“I will not let you go unless you bless me” (32:26). After fleeing from his manipulative father-in-law, Laban, and hearing that his angry brother Esau was pursuing him, Jacob found himself alone, at night, wrestling fiercely with a mysterious visitor. Strangely, Jacob implored the man to “bless” him, which he did, and Jacob was left with a limp. At his worst moment, when Jacob was running from his dysfunctional family, his own mistakes, and the attacks of others, he encountered God “face to face” (32:30) and was forever changed.
“Then he blessed him there” (32:29). From beginning to end, even when we don’t deserve it, God is for us. When we throw ourselves on his mercy, he responds in love.