Scarred but Smarter

(with apologies to Kevn Kinney for swiping the title) I'm always struck by the power of the story of Jacob wrestling the angel: he bumps into a "man" and they wrestle until daybreak. The "man" injures his hip, and Jacob still refuses to let go until the "man" blesses him. He is given the name "Israel" and calls the place "Peniel," so the man suddenly morphs into God.

I remember when Elizabeth was extremely ill; this was not long after we were first married. I was terrified, because she had to have surgery. And I confided to a friend that, among my many concerns, was the notion that my faith would not be able to take it. The friend replied, "If it's faith, it'll be there, whether you want it to or not." The sky split open; light came streaming in; and I understood the nature of faith in a way that I never had before.

That night, I wrestled with God in my own way. And it was the story of Jacob at Peniel which anchored me in that prayer. "You know what I want," I told God. "But no matter what, I'm not letting go."

Elizabeth is facing another surgery in about a month. The details are very different, but it's not surprising that this old memory would pop up at this time. I have a feeling God and I are going to have some long talks about all of this. But I ain't letting go.