to the mat with, are you ready to give up the fight?


God is a mighty, powerful contender to go up against. Which side of that line do you want to be? Will you be out in front of him, or safely tucked behind him?


When the wrestling ends, the blessings begin. Tap out my dear friend and watch what God will do. Your hand will be raised mightily as the victor!

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