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.”
God’s call to you to go and be reconciled to your brother is every bit as clear as God’s call to Jacob (Genesis 31) to go back to the land of his father in order to be reconciled to his brother Esau. If you know that story, you know that Esau’s last words to Jacob some 20 years earlier had been death threats. So going back home was no easy task for Jacob. But despite all his shortcomings and character flaws, Jacob got this one thing right…he was obedient to this call.
Notice also that God made no promises or guarantees to Jacob about the outcome of this reconciliation attempt. He makes no guarantees to us either. He doesn’t say, “If you will go to your brother/sister and attempt reconciliation, I promise he/she will listen and will make everything right.” Rather, He just says, “Go.” Maybe reconciliation will happen, maybe it won’t. But we are to go.
And in Jacob’s case, God met him in the process. In fact, Jacob’s “wrestling with God” on this journey was the most spiritually profound moment of his deceit-filled life. God met him in the process and it changed him forever. When God meets us this way, whether or not our brother reconciles with us suddenly becomes less critical…because we are now a changed person.
God does not promise an outcome for your reconciliation attempt. And you may wrestle with Him greatly in the process. But He will meet you there. And that makes it all worth the struggle.
© Blake CoffeePermissions:You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on this website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Blake Coffee.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: © Blake Coffee. Website: churchwhisperer.com