Thur., Mar. 31/22
In the Focus on the Family 7-part video series “What to Do When You’re Not Okay,” counselor Debra Fileta discusses how the residue of some traumas may linger one’s lifetime. She points to an episode in the life of Jacob.
Jacob had deceived his brother Esau into surrendering to him his birthright and for this deception Esau had sought to kill Jacob. Being warned by his mother of Esau’s intentions Jacob fled for his life. Now, twenty years later, Jacob was about to meet Esau again and was fearful for his life. Attempting to appease his brother Jacob sent gifts on to Esau in advance and sent on ahead his household and possessions. Now Jacob was alone, anxious and uncertain…
“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’” (Gen. 32:24-26).
Jacob clearly understood this man to be an angel for he says, “…I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” (v.30), and in the end Jacob receives a blessing and a new name. But, as vs 31 indicates, Jacob also received a lifelong limp: “The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.”
We see a similar situation in Paul’s life. Three times Paul had asked the Lord to remove from him what he calls “a thorn in the flesh… a messenger of Satan” (2 Cor. 12:8), but the Lord refused. As Paul reports, “He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” And Paul concludes “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9, 10). For Paul, and for Jacob, their unfinished healing reminded them of their daily ongoing need for God.
What about you? As you follow our Lord Christ do you “Walk with a limp?” if so, what is you heart attitude before God about it? Are you angry? Accepting? Perhaps the Lord has left this lingering limp with you to remind you to always rely upon Him. Perhaps this limp is your greatest asset.