Peniel, for I have seen God face to face and yet my life has been delivered...
In the darkest place of the night where dark thoughts come at the best of times, I sat in the middle of the meadow staring across the ford where I had sent my family and all my belongings. I sat alone in the thoughts that had gripped my life for as long as I can remember. The gentle gurgle of the stream, and the soft sound of the wind brought a soothing overtone to my tormented heart.
How long had I been away from home? How long since I had last seen my brother? How long until I am found and killed?
"Where are you!" I screamed to the heavens. "Where are you! I know you can hear me! How long must I cry to you? How long must this last? Please, save me..."
I heard a soft whisper in the still of the night. A brush of wind, and a soft foot step. I turned and saw the dark silhouette in the distance. Like a fire overcoming a dry long the pain a felt over the years came boiling to the surface, transforming itself into rage. I marched towards the figure.
"What do you want?" I asked angrily. "Who are you?"
The closer I came the faster I walked, the more determined I stepped until before I knew it I began charging towards him, he almost had me in the middle until I grabbed him and threw him to the ground, and we fought. He came up to punch my face but I grabbed his fist and punched him instead. For hours we fought and fought, but it felt like minutes. I fought no man. It was my failures, my pain, those I have hurt, those who hurt me. The life I wanted so bad to leave behind but always kept finding me in the end.
I had him pinned to the ground my hands around his neck strangling him, not caring whether he lived or died. I felt hand move down on my hip and the bone slip out of place. I screamed in pain losing myself for a moment. He almost got away but I managed to move my frail swiftly enough to grab him again and did my best to hold him down.
"Let me go!" He yelled. "Let me go! It's dawn, please!"
"No!, not until you bless me!"
We stopped our struggle but I still held him down.
"What is your name?" He asked.
"Jacob. I am a liar! A deceiver! My life is pain to all who know me." The painful realization of the words brought a bitter flow of tears to my eyes.
"Jacob, Jacob no longer. Your name is Israel. You have fought with God, and have come through."
My face and my mind were numb. The torment of my life immediately melted away from my mind and heart, and I found myself staring into the face of something that was more than I could ever hope to comprehend.
"Who are you?" I asked.
I call this place Peniel, for I have seen God face to face and yet my life has been delivered. As I stare across this meadow and relive that night I smile with joy I felt at the pain that was caused all for this one moment, where I would come face to face with the God of my father, and He would bless my life forever.