I Hope to Lose, Too!

Someone posted this little story on our God Journey blog this past week. I’ve not heard this story before, but I love what it says and found my heart screaming, “Me too!”

A wise man was once asked, “Do you wrestle with God?”

The wise man replied, “Yes.”

Then he was asked,  “Do you hope to win?”

“No”, said the wise man, “I hope to lose!”

The best things I’ve discovered on this journey have come out of deep wrestlings with God, often in my own selfishness or ignorance hoping he’ll come to see it my way and give me what I think is best.

It’s in the wrestling with him through my own frustrations and disappointments, fears and anxieties, often over significant chunks of time that the light finally dawns and I see into a wider world where I come to see the folly of my own thoughts and ideas and come to rest in his.

And that is always good. Losing is good when it happens with a Father who loves us more than we can possibly conceive.

Don’t despise the days of wrestling with him in the deepest part of our soul. It is part of the process and can be a portal to great freedom.


I tried to resource this little story and could not find it posted this way anywhere else on the Internet. If you know first said this, I would enjoy knowing. Thanks.

8 thoughts on “I Hope to Lose, Too!”

  1. There is a comfort in this, knowing that to lose we win. Do you think there are times when we win but end up the loser as a result? I do think that this wrestling is somehow a good thing and often is the very thing that ultimately results in our growth in faith and trust. Though I am a little anxious that sometimes I might want what I want so badly as to result in getting it to my loss. Is that possible?

  2. Charisse Carrigan

    Thank you, Wayne. I guess I took comfort in knowing I’m not alone in times of wrestling. Father has never shamed nor reprimanded me for doing so.

    In the past three years, my wrestling and pain often come back to missing my beloved. Not thinking it was fair or right that his life was taken so early.

    I’m hoping a day will come that the sting doesn’t pierce to my core. I don’t “always” get so emotional or ready to argue with Him again. Some days I just run to Papa & ask Him to hold me tight & close when I’m in such conflict. I am so grateful Father has NEVER held back His love & compassion from me.

    The great thing about losing to Him…is…I always find myself totally lost in His loving arms holding me close.

  3. This is a great story, thank you. I seem to be a good wrestler!, but just love how Father is so gentle and patient with me.

  4. I am a hard headed country guy. Pull on my boots and get it done type person. Well with this type personality it had made interesting wrestling matches between me and God. They go on and on and on until I finaly I say ok God show what I am doing wrong and He show me. It would of been so much easier if I would of said ok in the beginning but I never have learned to do that. I have to get pinned to the mat , out of breath and out of options before I ask God to show me. Owell atleast I know He still loves me enough to wrestle with me.

  5. I once heard a speaker at an AA meeting say, ” God seems to answer prayers in one of three ways:
    I’ve got a better plan.”

    Like Ronald stated above I frequently start with my own plan before asking God for input. I like it when I finally get to the wrestling part, knowing that I am being shaped to implement His “better plan”. (That’s a new way of expressing my experience since reading and reflecting on this post)

  6. Wayne,
    The story was a crude paraphrase which I found in a book by a prominent pastor I once followed, published over 20 years ago. The actual story was written by Nikos Kazantzakis, author of ‘Zorba the Greek’, in his memoir ‘Report to Greco’, which goes slightly differently, but the premise is the same…

    “Do you still wrestle with the devil, Father Makarios?” I asked him. “Not any longer, my child. I have grown old now, and he has grown old with me. He doesn’t have the strength. … I wrestle with God.” “With God!” I exclaimed in astonishment. “And you hope to win?” “I hope to lose, my child. My bones remain with me still, and they continue to resist.” (Report to Greco, p.222)

    Hope that helps,

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