Pastor Lisa illustrated God’s faithfulness to the patriarchs, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the midst of Moses’ call to set the Hebrews free from Egyptian captivity, the challenges were overwhelming. Moses needed the God’s assurance that He would be with him. She pointed out that the God of Abraham is a God of Promise who promised good things for Abraham.
Pastor Lisa emphasized that the God of Isaac is a God of the ordinary. Isaac grew up in the shadows of a man of distinction and note, yet Isaac was quite ordinary, by comparison. But God was also the God of Jacob—a deceiver, schemer, and coward. Jacob put the “fun” in the family dysfunction. But God had purpose and beauty to transform Jacob’s character and give him a new name, Israel. Yet when God made the promise to Moses, He refused to use Jacob’s new name, Israel—a prince with God. God used the old name, Jacob.
Pastor Lisa emphasized that God is with us in the good, ordinary, and struggling seasons of our lives. After church, Pastor Lisa entertained Beth and me for lunch at a coastal seafood restaurant. The fellowship was rich. We connected as we shared stories of many mutual friends.
As we were about to part company, Pastor Lisa said, “I want to pray for you.” She made a point of telling God that Beth and I were in a hard spot of ministry and service. Neither ease or coasting was a part of our job description at this point in our lives. She told God that He has us right where He wants us, in the midst of difficulties that drive us to complete dependence upon Him. She laid hands on Beth and me and prayed. As she prayed, we sensed God’s presence and courage.
I feel a lot like Jacob today. I am across the brook Jabbok, wrestling alone with God. I am insisting upon His blessing. I feel His touch in my thigh. I sense His transforming power in my character. I hear Him pronounce my new name. I walk with a testimonial limp of God’s mark.
The struggle is ever present, but my God is omnipresent.
The struggle is powerful, but my God is all powerful.
The struggle makes me afraid, but my God says, “Fear not.”
The struggle makes me say, “I cannot,” but my God says, “My grace is enough for you, right now.”
Are you in a good place, an ordinary place, or a place of struggle today? In good places, it is easy for me to forget the Source, and neglect pursuing intimacy with my Heavenly Father. In ordinary places, I have found myself coasting. In the struggle, I insist upon knowing God. I am desperate for an encounter with my Creator. He has me there right now.
Struggling forward in faith.