Tag Archives: wrestling

‘Wrestling…’ – Post #6

Wrestling to Build a Nation

     Tomorrow, citizens in the United State will exercise their privilege to vote. If you haven’t already done so, I hope you’ll go to the polls.

     I thank God often for my country and feel blessed to live in the USA.

     If you watch television news, you know political wrestling at this point in our country’s history is plentiful! During our recent trip to Washington, D.C. as well as many different historical sites, it became apparent this isn’t a current phenomenon.

     I hope you’ll enjoy the following photos and that they will renew your appreciation for the amazing freedoms we enjoy because of the willingness of forefathers and foremothers to wrestle for the rights we enjoy and, which I know, can so easily be taken for granted.

The U. S. Capital

“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….”

~ Declaration of Independence – July 4, 1776

The Lincoln Memorial

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure…”.

Abraham Lincoln, “Gettysburg Address – November 19, 1863”

Pool at the World War II Memorial with The Lincoln Memorial in the background. My father was a paratrooper who fought during the last brutal months of WW II. He enlisted the day after high school graduation. The young man I’d later call “Dad” marched in the Berlin Victory Parade on September 7, 1945. He returned to his small Montana hometown with two bronze stars, a purple heart and perhaps a broken heart since that’s what the brutality of war can do to a young soldier’s soul.

My father-in-law, George, trained Naval pilots in Norman, Oklahoma, toward the end of the War. George met my husband’s mom at a USO dance. He loved to tell the story about the first time he saw Loretta. He told his buddy, “See that beautiful girl in the blue dress. I’m going to marry her!” Their marriage produced six wonderful children and endured over 50 years. They never stopped dancing.

I love being a woman and appreciate the contribution women have made throughout history, including during WW II.

Speaking of women, we really enjoyed these two lively ladies who worked for the nighttime bus tour company. The gal with the neon pink hair was giving her co-worker a tutorial in how to have good boundaries. I found the discussion hilarious. I haven’t used any of her suggestions when I teach the “Boundaries” book class! 😊

This is the Old Post Office Pavilion, a magnificent nighttime site.

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”  ~ Post Office unofficial motto

I liked this statue of Thomas Jefferson In Williamsburg, near the beautiful campus of William and Mary University where Jefferson attended from 1760-1762. He later wrote the Declaration of Independence. I enjoy hanging out with great writers!

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

~Thomas Jefferson

The following photos are from the re-created Jamestown Settlement, America’s first English colony.

Three ships sailed from England in 1607. It was eerie to walk through the replica ship and experience the cramped quarters in which brave men and women traveled. Many died in route.

The early colonists joined the Powhatan Indians who lived in villages like this one.

They needed protection, and men like this fellow were ready.

The roots of our nation’s faith tradition began in churches much like this one.

Blessings to each of you who has taken time to read this post, and God bless the United States of America. Regardless the outcome of tomorrow’s election, I hope each of us will pray for our nation’s leaders…

Sue Reeve

“Wrestling…Part 3”

Post #3 – Which Path Should I Choose?

     Lord…Which path should I choose? I’ve asked God this question on many occasions—especially when I’m in a season of ‘wrestling.’

     My husband knows I’m intrigued by paths, and he’s always ready with his camera to capture a good path picture. During our recent vacation to the eastern part of the United States, he took many.

     Since several Listening… readers have asked me to share some of Ron’s photos, I decided today’s post will consist of some vacation path pictures, accompanied by thoughts from scripture.

     I hope you’ll enjoy and that the ancient words from scripture—some with a modern twist—will encourage you to keep looking for the right path as you ‘wrestle’ to make good decisions!

Williamsburg, VA

[Wisdom’s] ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. Proverbs 3:17 (NIV)

Jamestown, VA

To You, O Lord,
do I lift up my soul.

O my God, I trust in You;
may I not be ashamed…

Make me to know Your ways, O Lord;
teach me Your paths. (Psalm 25:1-4 MEV)

Virginia Beach, VA

The Lord gives wisdom…Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path. (Proverbs 2:6 & 9 (NIV)

Jamestown, VA

This is a passage of scripture I go to often when I’m ‘wrestling,’ trying to determine the correct path to take.

“My thoughts,” says the Lord, “are not like yours,
and my ways are different from yours.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways and thoughts above yours. (Isaiah 55:8 & 9 GNT)

Williamsburg,, VA

Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps. (Proverbs 14:15 NLT)

Rural Virginia

By your words I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path. (Psalm 119:105 NLT)

WW II Memorial, Washington. D. C.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5 & 6 MEV)

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras, NC, has 257 steps—many more than I’m used to climbing—but the view from the top was spectacular!

 We can make our plans,
but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)

Waynesboro, VA

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-3 NIV)

Harpers Ferry, WV

This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ (Jeremiah 6:16 NIV)

Nags Head, NC

Make me walk along the path of your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found. (Psalm 119:35 NLT)

 

Washington, D. C.

This is one of my favorite vacation path photos. I imagine this sweet little sparrow isn’t ‘wrestling’ with what path to take!

..don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

(Matthew 10:31 NIV)

Prayer:

Lord, during seasons of spiritual ‘wrestling,’ life can seem so confusing. Help us to remember you care and are ready to lead us onto the right path. Remind us when we forget this truth. Amen

May your ways be blessed…

Sue Reeve

 

“Wrestling…Part 2”

Post #2 – You ‘Gotta’ Stay in the Game

     Can a ‘wrestling’ story that occurred several thousand years ago be relevant to us who live in the 21st Century?

     I’d answer in the affirmative since without a doubt, my favorite ‘wrestling’ story is one found in the first book of the Bible. It involves a man named Jacob. (Discover or review Jacob’s story in Genesis.[1])

     Even though Jacob traveled by camel—while we zip around the world on jet airplanes—I believe this story remains applicable.

     Jacob experienced much drama and dysfunction in his lifetime, and he reacted with many poor choices.

     Poor choices often leave us feeling much like Jacob—exhausted, frightened, alone, helpless—even hopeless. I like the way The Message[2] describes his end-of-the-rope experience:

24-25 Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint.

26 The man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak.”

Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me.”

27 The man said, “What’s your name?”

He answered, “Jacob.”

28 The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.”

29 Jacob asked, “And what’s your name?”

The man said, “Why do you want to know my name?” And then, right then and there, he blessed him.

30 Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!”

31-32 The sun came up as he left Peniel, limping…

While chatting about Jacob’s story and the topic of wrestling with a friend whose husband once coached high school wrestling, she commented, “You know, you can’t wrestle without staying in the game!”

     Jacob stayed in the game! He never stopped believing. Despite messing up, Jacob understood at some visceral level God cared enough to bless him.

     You and I cannot wrestle with God if we don’t believe God. We won’t persevere if we cannot accept that God forgives and is for us, not against us.

     A friend of mine attended every one of her big, strong son’s high school wrestling matches. He seemed to love the contact sport, never complained afterward, and my friend said she was surprised one day when she asked him if wrestling hurt. “Yeah, Mom, it hurts. It hurts a LOT!”

     Refusing to give up during a wrestling match—whether at the high-school or spiritual level—isn’t without risk and will probably hurt—sometimes a LOT!

     Jacob emerged from his place of wrestling with an actual physical limp. Our wrestling with God may leave us with broken pride or bruised self-sufficiency.

     The vital example, however, about Jacob’s dogged determination to not let go is he left the place of wrestling with a new name, a name his ancestors carry on today. He also limped away having experienced God’s personal presence and blessing.

     We too will emerge from an experience of painful, spiritual wrestling, with a new identity. We may ‘limp’ away but with head held high, secure in God’s sufficiency, knowing despite the pain, we refused to throw in the towel and leave the game. We’ll feel blessed because we’ve experienced first-hand that God knows our name and cares about our struggles despite our deficiencies.

My Prayer:

Lord, you know I’ve been ‘wrestling’ for over a week with the words in this post. Please use them to encourage any reader who might benefit. Give power to persevere. While my friend grapples, grant glimpses of your grace. Please protect his or her heart during this difficult season of ‘wrestling.’

Sue Reeve

  1. Genesis 24:19-32:29. I found interesting commentary at https://www.gotquestions.org/Jacob-wrestling-with-God.html
  2. Genesis 32:24-28