Wrestling With God

The thinly carpeted wood floor in the old building creaked under his feet as he walked. He made his way to the front of the room. The path was so familiar that he didn’t even need to turn the lights on that night. As he came to front of the room, he turned and looked out at the empty space. It was a familiar view but the warm memories that once accompanied it had long since vanished and all that remained was the musty smell of old lumber and old carpet.


He felt the book in his hands. Like the room, it was very familiar. The guilded edges on the pages were faded and wrinkled. The fake leather cover was creased. The book had held so many promises for the man. Promises of service and sacrifice. He anticipated the first but the rapid onset of the second hit him like a punch in the gut and left him gasping. Falling to his knees. Out of breath. Out of hope. As his knees fell to the carpet the tears began to fall from his eyes.


His knees ached as the carpet failed to cushion from the old wood below it. His eyes burned with tears as he questioned the plan and providence of God. He felt a dream wilting in front of him like a flower left in a vase for too long. He saw the hurt in her eyes and heard the anger in her voice. Watching him suffer was tearing her apart. He looked in his little eyes as he wondered why his daddy kept coming home sad. Who knew that part of the service would mean that they would be hurt too? His heart broke in half.


With a voice broken and raspy from the tears, he opened the guilded book. Since he had no words to express the anguish in his soul, he let the ancient words speak for him. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” “My God, I cry by day but you do not answer!” “My strength is dried up like a potsherd…I am poured out like water…O LORD do not be far off!” Please. Please do not be far off.


His knees popped as he picked himself up off the floor. The book was in his hands. He had wrestled with God. He was changed. Scarred. Broken. Limping. Moving.


He left the front of the room and moved between the pews as he made his way out into the warm summer night. He looked up. The stars sang their song. The same song they sang thousands of years before when another man wrestled with God.



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