As he stumbled over a Bible verse he was working to memorize, my middle son began to cry on the floor. Unfortunately, along with my chin, he inherited my perfectionism.
I reminded what he already knew, but needed to hear anyway. He didn’t have to be perfect because Jesus had already been perfect for him.
It’s something I have to repeat to myself on a regular basis. I want to be the perfect dad who has all the answers. The husband who doesn’t mess up. The writer without a typo.
Are you the same way? We both know we aren’t perfect and we know everyone else knows that as well. But do you still struggle with being transparent about the areas in which you need growth?
For me, I know I want people there when I victoriously cross the finish line. I just don’t want them to see me stumble and fall along the way.
Knowing this about myself, it was challenging and convicting to read Lore Ferguson’s piece about those who taught her to write, in which she included this:
Lauren Winner taught me to write about the wrestling and not just the wrestled.
That’s such a perfect line and such a needed reminder — to write and be open about the areas we are still working through, not just those we feel we have settled.
How often do we only want to let people see, hear, read the wrestled and never let them near the wrestling? We don’t want them to even be aware of those areas where we struggle, where we battle, where we don’t have all the answers.
But the area of wrestling is a place of seeking and that’s what we are called to do. In both the Old and New Testaments, God commands His people to seek Him.
Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always. (1 Chronicles 16:11)
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. (Matthew 6:33)
Why does God want us seeking, wrestling? Because seeking is a place of humility both to the content and the confident.
Many can be content in their walk with God, afraid to push forward and satisfied with where they are. They must keep seeking.
Others can be confident in their faith, assured of themselves and ignorant of their need for growth. They too must keep seeking.
No matter whether you are content or confident or anywhere in between, God has called you to seek Him. You are to speak, write, teach, love, live from a place of wrestling.
That doesn’t mean you ignore the foundations of your faith and spend your days unsure of truth. Refusing to acknowledge biblical truth is not seeking. It’s moving backwards and hiding from the challenging way forward.
Seeking means building off of the foundation that has been laid and going further and deeper into revealed truth. It’s more honest application of that truth.
Wrestling means being confident enough to say Christ will bring to completion that which He has started, but humble enough to say I’m not there yet.
Why should we be open about the wrestling, not just the wrestled? Because, until that moment when we all know as we are known, that’s where we all are and that’s where we should all be.
The place of wrestling leaves room for God to show up, ask Jacob. Authenticity leads to awareness. The more we are open about our needs, the more we realize how much (and Who) we need.
We keep seeking because of the One who sought us.