Gen. 32 illustrates the process of a relationship being restored between Jacob and his brother, Esau. As Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met Jacob and he said, “This is God’s camp." The meaning is two armies (Gen. 32:1-2). God reveals strategy for battle in the midst of our mundane experiences.
Jacob sent messengers and commanded them to tell Esau that Jacob sojourned with Laban and had cattle and servants sent to find favor in Esau's sight. The returning messengers told Jacob that Esau was bringing 400 men (Gen. 32:3-6). The first step in restoring a broken relationship is approaching the offended party humbly and openly to show you are serious about reconciliation.
Because Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed, he divided the people with him and flocks into two companies so one could escape if the other was attacked. Jacob recalled God's word for him to return to his country where he could prosper. He acknowledged his unworthiness of God's lovingkindness and faithfulness. Jacob's fear of Esau motivated him to ask for God's deliverance. He claimed God's promise: "I will surely prosper you, and make descendants as sand of sea which can’t be numbered for multitude” (Gen. 32:7-12). Claiming God's word gives you the power and courage to be obedient in restoring relationships.
Jacob selected many cattle and commanded his servants to bring them as a present to appease Esau so he would be accepted (Gen. 32:13-23). Following through in restoring relationships shows humility and honor.
Then Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled so hard with him until daybreak that his thigh was dislocated. Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The angel renamed him Israel for he had striven with God and men and prevailed. Jacob acknowledged that he saw God face-to-face and his life had been preserved (Gen. 32:24-30). Claiming God’s promise for deliverance involves violent wrestling with Him in prayer to demonstrate our complete reliance on Him.
Realize that God takes the initiative and provides the strategy on how to reconcile critically damaged relationships. Is God telling you to reconcile with someone? If so, follow God's direction humbly in approaching the offended party. Claim God's word to give you power and courage such as Gal. 6:1. Spending time wrestling with God until you see Him face to face changes you and the situation.