Monday, August 23, 2010

Except thou bless me....

Genesis 32:24-26
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till day break. When the man saw that he could not overpower 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 unless you bless me."

These verses have always intrigued me. Wasn't Jacob the little guy who "stayed among the tents" while his big brother went hunting? Wasn't he the son-in-law that fled terrified, with his wives and belongings, from his father-in-law? Where did he get the audacity to wrestle with an angel of God and demand blessing?

I just finished the book Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. Isak's real name was Karen Blixen-Finecke and she was a Danish baroness. Upon her marriage to her cousin in 1914 the family gave them a huge coffee plantation in Kenya (I got a few vases and some picture frames???!!!). After 7 years of farming her husband left her and moved back home. She stayed on alone 10 more years until the plummet of coffee prices left her bankrupt. This little spunky baroness stayed and fought and ruled. Her writing is intriguing and full of literary allusions, she wrote the following about the farmer's fear of drought:

"But it happens in the middle of the rainy season that in the evening the stars show themselves through the thinning clouds; then he stands outside his house and stares up, as if hanging himself on the the sky to milk down more rain. He cries to the sky: 'Give me enough and more than enough. My heart is bared to thee now, and I will not let thee go except thou bless me. Drown me if you like, but kill me not with caprices....'."

There it is again....that audacity!
That determination to lay your life on the line for the blessing.
How bad do I want the blessing?
Bad enough to limp the rest of my life?
Bad enough to drown in the wake of it?
Bad enough to wrestle with my own sin and selfishness and seek God unabashedly?

Yes. That bad.

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