This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until dawn. Genesis 32:24 NLT
She often found herself wrestling with the
Some days, she felt she won; on others,
she wasn’t sure. Beth was the oldest of three siblings. They grew up in a loving
home, but one thing scarred her memory: the words “I love you.”
Beth could only remember her father
speaking the words when she was a young girl. Somewhere along the way, he
stopped telling her. But she could never remember hearing those words from her
mother. Her sisters confessed they hadn’t either. Their home had a loving
atmosphere, but it would have been nice to hear love and see it in action.
As adults, the siblings psychoanalyzed
their parents. Although both parents grew up in loving homes, neither experienced
homes where love was spoken. Beth decided before she married and had children,
she would say the words she had rarely heard. She was tired of wrestling with
Jacob wrestled with his past, too. He had
stolen his older brother’s birthright, then tricked his father and stole his brother’s
final blessing. His brother hated him and swore to kill him. He ran. Many years
later—while returning to face his brother—he wrestled with God over his past
We all have things in our past that we
wrestle with. Ruminating about the misery of our mistakes or the foul
atmospheres we endured does nothing for our present or future. Only as we think
about what we can do differently—or avoid altogether—are our present and future
affected. Beth decided she wouldn’t be a prisoner of her past. When she married
and had children, she often said, “I love you.” Jacob wouldn’t be a prisoner either—even
if it were painful.
Our past can haunt or help us. The choice
is ours. We are who we are because of our history, but we can also change who we
are because of it. There’s much we can learn from our past—positive and
negative. The past is set in stone, but our present and future are pliable.
With God’s guidance, we can enhance them both. A part of us is what we were,
but most is what we choose to become.
Are you winning when you wrestle with
Father, help me use my past to my
advantage rather than allow it to destroy me.
Tweetable: Are you wrestling with your past?
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