The literal meaning of the word/nation Israel is interesting to me. Israel, God's chosen people. Israel, the people to whom God's covenant was given. Their name and title literally means "struggles with God." How fascinating! What does this mean then for us, for me? Should this encourage us to be open or honest about our struggles, to own them and really be with God in the midst of them? God gave the name Israel to Jacob after Jacob wrestled all night long with a divine being, sometimes seen as God. The namesake of an entire nation and religion is born out of this beautiful moment where God meets Jacob (and in turn his people) in the midst of his struggle.
I've been wrestling with God lately about my own personal struggles. I've been trying to meet him in the midst of this struggle. It has always been really hard for me to pray honestly, to really get to the heart of what I mean. I believe this comes from my Catholic roots, where prayer is a reverent act, a very formal interaction with a distant God. I've heard it time and time again, "God can handle whatever it is that you are going through." I've heard it and I believe it and I'm trying to do it. I've been praying honestly about my struggles, that God would meet me in those struggles, that in every moment I would be able to depend on him. That every breath would come from the strength I receive from the Solid Rock upon which I stand.
God and I have been wrestling about confidence. Somedays he wins and sends the Holy Spirit to convince me of my identity and somedays my heart is hard and I can't hear it. My relationships with friends, fiance, family, and others is always affected by my understanding of my identity and I'm beginning to realize this. If I don't believe that I am the daughter of the Living God and I don't live in that, I tend to shoot others down in an attempt to lift myself up to a place where I feel worthy of attention. So God and I are wrestling and I plan to continue to do so, to live in my namesake: Israel. Israel: struggle with God and allow him to teach me, mold me, and work through me.