God as wrestler – someone who chooses to meet us when we are stuck, who chooses to keep grappling with us until something changes inside us for the better. None of us would dream that image up for God, and yet it is in Scripture, and it was Jacob’s lived experience.
I think God chose to engage up close and personal with Jacob, because nothing else would work. There was Jacob, coming back home 20 years later, to meet his much stronger twin brother Esau who he had ripped off, and who had wanted to kill him in response. That is a lot of unsorted stuff, and Jacob, being the character he was, (grabbing, using cleverness and trickiness to get ahead no matter the cost to others) was never going to ask for mercy and forgiveness.
Jacob is very successful business and familywise, but he finds himself literally stuck, unable to cross the creek to go and meet his brother, coming to meet him accompanied by a great force. So God lets go God powers and wrestles him as a human. Jacob keeps struggling, and finally, as daybreak comes, refuses to let go until blessed. He receives the blessing of a new name (Israel – God wrestler), and something has changed inside him. He limps off, moves to the front of all his people and possessions, and meets Esau one to one, being humble and vulnerable, and the meeting goes well.
There are times in our lives when we need to keep grappling with situations, and not let go. Blessing does come from faithfully holding on. Changes do happen, inside us, and in the situations we face. Jacob id no role model for us in his character. But we can learn tenaciously to hold on to God in whatever tricky situations we find ourselves in. In the holding on to God, we receive life-changing blessing.