Dear Wrestlers,

In Genesis 32:22-32 , Jacob wrestles with a mysterious opponent. Perhaps the ambiguity of who the foe is makes the story even more relevant. Many of our enemies have no clear identity: an illness with no name and no cure, a depression that won’t leave us, a sluggish economy that results in the loss of a job. It is not easy for us to fight an enemy we cannot clearly identify. We are often left with only the veiled enemies we call fate, or fear, or self-doubt, or guilt. These mysterious enemies are difficult to defeat! So in this story perhaps it is not important to know the identity of Jacobs sparring partner. The more important thing is discerning Jacob's strategy for victory.

Central to the story is the fact that Jacob was victorious neither by virtue of his being fearless (he was quite afraid of both Esau and the stranger) nor by reason of his super-human strength (for he nearly was defeated outright). Rather, Jacob received a reward because he was tenacious and hopeful; he would not quit until he got his blessing.

Where has your experience of the living God hit an impasse? Is it time to use the spiritual tools of prayer and scripture to engage the Lord.  Struggling  to get through tough conversations is essential to any relationship. For our relationship with Jesus to flourish we need to be prepared to not give up when things get challenging. God certainly will never quit on us!

Prayers: For Jordan Taylor Racz the daughter of Jared and Chelsea Racz and granddaughter of Brad and Linda Culberson who will be baptized this Sunday. For United States relations with Iran. And for the stress of finding ones' way in the financial economics of the world.

I plan to use this clip from the movie “The Apostle”  this Sunday in my sermon. In this scene, the Pastor played by Robert Duval is having a strenuous conversation with God in the aftermath of finding out his Associate Pastor is having an affair with his wife . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5v5DOEF45E

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

*Join us in praying the Daily Texts.

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