by Tina Yeager
A sentry of pines and brush obscure my view of the horizon from home. If I wanted to rise early enough to observe the sunrise, my shrouded lot would not allow it. Rather than greeting the morning, I’m more inclined to pull the covers over my head, telling myself I might as well put off my futile struggles for purpose until noon.
The dawn of a new year approaches during a similar wrestling match with the darkness. Despair over past disappointments fights the calling in my heart. Risk of another failure threatens to overtake my desire to serve the light. The shadows behind me declare I don’t have what it takes to succeed. I shield myself from the dangers of hope and avoid facing the unseen future as long as possible.
Only a power greater than my emotions can wrangle my soul to move forward.
Like Jacob in Genesis 32, I find myself wrestling with the Lord at the threshold of a new land. I cannot see whether peril or potential await. I want a word, prophecy, or some sign I will succeed this time. Yet memories of unmet goals, profitless work, and deferred dreams beat back my motivation.
Flawed like that patriarch, I worry the Lord has lost patience with me. Perhaps the next part of my journey holds consequences for my frailty instead of hope. The threshold of 2023 terrifies me. So, I dig in my anxious heels and refuse to budge until Christ promises to bless me.
My demand could result in a limp. I might lose everything, even myself, in the struggle. Yet I also realize I have nothing of true worth to hoard when facing the presence of Almighty God. Just as Jacob released all of his belongings to the Lord’s will, so must I.
With all laid out before Jesus, I ask for his mercy. I plead for a measure of hope he will bless me to fulfill the calling he put on my heart. His response to my struggle differs from the ways he has answered others. I do not receive a word of the year, a prophecy, or a clear sign.
Instead of signs or prophecies, the Lord offers an end to the wrestling match. Like he did for Israel, he can permanently change my walk and identity. The Holy Spirit declares his covenant with me by reminding me of the promise in his word. In Ephesians 1:3, the Lord reveals he has no need to give me a blessing when he has already given “every spiritual blessing.” It is up to me to live in the power he has already granted to me.
I had assumed success meant income or outcomes. Neither are measures of a faithful heart or accomplishing the will of Christ. My worldly perspective on achievement had limited my faith potential. It’s time to let go of my old battle strategies. No more shrinking back or striving for the wrong things and calling them goals for God to bless.
Instead, I will rise to meet the dawn of 2023 with confident peace. Though I cannot see what lies ahead, I believe in the heart of the Father who called me to meet my destiny. This year, I move forth in victory over the darkness. Abundantly blessed.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Award-winning author, speaker, and life coach, Tina Yeager hosts the Flourish-Meant podcast and Flourish Today on Christian Mix 106 and publishes Inkspirations Online, a weekly writers’ devotional. She has been licensed as a counselor since 2005.
Her book, Beautiful Warrior: Finding Victory Over the Lies Formed Against You, helps women fulfill their Christ-centered purpose. Check out her newest release, Upcycled: Crafted for a Purpose (Bold Vision Books).
For life coaching tips or to book her as an event speaker, check out tinayeager.com.
Join the conversation: How is God changing your walk and identity?
5 thoughts on “Wrestling for Blessings in the Dark”
Love the symbolisms, Tina!
Beautiful thoughts, Tina. Thanks for sharing.
Tina, your vulnerable sharing always inspires me. I have known the depth of despair to the point of suicidal desires. I’m so grateful God cares and helps. You have affirmed that.
Love this, Tina! Great words to ponder at the beginning of a new year! Thanks for sharing.
I loved, loved, loved your devotional.