As a lifelong wrestler and wrestling coach I have been doing some reading on it in the Bible and was surprised to see how many times wrestling is mentioned in the Bible. Wrestling teaches us discipline, dedication, determination and how to compete at life. It is a hard sport that requires you to do things others will not. It teaches winning, losing and all the internal concepts of the human spirit involved in those processes. Wrestling prepares us for life outside of school and sports.
It makes us physically, mentally and spiritually strong. With all that said lets take a look at what the Bible says about wrestling with life and the things we face daily. In our relationships, marriages, jobs, family life, social life and health we wrestle with life. Ephesians 6:12 states that “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”. When one of my wrestlers in in his/her 4th match of the day they often begin to struggle to maintain energy and fight to win. This verse tells us that we eventually are fighting more than a physical change but darkness that can take over and make us want to quit.
Genesis 32:25 says “When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him”. Wrestlers get battered, bruised and bloodied from battles. They break bones, dislocate joints and hurt muscles and tendons. We never want to see a kid get hurt, but the lessons learned from those battles in wrestling help us later in life when are battered, bruised and broken.
Here are my takeaways from wrestling with life and what the Bible tells us to do.
- God honors perserverance and battling with life. He rewards us for being strong of mind, body and spirit with eternal love and life.
- As we can become a new creation in life from Gods etental grace. So to can we become a new person physically and metally thru the struggles of wrestling with life and the spoet.
- God wants us to get to know him intimately through practice and patience. Wrestling is a sport that requires us to practice, be patient and work at being the best we can.
- Closeness to God requires us to be humble. Wrestling teaches us to humble as it requires us to win and lose. Losing a match is hard and a setback. Getting close to God requires losing at times and offers us the best chance to be a true winner once we build that relationship and learn those skills.
- God tells us that even when our enemies defeat us we should always embrace them and be of good character. One of the biggest struggles in wrestling and life is looking an opponent in the eye after a hard fought match and offering a hand shake and friendship. God calls us to battle and then forgive. Wrestling requires us to forgive, forget and come back even stronger the next time.