Daily Devotional: February 15

Jacob’s conversation and wrestling with God at Peniel.

Craig Barth | Reading: Genesis 32:22-32

When have you, with a hard decision looming or in a spat with a spouse, taken a step away and demanded, “Let me sleep on it”?

In a deep sleep, our brains reorganize, erase the trivial, and place to near consciousness whatever our minds deem significant. We may pre-empt this process by placing a thought, feeling, idea, or even face “first in line” to this mental reorganization. More amazing is that upon awakening, the “first in line” from this reorganization emerges transformed, often in surprising ways! Meditation or prayer, prior to slumber, can jumpstart this. Have you ever awakened unusually content, peaceful, or with an “aha”? God spoke to you while you slept.

Now Jacob – At the place he later named Peniel (“Struggle with God”), Jacob sent his full cadre ahead of him (v. 23). He knew brother Esau wanted him dead. So bad was their relationship that Esau rejected Jacob’s appeasement gifts. All alone, Jacob fell into tormented sleep. While he slept, he conversed and fought with this entity. Stubborn Jacob received a truth that night that hurt. Yet, Jacob knew that the truth came from God.

Whatever the truth was, it resulted in a relationship healing. In chapter 33, “they ran to each other, embraced, and wept.”

God heals our relationships, even while we sleep.

“Let me sleep on it.”

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