Someone that I dearly love recently had to walk through a very hard time. They had made a wrong choice and were filled with regret. It was a time where I could only stand on the sideline and did not have the ability to “fix the problem”. So I began praying for the Father to correct their mistake. In His wisdom, He instead reminded me of Jacob and the time he wrestled with an angel. But he didn’t place me in Jacob’s shoes, yet rather in those of the family around him. 

Recall in Genesis 28:2 that Jacob had an altercation with his brother Esau, and had ran to Paddan Aram. In Genesis 31:3, the Father tells Jacob that it’s time to go back to “the land of your fathers”, so Jacob prepares to meet back up with Esau.

In Genesis 32:22-23, we read that Jacob sends all of his family over the ford of Jabbok and he is left alone. A man appears and they wrestle until daybreak. I could picture myself as part of Jacob’s family, across that ford in the dark. I can’t see Jacob – but I can hear him. The struggle is happening just beyond me, out of my reach of help. I can only wait on this side, just like my present day situation.

I hear voices during the struggle. Jacob tells this man that he will not let him go unless he blesses him and the man replies with what seems like a strange question, “What is your name?”

What does it matter what his name is? What does this have to do with blessings? 

A lot, actually. Because to Jacob’s family, your name was your book, a.k.a. your story. Your spiritual potential, your life’s mission. Things were what they were because of what they were named. So here we have Jacob, whose name means “heel”, as in the one who ran away from his mistake.Then the angel(who we later find out in Genesis 32:30 is God Himself), in essence tells Jacob,  “If you’ll hand me your book, I’ll be the author of your story. Oh, yes, I see that mistake you made. I can’t remove it, but if you will hand the pen to me I can write the next chapter 1,000 times better than anything you can imagine.” Then He changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means “you wrestled with me and with humans and have overcome”. Genesis 32:28

So I began thinking, What would that mistake look like in my loved one’s “book”? My guess would be a big, ole ink blob. An “oops” on the page. One too big to be “fixed” with white out. A mistake that they couldn’t erase. Then I hear the Father. “No matter. Remember the author and the perfector of your faith.” Hebrews 12:2 

After hearing from the Father, I was encouraged to cheer on my loved one from the sideline. I shared with them the good example of Jacob, and that our mistakes don’t have to be erased. We actually need to keep them on the page as a reminder that our character has changed. Because when Jacob crossed back over the ford, his family saw he had a limp. His inner change affected his outer walk. After all, the Father intends our book not just for us to read, but for others alongside us to read it too.


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About the Seeking Scripture Team: We are a group of believers from all walks of the faith, saved by grace alone through faith in our Messiah. While we are of one accord in many things, we are all works in progress and lifelong learners. Therefore the opinions of one may not always represent the opinions of all.

Melody Mahala
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