A few times throughout this last week, I’ve seen stories in Scripture that seem to have a common thread of fighting with God in some way.
The first was a podcast I listened to that had a very unique take on the Garden of Gethsemene scene as people came seeking Jesus to kill him. The pastor suggested that perhaps, we too, at times need to come with our clubs raised, in true honesty about where we’re at in our relationship with God. There were two groups of people in the garden that night before Jesus’ death… his disciples who ran and the crowd that sought him. True, they were seeking him to kill him, but they sought him still. It was Judas, his betrayer, that Jesus called “friend” and Peter who was rebuked and told to put his sword away.
I think sometimes we get so caught up in our motive for coming to Jesus that if we don’t think it’s “good enough,” we just don’t come. The thing is that God is big enough to handle our anger and sometimes the only way we can honestly seek God is perhaps to come armed with swords and clubs. To come honestly with our emotions and trust that even if we were to be angry enough to hurt, or as in the case of these men, even “kill” God, He is even bigger and greater than death itself.
A related but slightly different picture comes back in Genesis in the story of Jacob wrestling with God. This match, prompted actually by God, serves as a great reminder that even when we come of a place of fighting with God, the important part is that we’re in His presence. For Jacob that literally meant physically clinging to God… Holding on and refusing to let go until the blessing came. I love this picture that once again, God is big enough to battle our struggles and anger and frustrations.
God doesn’t want us to come to him just in the happy moments when everything is put together perfectly. He longs for us to come just as we are, even if that means He’s going to have to wrestle us to the ground or disarm us of our clubs and swords.
He just says, COME.