A Twentieth Century Jacob ?

It was not uncommon to gather around our family dinner table without Dad sharing a story or lesson, which reflected God’s word and work being fulfilled or accomplished within our daily existence and lives. Neighbors and relatives from afar were frequent visitors and listeners, as he brought biblical characters to life, in some of the stories shared. One such character was in relationship to Harold. Dad worked along side with Harold at the factory he was employed at, after selling the farmland. I was in visiting that Sunday afternoon, and enthralled with Dad’s account of what he had to share.

Dad was a gentle spirited and easy to work with man, who tolerated a great deal with Harold. His co-worker was a man who was prone to harmful addictions, with gambling and drinking being the ‘spiral downhill’ that his life was taking. My father took a shine to him. Harold was a hard worker when he was not off in a dark corner of the factory drinking, or on the phone placing a call to his bookie to place a bet or see if his last one was a payoff. Before leaving the line, he would always ask Dad to cover for him, in the event the floor manager or supervisor was doing a walk about. Pulling a double load, Dad would cover for him, though it was against his principles of defending anyone who was not following the company polices and rules.

It happened one Monday morning, when Harold came to work as a transformed man. Dad definitely knew there had been a change in his demeanor and request to leave the line. This time he was asking my Dad to cover for him while he went out back to pray for strength to not drink or make any gambling related calls. My father was puzzled, and a few days later accepted Harold’s invitation to go for coffee after work.

Once settled in at a coffee shop, after calling his wife to let her know he would be home late, Harold began to share an incredible account of what happened to him over the weekend. He chose Dad as his listening ear, because he knew that from the previous months that my father had ‘covered’ for him on the job, he would be the best starting point of coming to terms of whether he had lost his sanity, or not. Dad listened intently, with the slow start of getting to what had happened to this man, which would cause such an enormous transformation in his life, since the Friday past.

Harold began ‘Roger, I know that this is going to sound like I’ve lost my mind, but I swear there is no other explanation other then I was visited by God or one of His angels.’ He definitely had my father’s interest at that point, as he had heard many stories on people hearing from God or how much their life had changed, when Dad could see no big difference in other people’s accounts. With Harold, he knew this was not the case.

It began on the previous Friday evening, after work. Harold had planned his usual outing at the racetrack and casino, but needed more money. His pay cheque had already been eaten up with rent, paying previous gambling debts and placed on new ones. He just needed more because he felt this was his ‘lucky night’. Harold went home and told his wife and children to get into the car, after she had refused to give up her last $20 to his gambling addiction. It was put aside for the week’s bread and milk money for their children, and she stood her grounds on not seeing them go without. Too many times the furniture and toys had been sold from underneath them, in order for him to continue his irresponsible ways in providing for their needs and bare essentials.

With fear and reluctance, his wife sat in the passenger seat with the children once again cowering in the backseat, not knowing what the results would be from this outing with their enraged father. His wife knew the power of prayer, and continued without ceasing. Taking them to the cities riverfront, he parked the car and continued to demand the small amount of money she had in her purse. Then his threat came to not only end her life but that of the children’s, if she did not hand over the money. What occurred at that point is near unbelievable, yet my father said he never seen a man more sincere in relaying his story then what Harold did.

‘Roger, I barely got those threatening words out of my mouth, when suddenly my car door flung open. I was on the ground in a heartbeat and the door slammed shut. I was sure it was someone passing by who overheard my threats, or a police officer beating me with his night stick, as there was definitely physical pain being inflicted upon me. I wiggled about the pavement and a few times caught a glimpse of my wife and children looking out the car window in horror. There was nobody there, Roger. It was an invisible force that continued to hammer me to a pulp, as though seeking revenge for every time I had physically, spiritually or verbally abused my wife and children. Though it seemed like the beating would never end, I was told the next morning that I was on the ground for an hour, before I was able to stand again and get back in the car. I said nothing to them that night. Drove home, where she tucked the children in for the night. I nursed my badly hurt bruised body and ultra ego throughout the remainder of the night and all day Saturday.’

My father was captivated by Harold’s detailed account of what occurred late that night, as they sipped on their third cup of java. He proceeded to tell him of what was shared with him, during the thrashing that changed his life. ‘Roger, a voice spoke to me and told me, as I begged for mercy and forgiveness for all I had done before and since my marriage, that it would be as asked. I was also told that I would become a Pastor to a small flock of God’s people, for a season. My parents are [prayer warriors] and we attended church regularly with them as children, but I haven’t darkened the door of a church since my early teen years, other then this Sunday past. I am but an ignorant man when it comes to the word of God.’

Dad asked him what he meant by ‘a season’. Harold then told him that he was not given details of when and where his Pasturing  would occur, but was given the date that his earth journey would end. With a ‘sigh of relief’ that he had finally shared this life changing event with someone other then his wife, he asked my father for his input. Dad stirred his coffee and thought deeply about what he had just been told, then replied with this confirmation. Harold I believe you were confronted by either God or his arc angel Micheal. He then refreshed his childhood memory on the story of Jacob, who wrestled with God throughout a night, under totally different circumstances, yet experiencing a life changing transformation that sounded similar to that of which was now being described to him. Harold was delighted that his trust in Dad was one of validation, rather then being mocked or laughed at and being called ‘crazy’. The account of Jacob’s encounter with wrestling with God can be found in Genesis 32:21-32

Harold did leave the factory, shortly after speaking with Dad, and became a Pastor in another city. He also died on the day he was given many years previously, and now in his eternal home. How I can confirm this story is due to the fact that I became a neighbor to  his brother [lived in the same duplex], had already met  his other brother through extraordinary circumstances that frightened the daylights out of me only to meet him again after his conversion, and entertained Harold’s daughter in my home one evening.

She confirmed my father’s Sunday afternoon account of her father’s life and how frightening that night had been for her and the family. She lived a few doors down from me, and said that even though her father had become a Pastor, she did not believe and only attended church because she had to. She added that it was not until she watched me as a neighbor and learned more about me that she became a believer, as before that she was not able to forgive her father for the years of abuse the family had suffered from. Both brothers came to a time of surrendering their lives to Jesus and the one brother I had met some time before Dad sharing his story became the Pastor of the church, Harold left behind when he passed over into eternity.

In this account of Harold’s time wrestling with God or an angel, I am in no way advising anyone reading this to take any chances with the safety and well being of yourself or your children. If you are in unsafe conditions where your live’s are being threatened, remove yourself from the situation and involve professionals who will take action. It is as mysterious to me in why prayers go unanswered, when praying for the sick or other things that just do not go the way we would like them to. My time of questioning God was definitely multiplied after the death of my daughter, and I wrestled with God concerning many aspects of my life. There truly is a reason and a season for everything under the sun [both good and bad], and all things work together for those who love our Lord Jesus.

If you are wrestling with God over any issues within your life, be reassured that before the break of dawn God will have his way with you and it is best to surrender early and listen to what He has to share with you rather then continue the fight that you will never win. It could be wrestling with giving up something in your life which is holding you back from receiving His full blessings and favor, or reluctant to go forward with something that He has been calling you to do in life. This is totally your call, and as personal as your relationship with our Lord Jesus.

His angels are here and working along side of each of us, as we go about our daily business. They truly are watching and intervening when the time is right. Are you prepared ?