My boys loved to wrestle with Phillip. It’s an evening activity that they enjoy, but it irritates me! The boys use every muscle they have to try to beat Phillip and even though Phillip could wipe them out in a second, he is skilled in using just the right amount of strength so that he does not hurt them.
Wrestling is not a sport that I enjoy, however, it is relatable to our spiritual journey.
Have you ever wrestled with God?
When life throws something at you that just doesn’t make sense, when someone you love has to suffer, when you live with chronic pain, when you lose your spouse without warning, when you see the evil in the world, whatever it may be, do you wrestle with God?
Do you ask Him why? Do you feel like He is silent? Do you wonder why He doesn’t step in and fix it?
Do you wrestle?
And is it ok to wrestle with God?
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God’s word gives us an answer to that question…have I told you that I love the Bible?!
Habakkuk was a prophet just before the time of Judah’s exile to Babylon. Unlike other prophets who have a message from God to the people, Habakkuk had a conversation with God and we get to listen in.
And Habakkuk has some questions for God that are totally relatable to us.
Habakkuk had been watching idolatry and wickedness run rampant and he wants to know why God is not stepping in. He goes to God with his honest questions, frustrations and fears and essentially says, “God, why aren’t you doing anything? Why aren’t you stepping in? Why are you silent? Why is this happening?”
God is not some weak, little “fall over by a stiff wind” kind of guy. God is Almighty, all powerful, all sufficient. He can handle our questions and doubts. You are absolutely allowed to ask God “Why?” He has the universe in His hands and is completely capable of governing history and He is completely capable of orchestrating your life for His glory.
Habakkuk doesn’t understand why God is allowing what He is allowing and doing what He is doing.
Habakkuk wrestles with God.
This is an invitation for us. We are allowed to wrestle with God. We are allowed to go to Him with our questions. If you think about actual wrestling, when two people are wrestling, they are all up in each other’s space. You are so close to that person that you feel their breath and feel their heartbeat. You can hear if they whisper.
So maybe instead of looking at wrestling with God as a negative thing, look at it as a means to get all up in God’s space, feeling his breath, feeling his heartbeat, hearing his voice.
Are you in a season of wrestling with God? Are you asking Him why? Are you asking Him to step in? Does He feel silent?
Wrestling with God is not necessarily a bad place to be. In fact, it could be exactly where God wants you so that you are able to align your heart with His and to hear Him whisper to your soul.
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Just like Phillip can wrestle with my boys, using just the right amount of strength so that he does not harm them, God knows exactly the right amount of strength to use with us. He won’t harm us, but He will use our wrestling to refine us.
Habakkuk wrestled with God and through the wrestling, Habakkuk grew in his trust and love of God.
Habakkuk ends with him telling God that even if everything is stripped away and he has nothing, Habakkuk will still rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in God his Savior. And then he declares, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”
In the words of my friend, Brianna, “God causes us to walk nimbly on terrain that we are uncertain of.”
How beautiful is that?!
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May your wrestling lead you to joy and trust in our sovereign God.
Thanks be to Him.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes in the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18
For further study and encouragement, read Habakkuk!