As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the beauty and innocence of imagining an encounter with that heavenly baby boy brings joy and peace beyond description. When I imagine the shepherds as they bowed before the King of Kings nestled in His precious mother’s arms, the thoughts of what they might have done or thought flood my mind. Would they have even been able to stand on their feet? Some of them would have offered praise in word and some only with the tears that streamed down their face, speechless. Some would have wanted to linger there with the new family and some would have been anxious to get home and share with their own all the divine events of the evening. It’s easy to imagine what it might have felt like to be a part of that first reception of the King…yet it’s all speculation.
However, we have all had Jacob’s experience…a time when we had to wrestle with our past and face our future. It is a short stroll down memory lane to arrive at the moment when we wrestled with the King through the night only to walk a little differently in the morning.
“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until day break. When the man saw that he could not over power him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go for it is daybreak. But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then He blessed him there. So Jacob named the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.”
- Jacob experienced the Lord when he found himself alone with Him. I am praying that you will both find time to be alone with Him and to listen when He speaks. It is a great idea to write things down when you feel like the Lord is speaking them to you so that you can later look back and see how those things actually played out.
- Jacob had to take a real look at who he was. When the Lord asked Jacob what his name was and he answered Jacob, he was admitting that he was a deceiver and a liar. It was after that the Lord began to tell him who He was meant to be. Over the next year, I am praying that you will be able to look at yourself and talk to Him about the things that you need to work on and also to ask Him to show you how He sees you.
- After Jacob’s time of wrestling with the Lord. He walked with a limp. The experience changed Him forever and for the rest of His life, it changed his walk.
That is my prayer for us this year…that we will look inside ourselves and listen as the Lord begins to show us who we are and where we are headed. I am praying that we will see what we see and not be afraid to take an honest look at ourselves and the world around us…and then to listen to Him tell us who He created us to be and allow Him to continue to mold us into just that.
Linger by the manger. Encounter the infant King. And as the sun rises in the morning, let’s begin the journey to an encounter with Him that will set us free and allow us to walk changed into His callings for our future.