Something that spurs me on in worship is I genuinely believe that my words, my surrender, my praise, even my body language toward the Lord is PERSONAL to Him. I believe He is wants a personal touch from His people, whatever that looks like! But I don’t know if we have anything to give unless we let Him come close enough to touch us first.
I was reading in Genesis this week, seeking out what some of these personal touches from God to man looked like from the beginning, and I read about Jacob.
In Genesis 32, we’re told that Jacob (who is Abraham’s Grandson, blessed with the covenant God gave to Abraham) gets in an all night wrestling match -physically- with God! It’s so physical that Jacob walks away with a limp…and also he earns a new name.
And Jacob was a guy who really needed a new name. He had been quite the trickster in his youth and even as he grew up, he ran into trouble with either tricking people or being tricked by people. He had stolen his brother Esau’s birthright and blessing, lied to his father, tricked his father in law, and finally, just personal interpretation here, I think he was ready to put all that behind him.
I think he was tired of the games, of always trying to make himself come out on top. He decides to take his family and start out fresh and new; he decides to go beg his brother’s forgiveness; and while he is on his way to these events that I think show some maturity, he gets alone with God.
And from this interaction…he walks away with a limp…a physical reminder of being face to face with God.
God’s personal touch can be wounding sometimes, like it was for Jacob, because He’s going to get to the heart of the matter. If you had cancer, you would say: “Cut it out of me, do what you have to do!” What kind of doctor wouldn’t pinpoint the real problem if he knew what it was? God loves us enough to put His finger on stuff…and even wound us as a reminder that we cannot go on the way we were.
Adrenal fatigue and a sleep disorder is my “limp”. These physical limitations and difficulties are a reminder to me that I cannot go back to the motives and methods I used to live my life by. They are a reminder of those years of wrestling with God, of finally seeing His face, and of the soul altering changes He made in me.
When He touches us, there is a chance for a new beginning if we want it. God gave Jacob the name Israel that night. He brought me into His rest and my role as Beloved, and I will never be the same. That was not the direction I thought God was going to take my life! It didn’t seem like “enough”. But His touch, His wounding, overwhelms my soul with humility and praise because I would rather have His fatherly discipline than everything I planned.
Is the limp worth the name? It is to me.