"I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)
Until you drink His cup of judgment and mercy which simultaneously destroys and remakes you, you will be haunted in varying degrees by a lack of fulfillment and meaning.
It took me a minute to figure out the connection between the reading in Genesis and the blurb on Galatians 2:20. And then I realized that Genesis 32 is an instruction manual for bring about the reality of Galatians 2:20. How do we become a new creation? Allow Him to rename us and reshape us!
Jacob wrested with YHWH - no, it's even better than that. He wrestled with A MAN. He wrestled with Jesus! And Jesus renamed him during that experience, even because of that experience. I always have to be reminded that it's ok to wrestle with God. When Jacob asks to know His name, there is no reply, and yet, there is no doubt in his mind that He had encountered the living God - YHWH - face to face. When we encounter God, we are renamed.
Sometimes though, we resist the transformation - and I think that's ok. That's what make the experience so real and tangible for us. But because of that, sometimes He cripples us. Like Jacob, he touches our hip and dislocates it so that we stop striving and submit to Him. We're like a little kid fighting and protesting in our Father's arms as we get carried up the stairs to bed. We're not quite ready to stop playing yet, but as soon as we get tucked in and our heads hit the pillow, we calm right down, because we're so tired anyway! We realize it's what we've wanted and needed all along, and we submit. Even when He breaks us down, He's gentle.
The important thing is that when we leave, we are never the same. Jacob sought to know God personally and intimately through this experience: "Please tell me your name" (v29) - and because of that, he was blessed - even though He never got an answer. Sometimes we don't get direct answers for the questions that arise, but God always blesses us in the process. What's important is that we seek Him and submit to Him, and the rest is just details.
Surrender and be renamed!
"Cease striving and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)