Walking With a Limp
I missed church this past Sunday and so I listened to the message online yesterday. A day late and right on time. The subject matter covered a very question I have had on my mental notepad—something I’ve been meaning to ask my pastor about: wrestling/struggling with God and specifically why God chose to bless/reward Jacob considering Jacob’s sketchy modus operandi (Genesis 32:28). God blessed him because he was stubborn and conniving? He rewarded him because he struggled against God? Wait, what? (I saw a personalized license plate yesterday that read, “W8 waaat?” which seems completely germane.)
Jeff speaks about the week he just spent in the deep south. Hearing his words about universal brokenness and struggle fit well in my ears. The message disseminated and parts of it headed slightly north to my brain and parts headed deeper south to my heart. It’s all still being absorbed and likely will continue as I relisten to what I think is a crucial message.
At the same time Jeff was delivering his sermon live, I was having a deep connection to a beautiful perfect stranger. It was a second chance meeting and there was no small talk. Just big.
The topic of my name was the main reason I had a deep connection to this Insta-friend. As she handed me my prescription over the pharmacy counter, she asked me if I knew what my name meant.
And from there it was all big talk—no small.
I am not the person I was before December 22, 2022. I now walk with a limp. I’ve never been so broken and struggled as hard as I have these past several months. Grief is pretty much relentless. I’ve been “heated and pounded and heated and pounded” (watch the link) and if I don’t come out a little stronger and softer and more flexible as a result of God’s tempering, then none of it will ever make sense.
If you listen to the sermon or if you happen to already know the story of Jacob’s wrestling match, you know that in the end, Jacob was changed by it. So changed that God gave him the new name, Israel.
A couple of months ago I stubbed my left toes on the bedpost and I saw stars. They still hurt so much that I think it’s very likely they are broken. I know they have affected my gait.
I can still ride my bike, though, because you don’t pedal with toes so much. I’ve adapted.
There is a whole lot of fight and struggle with God in my deep south, both against and with Him. I don’t think God has given me a new name but I do know I will never be the same.