Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.”
Like many, I long to see God face to face. But who can gaze upon the face of God and live? Jacob had encountered God, as we might through prayerful engagement in everyday life. God is real and takes a deep interest in our individual lives. The question is: how interested are we in the life of God? The fact that Jacob would not let go of God indicates how he answered that question. For me it took any number of years and then facing a tragedy before I chose to cling to God.
That clinging meant I first had to identify and remove the debris that stood between me and God. This only became obvious once I knew I needed God above all else. The struggle with childlessness and then MS merely opened my eyes to the fact that life was a battle. I might choose to press deeper into God, or to draw more heavily upon my natural human gifts.
Only as we walked with disease and disappointment did I question not just my faith but the context of the world in which I existed more than lived. I made discoveries about both myself and God. I chose to live with God as first cause and final end, and recognise I had a life well beyond this limited mortal experience. The battles that besieged me from my perspective invited me to choose between relying more upon my natural instincts or disengaging for a mere human response at a physical, emotional and intellectual level to seek to discover more of God in the traumatic episodes of life. This was part of a process preparing me for an eternity with Christ, and introducing me to be at peace with God, myself and context in the now.
QUESTION: The question you must face daily is, where are you with God today, and where is God with you?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, lead me, teach me, draw me closer to you.