Limps and blessings
Genesis 32: 22-31 (NIV)
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 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. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessedhim there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
This week we will be looking at passages of scripture that help us reflect upon the inner struggles of our hearts as we seek to live at peace with our families and those we live around. Can we be reconciled by grace?
Today’s story tells us what happened 20 years after Jacob had been on the run. The encounter at Bethel had changed him but somehow he had to face the consequences of his past. Life had not been easy for him. If you take time to read what happen to Jacob, you find that the cheat becomes the one who is cheated on big time by his uncle Laban. It’s as though the story is relating the truth of the saying, ‘You reap what you sow.’ However it appears that although Jacob is the recipient of all this deception somehow his character has changed and he begins to reap a different reward. In Chapter 32 of Genesis, Jacob returns home to face his past and be reconciled to his brother. However not before he encountered the wrestling match between himself and God.
We all carry a past but before we can move forward we need to be able to confront the past and come to terms with it. So what was Jacob wrestling with God over? Was he trying to get the upper hand again? Was he trying to justify his actions? Was he struggling with the role of humility that he would require to take in order to be reconciled?
Perhaps, but what he was really looking for was God’s blessing. Finally he admits what he needed all along was not his father’s blessing, nor Laban’s blessing, but God’s blessing.
Jacob gives us an insight into our own lives. Have we been looking for the wrong blessings from the wrong people. The wrestling that is going on in your heart could it be a longing to know God more and a determination to keep holding on until the blessing comes? When it comes you will see the sunrise but you’ll always be walking with a limp. No one escapes. Limps always come with blessings and blessings with limps.
You hold me close
Even when I’m angry
Angry with myself
Angry with you
Angry with the world in my struggle
You roll with my holds
You never overpower me
You hold my tension
In order to get my attention
You know the longing in my struggle
You hear my cries
You whisper in my ear
Enough is enough
This must stop
No more wrestling, you have my blessing
Rest in my blessing
You may have a limp
But my grace
Is all you need
Limping and blessing
Can live together