Battles are struggle between two or more persons. It can also take place within and outside an individual. It is a situation that one can engage in, those who are able to overcome struggle are referred to as heroes but those who are overcome by battles are referred to as weaklings. There are lots of battles we engaged in, knowingly and unknowingly. Many people have suffered a lot from different battles. Some people fight the battle of their lives, with or without anybody. People like these are referred to as one man Army due to the fact that they fought the battle of their lives without the involvement of anybody and they had won. They have decided to take the bull by the horn although it was not easy but they won the battle, today they serve as resource persons for those who are facing the same battle. They are capable of rending help and assistance to those in need. As human beings we are bound to face different battles. Life itself is a battle; no man can finish the battle of life because it is endless.
However, many a time as human beings we are faced with different battles going on within us. The struggle is so intense that we find it difficult to hear others. We become carriers of burden both those who are relevant and those who are not. Once we are faced with battles, we are unstable, losing consciousness and become imbalance. Battle is always an enemy of peace, once there is war the peace is always threatened and people begin to fear or run for their dear lives. Many a time during the process of struggle many things are lost; lives and properties. The scenario of battle is the survival of the fittest, and elimination of the weak. Those who are dead had ended their battles due to the fact that they are resting. In our lives, there are lots of battles we need to fight. Most of the time when we find ourselves in a particular state that we do not really like or when we feel that where we are is not where we desire to be, there is need for us to fight our battles in other for us to get to where we want to be.
In Genesis 32:24-30 “And was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said; let me go, for it is day break. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, what is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou wrestle with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, tell me; I pray thee, thy name. And he said, wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved.” From the above scriptural passage we would see that Jacob had a serious battle with an angel when he discovered that he needs a change in his life. Instead of running away, he decided to face the situation with courage. Nothing good comes easy, whenever we want to have a breakthrough in life, we should be prepared to fight the battle that would take us to the promise land. If we want a change, we should be ready to face whatever obstacle that is ahead of us, just like Jacob who was not afraid to wrestle with the angel so that he would get the change he really desire. The process of breakthrough is not always easy. Each and every one of us has a story to tell when it concerns our breakthrough. This is only attained when we reflect on our lives and we realise that things are not going the way they should, there is need for us to take a break before making decision on what to do. Jacob succeeded in battling with the angel. He was bold enough to make a request saying that “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26) and his request was granted, his name was changed from Jacob to Israel. This was a serious breakthrough and a total turn around in the life of Jacob. Often time when we battle in life, we should have a goal just like Jacob who asked the angel to bless him. His prayers were answered and his state of life changed totally for good. We too can also do the same when we seek for a total breakthrough in our lives.
Furthermore, we need to fight for our freedom. The battle for freedom is not easy, there is need for us to prepare before embarking on such journey. Proper preparation would help us to win and be free. The state of oppression is very serious; people under this situation never find it easy. Oppression is a state of helplessness when you are unable to fight or defend yourselves. What we need is for us to call on the name of God for assistance. A typical example of those who battle with the situation of oppression was the Israelite. In 1 Samuel 17, we see how the Israelites really needed freedom but they did not have a person to represent them in the battle. Goliath was the representative of the Philistines; a man who was very huge both in size and height and his presence was capable of terrifying the people. He was bragging every night and day in front of the Israelite. But unfortunately for the Israelite they did not have a representative due to the fact that the presence of the Goliath is enough to intimidate everybody. The situation became more intense that all hope was almost lost. When David came around to the camp he saw the situation he had no other choice than to take solace in the Lord. He summoned courage and trusted in the power of the living God. He said; I would represent my people he invited God and took five round stones to represent his own weapon of warfare. David decided to fight and he won the battle. Many a time as Christians when we are faced with the battle of deliverance from oppression it is always difficult, we need to put our trust in God like David and face the Goliath of our lives. Taking a bold step often made us to realise that the David inside of us is capable of confronting the Goliath tormenting us. We should always remember that the battle is of the Lord.
Also in Exodus 14:1-31, we see the battle that took place between Moses and King Pharaoh. It was a thong of war due to the fact that Pharaoh did not want the Israelite to go. These people (Israelite) were maltreated, punished and oppressed. When it was time for them to be delivered Pharaoh refused because he did not want them to be free. Also, when we are battling with freedom from oppression, we are often pinned down by the Pharaoh of our lives that would not allow us to go. No matter how stubborn it may be if we persist with the help of God we would make a head way just like the Israelite whom God’s set free from the hands of their enemies.
Sr Margret Ogbebor SSMA is a Catholic Nun, working in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. She is the Head Teacher of St Martin de Porres Nursery and Primary School Katsina. [email protected]