September 9, 2022

The Awesome and Personal God

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So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” Genesis 32:30

Grace and Lucas didn’t see God, face to face.  But He was there…in the hospital with their little son.

You can read about people in the Bible who had one on one encounters with God. A man named Jacob actually wrestled with God all night long! Jacob didn’t realize it was God until the man said, “‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ But Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.'” The man asked Jacob his name and then changed it to Israel, saying, “‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.’… So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared'” (Genesis 32:26-30). For the rest of his life, Jacob limped because that wrestling match; he bore the physical mark of His encounter with God.

Grace and Lucas had wrestled with God in agonizing prayer. Despite good medical care, their 5-year-old son was getting sicker and sicker. A procedure was needed, but soon after it began, a very puzzled pediatric specialist called them into the operating room.  There was their son, hooked up to scopes. “Something is very strange,” the doctor said, “There’s no evidence of what we saw previously.” God had touched that little body, leaving it forever whole.

Whenever you have an encounter with God, as did Jacob and Grace and Lucas, you know for yourself that God is enough. Your perspective changes and you know that God can do what you can’t. The God of the Bible is both awesome and deeply personal.