The Crippling is the Blessing

Reading the Word

Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. . . . And he said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with me and have prevailed.”

{Genesis 32:24, 28}

Reflecting on the Word
“Heel grabber” is what Jacob’s name means, a name you would expect of a wrestler. Jacob’s entire life up till now was spent calculating his next move and maneuvering to a position of advantage so he would pry from God’s hands so many of the blessings that God in time had wanted to give him anyway.

Now it was God’s turn to grab Jacob’s heel, to wrestle with this fundamental flaw in his nature and touch him in a way so he would never forget the encounter.  Through the ordeal, Jacob learned that God’s blessing comes not from grabbing but from clinging.

There is something of Jacob in all of us, I think. If so, there must be a night of reckoning for us as well. A night when God finds us alone, grabs us, throws us to the ground, and wrestles with that fundamental flaw in our character.

Though in the dark He cripples us, in the dawn He blesses us.

For some of us, the crippling is the blessing.

{Ken Gire}

Responding to the Word

O persistent God,

Deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.

Pressure me that I may grow more human,

not through the lessening of my struggles,

but through an expansion of them. . . .

Deepen my hurt

until I learn to share it and myself openly,

and my needs honestly.

Sharpen my fears until I name them

and release the power I have locked in them

and they in me.

Accentuate my confusion

until I shed those grandiose expectations

that divert me from the small, glad gifts

of the now and the here and the me.

Expose my shame where it shivers,

crouched behind the curtains of propriety,

until I can laugh at last

through my common frailties and failures,

laugh my way toward becoming whole.

{Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace}

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About kengire

Ken Gire has been a fulltime writer since 1981 publishing more than twenty books. His writing has earned such honours as two Gold Medallion Awards, Book-of-the-Year by Campus Life and two have been named C. S. Lewis Honour Books. He has worked with Insight for Living, co-authored 25 study guides with Chuck Swindoll and written on such diverse topics as devotional series and young adult fiction. He is currently working on a historical fiction that will be adaptable to film. Ken is also an inspiriational speaker and has founded Reflective Living, a nonprofit ministry devoted to helping individuals live more reflective lives so they may experience life more deeply. View all posts by kengire

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