I have a nearly five-decade history of wrestling with God—from childhood, when I thought God should stop my father from drinking (and didn’t), to here in midlife, when I wonder, What is the point of it all? For a long time, I enjoyed the tussles. But at a certain point, I began to tire. Where Jacob says, “I will not let you go until you bless me” (Genesis 32:26), I said, “I’m tired and I don’t want to do this anymore. If you want me, come and get me.”
I’ve given up believing that things generally come out okay in the end. I’ve given up thinking there’s a way to be that will protect me from some of the worst of the suffering of life. I can’t see any other way to survive than to give up many of the things I held certain.
I’ve lived life and a life of faith long enough to know I can never call a thing resolved. I may go back to the mat for another round of Why? and How could you let this happen? and Why don’t you do something? In the story of Jacob, he gets his blessing. He also gets a janky hip. I know that whatever happens with God and me from here, I won’t leave unscathed.
This message is an excerpt from “A long surrender” by Sara Zarr in the January/February 2021 issue of Gather.
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