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Jacob struggled with God. He had been on the run from his brother for deceiving him, and now the prospect of facing Esau was upon him. He was in fear and turmoil, not knowing what his brother would do to him. But God met him in his crisis. He asked him, "What is your name?" A simple question but one full of intention. Jacob's name had some negative associations; deceiver and supplanter. He had certainly had lived up to his name and now speaking it out was a statement of his struggle and the position he had put himself in. In the speaking there was admission, perhaps repentance. But God replies with something new. Jacob is now to be called Israel, meaning contender, fighter or God prevails.
Crises have a way of getting me to a place where I have to face who I am and what I need to let go of in order to embrace the new things God has for me. Sometimes this has been through big life changes and struggle, but often it's through letting go of the past and just starting a new day. Jacob spoke out his name in answer to God and God wants me to answer the question He is asking too. Naming those sins and struggles, being honest, humble and repentant is what God is looking for. Then He can remake me and give me a new name and identity, with strength to face the challenges ahead.