The Word is My Life
Friday, December 14, 2018
My Words are life to those that find them . . . . Prov. 4:22

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May 2017 Wrestling Within

From My Life’s Journey                                                                               May, 2017

Topic:  Wrestling Within

Have you had a time of wrestling within?  Have you come to a place where you know things must change?  Have you wrestled with the thought that there must be more in the faith, and why am I missing it?  We’ll talk about the wrestling process. Read on.

Before you think we are not to wrestle but accept a situation and press on in faith, let me remind you of someone - Jacob.  Yes, he’s the one in the Bible who wrestled with the angel – some translators say He actually wrestled with God or Jesus – and He received a blessing in the end (Genesis 32:22-28)! 

Let’s review Jacob’s story. Jacob was the twin of Esau, and Jacob conned Esau out of his birthright.  Later, Jacob conned his father (Isaac) into thinking he was Esau, and he received the blessing of his elder brother Esau. Jacob then reaped what he sowed as he was deceived by Laban into marrying Leah rather than Rachel who was his heart’s love.  He had to work more years for Rachel. The day came that he would see his brother Esau, and the weight of his deceptive ways with his brother and his father fell heavily upon him.  He was alone.


While alone, an angel came and wrestled with him (Gen. 32:24).  Jacob held on tight as he grabbed and clinched because as he wrestled with the angel, he was wrestling with himself and the life he had chosen to live up to that point.  Jacob held on and tossed with such desperation that the Bible says, “When the Man (angel) saw that He had not prevailed against Jacob, He touched his hip joint; and Jacob's hip was dislocated" (Gen. 32:25, Amplified).  Let’s go to Hosea’s account of this wrestling in Hosea 12:4.  Here we learn that Jacob wept and made supplications – meaning he wept in repentance.  This wrestling was also then a form of prayer – the kind of prayer where you hold on to God with all you have.  You realize you need help, and He is your only answer and your life.  Back to Jacob – He was broken within and wrestled with great fervor as his character and his priorities were changing.  Wounding and healing came to Jacob at the same time; he held on, through the wounding of his hip, for a blessing from the Lord (Gen. 32:26). 


What happened next was amazing.  The blessing came in the form of a name change:  “And the angel said, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed” (Gen. 32:28).  In other words, during the time Jacob was alone, he looked at himself and realized he was bankrupt within.  He did not need to run another con, but to repent, turn, go another way, and receive a blessing.  Blessing was granted, and his name was changed to reflect the change that occurred within. The name Israel means “He who struggles with God” and also “a prince of God.” 

Genesis 32:26 says the angel and Jacob wrestled until the breaking of day.  This is important because the dawn of day – the sunrise – lights upon the soul of one who draws to and holds on to God. 

Allow me to share a recent time of wrestling that I experienced.  As you know, God has gifted me to provide Biblical counseling, mentoring, and encouragement to many.  My mom has always cautioned me not to carry the weight of others’ lives.  Well, thanks be to God, I have been able to lay aside the weight of others’ cares by listening to them, praying, and then releasing the watering of their situation to God by His Spirit. 

That spiritual process has worked for me until recently…  My dad began to have physical difficulties, and my concern for him went deep.  He’s my dad, a true dad, a blessing from God.  We had some situations occur back to back, and I began to feel real stress in my mind, in my emotions, and in my body.  This was not good, and I knew it. 

My walk with God is one where God talks with me along the way, and He continually checked me in my spirit that I was heading over the guard rails in my life.  One day, everything hit me hard, and after I prayed, I called another intercessor to pray for me.  As Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms, this intercessor held up mine, and I gained strength. Also, I asked the Lord to give me a scripture to hold onto, and he gave me Ps. 138:3: “In the day when I cried, You answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul.” That scripture is one that stirs my soul to this day.  Then it happened … 

God woke me in the middle of the night; it was now time to wrestle with myself and with Him (and my knowledge of Him).  Would I rest or be anxious?  It wasn’t a lengthy wrestling because I had prayer undergirding me and the Word on my lips.  I clearly sensed, though, a struggle between my spirit and my soul.  I made a decision that night to walk out the Word and release the worry.  I asked God to show me how, and then I just went to sleep. I’ve been strengthened in my soul ever since, my dad will have minimally invasive hip surgery in June that will help him greatly, and I continue to find Jesus – the One who lights my path – within the lines of scripture.  I found Jesus (and me) in the life of Jacob.  Truly, the “Word is my Life.” 

My friend, thank you for reading this ministry letter, and always remember that those who hold on tightly to God in prayer when their needs, their flaws, or their faults are revealed – those will be honored by the Lord. Those who will wrestle in order to deal with things that must change within will receive a blessing from the Lord.  Receive the breaking of day within your soul as I have.  Join me.  Think on these things.



Ever onward, ever forward~  


Iris Barrett, Ed.D.

“The Word is My Life” Training Ministry