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<h2><a href="http://www.bluewaterbrotherhood.com/wp-content/uploads/Surrendered.jpg"data-pp="lightbox[1637]" class="autolink lightbox " ><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-535 imgborder" alt="Surrendered" src="http://www.bluewaterbrotherhood.com/wp-content/uploads/Surrendered-300x168.jpg" /></a></h2>

<p>Even the most seasoned fishermen know that more often than not, a day on the water could finish with an empty box rather than a full catch. Good anglers cannot hone their skills without putting in time on the water….and that will include many days with a skunk in the box. Although we all understand that disappointing days are inevitable, it doesn’t make it any easier when you have to say “Well guys, let’s bring the lines in. Sorry we didn’t have a good day today, maybe next time”.</p>

<p>That admission of defeat is especially hard if you’re tournament fishing or making your living as a charter captain. You feel as if you should just say “Maybe you should consider fishing with some of my competition, because obviously I can’t put you on any fish”. But the simple fact is, some days a good catch is not in the cards, the fish have moved on, sundown is drawing near and its time to surrender and head for the barn.</p>

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<p><em><strong>Genesis 32:22-31</strong></em></p>

<p><em>That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. </em></p>

<p><em>Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”  The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.</em></p>

<p> </p>

<p>After many years away, Jacob was heading back to his homeland. Just before crossing the Jordan on his journey home, the Scriptures describe a wrestling match between Jacob and God – an actual, physical wresting match. For Jacob, this encounter was the defining moment in his life.</p>

<p>Up to that point, Jacob’s life had been marked by deception. His birth name meant “deceiver” or “supplanter”. Years before, Jacob’s scheming nature had cost his older brother, Esau, his birthright. Then, Jacob stole his father Isaac’s blessing rightfully due to the firstborn son – an almost unbearable loss for Easu. Afterwards, Jacob fled. His life was marred with ungodly actions, temptation, greed and selfishness.</p>

<p>But something changed for Jacob on the banks of the Jordan River as he wrestled with God.</p>

<p>God had proven His faithfulness to Jacob during his 20-year exile from his family. Even as his father-in -law, Laban, would attempt to deceive, steal from and control him, Jacob received favor from God. He became exceedingly prosperous with large flocks, servants and animals (Genesis 30:43). And it was God who determined that it was time for Jacob to return to the land of his fathers and family, even making the promise that He would be with Jacob.</p>

<p>There is a point in time when each one of us is challenged to trust God. For Jacob, that point came as he stood between his flawed history and the future uncertainty of reuniting with his brother Esau. Jacob’s defining moment came after a night of wrestling with God as he humbly surrendered, placed his faith in the Lord and trusted God for the outcome. It was then that God changed his name to Israel. Jacob had become a new creation.</p>

<p>You can also become a new creation by surrendering your past and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ.</p>


<p>On those tough fishing days when the bites are few and far between, one of the guys that I fish with will always say “Well, that’s one more of those days behind us”. While it doesn’t make the day any easier for the captain, it sure is a good lesson about putting the past in the past. If you’re going to get good at anything, you have to put your time in. The great days when the rigger is full of release flags will come –and they’ll be all the more sweet because you’ve persevered through those rotten days on the water. (DW)</p>


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