26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”
But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
27 So He said to him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Jacob.”
28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Genesis 32:26-28
(For the full story, Genesis 32:22-32)
Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the stories of the Bible! God’s Word is filled with stories of people just like me. None of them (except Jesus of course!) got it right all the time, some of them seldom. Some of them blew it big time! All of them had weaknesses and struggles, yet God used these weak and pitiful men and women in great and mighty ways! One of my favorites is Jacob. I love the story of him wrestling with the Angel all night. Do I ever relate to that! So much of my life I have wrestled with God and His will for my life.
A number of years ago, I was sitting on my front porch enjoying a cup of coffee with the Lord. I had a sense of the Lord asking me, “What is your name?” Before I fully had a grasp on the question and where it was coming from, I found myself immediately responding, “Self-sufficient.” It was only then I began to realize what was happening. God was wanting me to own the truth of who and what I really was and not just give what I call the “Sunday School” answer. It was a very sobering moment for me. I would have said with my lips “Of course I trust God.” “I believe His Word and His promises.” “I know He will take care of me.” But the cold, hard truth was my heart was FAR from the words I could easily rolled off my tongue. I didn’t trust God. Not really. I would trust Him with certain things or trust Him to a point. Most of the time, I would exhaust all ways and means to handle things in my own strength and THEN turn to Him for help. I always had a plan in my back pocket just in case He didn’t come through in my time or in the way I wanted. Yep, as much as I hated to admit it, my name truly was “Self-sufficient.”
Unfortunately, it would take many more opportunities to wrestle with God in the midst of my life circumstances before I truly began to take on the new name God was wanting me to own: “God is sufficient.” Thankfully, I followed Jacob’s example and was determined to not let go until I received my blessing! All that wrestling certainly left me with a “limp” so to speak. A “limp” in the humbling realization I am NOT Self-sufficient! I cannot take care of myself. I cannot do anything in my own strength. In and of myself, I can do NOTHING. But God certainly can and I need to let Him!
These days have brought me back to a blatant reminder of the truth I am not Self-sufficient and the truth of just how All-Sufficient my God really is! These days have also impressed on me an even greater need for me to be before the Lord. In these highly unusual worldwide circumstances, I do not want to get to the other side of it all and for things to return to my old “normal.” I want to come out of this with an even greater sense of Who and what God is and a greater understanding of who and what I am and have as His child. I’ve gotten a little smarter as I’ve gotten older. This time, I am not waiting for the Lord to ask me, “What is your name?” I am asking Him to show me what false names I am still living under. I may once again walk away with a limp (pretty confident of that!), but the limp will be worth it to have a greater awareness of my true name and identity in Christ.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a