A liar, deceiver, and manipulator, Jacob was self-sufficient, independent and able to get his way. But all of that changed in Genesis 32. Jacob came face to face with God and wrestled with Him through the night. He came away from that encounter with a new name and a limp.
Up until this point, Jacob had gotten everything he wanted in his own strength. He was strong and independent. In this wrestling match, God dislocated Jacob’s hip, giving him a limp and showing him how weak he really was.
Jacob desperately needed to learn to depend upon God. His greatest spiritual weakness was His own strength and intellect.
Whether we realize it or not, we are all weak and broken. We all need to learn to depend upon God. We all have a limp but it isn’t until we come face to face with God that we recognize it.
When we truly see God we finally see ourselves as we really are. We will never fully understand our own helplessness and vileness until we come face to face with Him—His power and His holiness. It is impossible for us to truly understand who we are until we know who He is.
A true encounter with God will always leave us with a limp. Suddenly in light of God, we see our weakness and we realize how desperately we need to depend upon Him.
As much as we may dislike seeing our own destitution and desperate need, it is actually a wonderful thing. As long as we are striving in our own strength we can never accomplish anything. It is only when we recognize our need and depend upon the Lord that we can be truly effective and productive.
John 15:4-5 says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. We, like Jacob, need to come face to face with the living God and see ourselves in light of Him. We are weak. We are helpless. We are broken. Apart from our gracious God, we are utterly destitute. We need Him so desperately. We must learn to abide in and depend upon Him.
Are you like Jacob, striving to find happiness and fulfillment? Or have you come face to face with your own brokenness and destitution? Have you learned to depend upon God and embrace your limp?