Sep 4, 2014

Walking With a Limp

The older I get, the more the wear and tear of a half century (plus five) takes its toll on my body. Each season brings new challenges as the body reminds me that after fifty five years of life, my body is slowly getting old.
For the most part I have done quite well and have been able to keep up with those who are younger than me. In fact, I never really think about it until someone asks me; “Are you limping?”, that I even really notice that I am starting to fall apart.
I always answer that I am not and limp on hoping that they don’t notice.
The thing is, I realize that each cut, scrape, scar, bone out of joint, or other “deformity” is really a “badge of honor” to battles fought long ago; some of them with gravity or immovable objects or wrestling with things well past the point where one should surrender.
A friend of mine says; “I feel sorry for those of you who have had no trouble; you’re amateurs!”… You who have gone through life and have come out the other side with no cuts, scrapes, scars, bones out of joint and you walk without a limp.
It is in the struggles of life that character is formed, and sometimes that leaves us with parts of flesh missing as we submit to someone greater than us and we are left with a limp to remind us who is in control.
There is a great story in the Bible that comes to mind. It is the story of Jacob.
24-25 But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint. 
26 The man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak.”Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me.”
27 The man said, “What’s your name?”He answered, “Jacob.”
28 The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.”
29 Jacob asked, “And what’s your name?”
The man said, “Why do you want to know my name?” And then, right then and there, he blessed him.
30 Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!”
31-32 The sun came up as he left Peniel, limping because of his hip. (This is why Israelites to this day don’t eat the hip muscle; because Jacob’s hip was thrown out of joint.) Genesis 32:24-32The Message (MSG)
And so I have come to realize that those who are most trust worthy to tell the stories are those who walk with a limp. In fact I don't trust people who don't walk with a limp. 
Keep pressing on my friend; you and your life and your limp are further proof that you understand because you have faced the battles and you have come out the other side learning to walk with a limp.

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


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