He who wrestles with God. This is my name, given to me at birth. Well done mom and dad! Wrestle; to engage in or as if in a violent or determined struggle, to engage in wrestling, to wrestle with, to move, maneuver, or force with difficulty. This is how Webster describes such an event. We know from our culture that before we are married we are engaged, our military has Rules of Engagement, we engage ourselves in conversation; engage, a powerful verb, I encourage you to find your dictionary and discover the meanings of this word. After you understand the depth of this word, pick up your Bible and read Genesis chapter 32. Now; do I have you engaged in the story?
Jacob wrestles with God and is given the name Israel. In doing so, ironically, Jacob surrenders. The moment he chooses to engage God, or rather God chooses to engage him, the two become interlocked in a struggle. Think about wrestling with the most powerful force known to man, and surviving to tell about it! Jacob does not give up until he receives his blessing. He ends up clinging to God, this is his victory. What a great God we serve. His love so great, He allows us to wrestle with him. (Matthew 11:12) He actually encourages it. He wants to engage us; he wants us to engage him. He is there as we struggle through life. We were engaged to our Father by his son, Jesus. Jesus stands in our place, an offer of security for our debt. We are destined to marriage, an intimately close union with our maker. I believe the struggle of getting there is the beauty of it.
So now you’re probably wondering when I’ll get to Journey 2010. Well, I tell you this, I have strived with God to get there! I was born, raised, and still live in the beautiful mountains of WNC around the Asheville area. I’ve taken a few college classes; however, for now I work full time. I am part of the management at a local Ingles supermarket. God blesses me with this struggle daily. I am in a position that many hold in high esteem, I have my young complexion and health, and I have a job when many do not. I have all these things, I have friends, and I strive to live a good life. Sounds pretty appealing to most people, right? I tell you there is one thing missing in all that, and like the rich young ruler, I have found that need in my life. That need, to follow my savior, Jesus. That is what brings me to Journey 2010. There is a neat story behind all this that I would love to share, however this blog page would be bombarded with the length of my testimony. In short, I am a messed up person, I do not deserve to be here; I need Jesus, Jesus Loves me, and this compels me to follow, serve, and share that love with others. His grace, mercy, love, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit bring me here today. I can’t wait to see the development of relationships with God, and with his children. I am excited to meet everyone, to serve those in need; to be slashed by the two edged sword of God. I have, since a boy, wanted to go to Africa. It is also a dream of mine to go on a mission trip. God now presents me with the gift of both. He also provides me with the gift of faith and trust. With expenses totaling around $7,000, God has provided all of it, stretching me, molding me, pruning me into the image of his son. The process has been trying, tough, touching, intimate, blessing, joyous, and full of hope. He pursued me to pursue Journey; all I have to do is surrender. A sweet surrender it is to be in the presence of our holy God. The journey has only just begun!