I will call you Israel!

“I’m going to call you Israel from now on.” That was Mason’s response after I had asked for prayer on Sunday evening. I explained that recently I felt like I was Jacob wrestling with God…and I was growing weary and want this episode to come to an end. Yet…I will not let go…no…I will not…until God blesses me.

While I love God and will serve Him…no matter what…I would rather God take me home than to let my life continue on as it has been for low these many years.

Yet this is a stronghold…and it will not be demolished and nothing will be accomplished without God’s hand in it. I desire to praise Him and testify to His goodness, mercy and love to one so undeserving as He gives me the desires of my heart.

Sometimes I find it humbling and difficult to ask a person to pray for something that’s very personal. It’s embarrassing to ask people to pray for me. Why? Probably because I feel such huge failure and I’m not able to accomplish something on my own that people do everyday with ease. But more than that it touches my heart in such a deep place…a vulnerable spot that I don’t feel comfortable having exposed.

I guess having my hope deferred for all these years has made it…if not easier…than at least necessary to ask for others prayers in this situation.

Mason has a logical way of approaching things…and even faith seemed simple and easy when Mason offered a word of encouragement.

When I said it was hard to ask for prayer on this…Mason asked “Why would you deprive your brothers and sisters in Christ the opportunity to be in prayer for you and see God at work in your situation? They will be part of the process…and God will use it to build up their faith in addition to your own.”

He assured me that “it’s the journey that’s important…not just the end”. Indeed I know that’s true…but I also look forward to the end destination of this journey…knowing that the next one will begin as this one concludes.

When Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord, he wrestled all night long. Many believe this to be the pre-incarnate Christ. As day break approached the angel told Jacob to let him go…but Jacob held tight and said he would not let go until he was blessed. The angel asked Jacob what his name was…and Jacob told him his name. “I am Jacob”…this one who had lied and deceived…he who was known as a supplanter gave his name correctly this time around because he wanted to be blessed.

Indeed he was blessed. The angel told Jacob that he would now be called Israel for he had struggled with God and with man and had overcome.

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 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.” 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 called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” – Genesis 32:24-30

As I wrestle with God…I wonder what will He call me? In Revelation God tells us that He will give us a new name that only He will know.

I wonder…what will be my name? Will it be Faith? Steadfast? Overcomer? Immovable? Patient? Waited Upon the Lord? Beloved?

Or will I hang my head in shame as I bear the name “Oh ye of little faith”? Failure? Weak Willed? Believed the Lies of the Enemy?

Israel…I would gladly bear that name. Oh to be known as one who struggled with God and man and who over came. I continue to wrestle with God and will do so until He blesses me. I would be most grateful for your prayers on my behalf.

Mason…this is dedicated to you…thanks for being a faith encourager!

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