Most days the life of faith feels like a wrestling match. Not the physical sort that Jacob experienced as he wrestled with God in the desert, but an equally exhausting mental-sort. In this match, I step into the ring clothed in my selfish desires masked by noble intentions; armed with my own set of assumptions and ideas about who God is. But I'm not fighting for the blessing so much as for the answers.
“Come on, God. Make it all clear to me. Make it cut and dried. Make it simple. Take me down quick and easy. Overcome all of my delusions by a mighty display of your power.” This is my prayer, my cry, throughout the match.
But instead of going straight for the pin, which he could easily do, my opponent dances around the ring. He makes me pursue him. At times he allows me to get a grip on him, to think I'm winning, to believe I have it all under control – only to throw in a surprise move, catching me off-guard and knocking me to my knees. Now would be the obvious time to take me down. Now that my foundation has been rocked.
Now would also be his chance to gloat. To stand over me and say, with relish, “What did you think of that?” But instead, he eases up. He draws me back to my feet. He asks me to fight some more. And though I don't want to, though I still desire the easy take-down, I acquiesce.
But maybe I'm starting to understand. Maybe a victory has nothing to do with winning or losing and everything to do with staying in the ring and learning how to fight. As maddening as it is, I am afraid that my opponent likes wrestling matches and that this one will not be quickly over.