“I’ll Bug You Till You Play with Me”


In times when I really must do something, something that really needs to get done, in the busiest seasons of our ministry, I take some hours and at times a day or two away from the office and stay home. I have realized that a full day at my quiet home office exceeds a week’s worth of office work, writing, strategizing, and planning.  A great deal of the success of a leader depends on the personal preparation done privately, ahead of time, before the leader faces the people.

Two weeks ago, as we were getting ready for the 2011 Adventist Youth Evangelism & Leadership Congress, I decided to stay at my home office, there was a lot which needed to be finished.  It would have been impossible at the office. Early in the morning, as I was beginning to pray and work away, I heard the door open, and in came my oldest son, Jose III. He asked that I play with him. I told him I was very busy, needed to finish many things, that I was not able to play. His reply, “Papa, I am more important than what you are doing, more important than your work…” He even told me that God will have a phone for me in heaven so I can call and receive as many calls as I want, but that he needed to play with me right away.  I was really busy and totally dismissed him, I asked him to go downstairs and play with his brother. Ten minutes later, he came back and I sent him away with the same response. The same scene was repeated a good dozen times within the next 3 hours. Finally, around 11:00 AM, he said: “Papa, I am not going to go anywhere, I am going to follow you all day, I will bug you all day till you play with me.”

Take a look at this Bible passage:

“Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
“What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.”
“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
“Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.
“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. (Genesis 32:26-29)

Jacob was all alone, going through a difficult time, he feared for his life and the well-being of his family. The moment to face his offended brother was near; he could not sleep, he could not see with certainty into His future, he was stressed out, anxious, and very worried. Just at that point, in the darkness of the night, Jacob noticed a man.  His instincts kicked in, Jacob began to defend himself, not realizing that it was God. Being the smart man he was, it took him all night to decipher his opponent, he had tried just about everything, boxing, wrestling, tae kwon do, WWF style wrestling, sword, spear, a little knife, some more boxing, the kitchen sink, and his opponent would not go down. When “the stranger” asked him “please let me go, the day is coming, I’ve got stuff to do…” Jacob realized who he was fighting with.  He realized “this stranger” was not there to hurt him; Jacob noticed it was Someone special, God. As if fighting with God all night had not been bold enough, Jacob got bolder; he told God “I will hold on to you and bug you all day if necessary, but will not let you go till you bless me.”

Do you wonder what happened inside of God when He heard Jacob say that? Exactly the same thing that happened inside of me when Jose III told me, “I’ll bug you all day, till you play with me.” God blessed Jacob and even gave him a great name. I left everything I had to do and played with Jose III for the next hour.

Anxious, worried, alone, stressed out, life is in danger, fear for your family, can’t see the future? Struggle some with God, all night if need be. If you don’t hear from Him, tell Him, “I’ll bug you till you bless me. Trust Jacob and Jose III, God will bless you and bless you, after all you are His child, He loves you. He actually likes it when you bug Him.  

Prayer: God, I have not heard from you yet, it’s been a while. I am going to keep on praying and bugging you till you bless me. Bless me just like you blessed Jacob.  AMEN

Jose