Jacob wrestles with the angel. He is across the river from his wives and people. Some don't notice. Some gawp. Some feel the separation. One or two pray for him. One or two are embarrassed.
He is by himself with God, but not alone. Never so solitary and never so supported. Afraid and loved. He will now always bear the mark of this encounter in his body and in his naming. People will call him differently because of this struggle. (Though few - that day to this - will comprehend what went on or why.)
I am preaching regularly about commitment; about the God who calls and supplies the needs of the ones ones he calls; about the blessing of a pure and a whole heart. And as I speak the Lord tells me words I need to hear.
I do not prepare sermons for my own benefit, but I hear them.
For I am wrestling. Why? I know God is good and his ways are best. I am not fighting him; I am fighting that my life be his in every part, with integrity and honesty and without exception. That my worship not be a matter of words and music alone but of deeper harmony of life and soul and bone and marrow.
I find myself often to be basically Christian, and I do not find that to be enough. So I am wrestling. And it is lonely. And it hurts. And it is confusing. And I am not sure I always prevail. I feel like Jacob, struggling across a river from my friends, who probably have no idea how I feel or why.
I don't know why I feel this way either. But with God's help, I'm not giving in.