Drained Of Strength

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. Genesis 32:24

Jacob was about to meet Esau. He thought Esau would surely kill him.  He was alone the night before the confrontation and begged God for his life.  He reminded Him of his covenant blessings but wasn’t sure what God would do.  Of all nights, this was a night he needed sleep. Yet God came to him in the form of a man and wrestled with him all night until he was absolutely spent. He emerged from the fight just exhausted from the hand-to-hand wrestling match.

Though I have never wrestled with God in the flesh, I have known the deep weariness that comes from no sleep. It usually occurred the night before a spiritually significant event. I was anticipating a night of good sleep yet, in spite of all the preparation, I slept fitfully. I felt like I wrestled in prayer, that there was a battle being waged over me. I woke up exhausted and depleted.

Nights of angst are so unpleasant.  I do know this, however. God has drawn near to me when I’ve been drained and when the stakes were high.  Emptied of all self-effort, I did not strive with His Spirit at a time when what I said and did really mattered.

Perhaps you are facing one of the most important days of your life. Could be a court date, an interview for a new job, or a doctor’s appointment to strategize on future care. You haven’t slept well. You feel like you’ve been up all night and you can’t imagine how you will get through your day. Maybe you’re frustrated with God for your weakened condition.

Don’t back up from him. This is the time to run home.

Don’t battle with Him. You are too spent for that.

And perhaps that is the point. God longs for you to know that He is your strength and never is that more true than when you have none of your own.

You are large in our view when we are small. Do not let us despise frailty. Forgive us, Lord, for when we stand in the way of what You want to do through our weakness. Amen

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