Each time I read Genesis 32 I am reminded that when I struggle with God‘s plan, His authority, or aspects of what I do not yet know, it will always result in either me bowing before His authority, or being crushed by it. And that’s the wonder of it! The most beautiful part about struggling with God is not the struggle itself, but the fact that we are ALWAYS pinned at the end.
Jacob was an entirely different man after the Lord touched his hip and won that fight. The trickster went from being a coward who hid behind his family and servants, to a man willing to own up to his own faults and led his caravan in meeting Esau. Wrestling with God will either humble you or humiliate you. Jacob becoming Israel was the conversion of a manipulator into a leader.
Also interesting to note is that Jacob never knew God as his own… it was always ‘the God of my father,’ or ‘the God of Abraham and of Isaac,’ but never MY God. Until after the struggle, that is. Right after the heavenly wrestling match Jacob built an altar and called it ‘the God of Israel.’ It was only after struggling with the Lord, obtaining a blessing, and being scarred for life via his hip injury, that Jacob understood God to be HIS OWN God.
You see, the point of wrestling with God is to be pinned. Because under His gracious hand is the best place to be, whether we humbly surrender ourselves, or if God needs to bust our hip to put us there.