“But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.”

– Genesis 33:4

To me, one of the most fascinating things about the story of Jacob wrestling with God before going to face Esau is what happened when the two of them finally met. Far from what he originally expected, instead of being shot at, Jacob was warmly embraced by his big brother, who excitedly ran out to meet him. But why the change of mind? The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened to turn Esau’s heart toward Jacob, but whatever it was, it proved to him that God was sovereign and that He alone was the One who could transform circumstances. Far beyond the temporary gains of manipulation or deception, the Lord’s favor accomplished something that would have been impossible in human strength. 

My friend, a willingness to struggle with God means that you must surrender your right to fully understand His ways. Like your Jewish brothers and sisters, you should embrace the parts of your Lord that remain a mystery and cling to what you do know of His character. Don’t try to figure out His reasons for changing or not changing circumstances; instead, trust the goodness of His heart and welcome what you can’t understand. Resist the urge to flee from relationship when you’re unable to put Him in a box, and surrender your life to His unsearchably great plan. Cease striving, stop trying to earn His favor, and rest in the wonderful knowledge that He alone is God! 


Jesus, I will embrace a struggle with you and continue to lean in, even when your ways are mysterious and unsearchable.


Are you struggling in a particular aspect of your relationship with God today? How can you press in, even if you don’t understand?

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