….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, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.(Gen 32:25- 28)
Sometimes, I think many of us desire a gospel that is way too pretty. It seems like no one today really wants the battle scars and wounds that often come along with having victory in Christ. Many of us desire to go through life unscathed and untouched; void of any evidence that we have been in a fight. Oftentimes, our scars may even be the depth of our devotion as we share, the grace we acknowledge from our past failures, but so evident are our scars that we often feel that they make us too different and we would rather opt to be more regular, like the man next door.
But the scars are our testimony, they serve as an indelible impression and proof that God has COME to you and that God is NEAR you. In Genesis 32:22-32, you find the story of Jacob and the struggle he had one night with God. A struggle and a wrestling match that ultimately left him with a limp, a testimony, and a new name, Israel. God touched Jacob and his human frailty and weakness was exposed. And when that experience passed, Jacob was left with a clear reminder that he had been with God. Yes he received a new name and a new identity, but besides that blessing and covenant, he was left with a less pleasant permanent reminder,‘A LIMP’. I can just imagine poor old Jacob after returning from that encounter with God. The taunts, the stares. The endless barrage of questions like, “What’s wrong with him? Why does he “walk” like that?
Perhaps today you may be struggling with the fact that you’re not like everyone else, or that everywhere you go and as you walk, you feel the effects of your encounter with God. You think different, look different and are just different. Like Jacob, you share a special experience with God that can always serve as a reference point of when He met you, blessed you and confirmed your identity. Do not allow others’ perception of you make you feel unworthy. We serve a Savior that had to endure some struggles of His own. The holes in His hands and wounds in His side are evidence that He also experienced pain as he overcame death, hell, and the grave. Your limp is your testimony and the uniqueness of your struggle gives you a distinct contribution to the circle of life. It all begins with an encounter with God! That makes ALL the difference.
Dear Reader, are you struggling even today? Be assured that you’ll go through. And when the struggle ends, embrace your limp – your victory and testimony!
God bless you!