With a limp
“The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip.” — Genesis 32:31
Sheets of poster board left the Dollar Store with me because I was going to announce through Facebook that I had beaten Lymes Disease. Three photos would capture this victory. The first poster would read, “Lymes Disease 0”, the second, “Hagenbuch 1” and the third, the pièce de résistance, would triumph with this: “I won!”
In his office, my Lymes doc and I talked about my wellness, my progress, and my future. Check, check, check. All good. Then we talked about my hip. He mentioned arthritis, saying Lymes Disease attacks your weakest points.
Listen people, I have good hips. Good, I say, except for that one time as a junior in high school when I ran the 400-meter at a meet and at turn four ripped muscle growth off. Off what? Yeap. My hip socket.
The victory posters from Lymes wait for another day, but I won’t be daunted. My character Sky Masterson in GUYS IN DOLLS performed the foxtrot and the rumba a few weeks ago, but I hurt then and often limp now. I see my general medical doctor this Tuesday.
The irony of the hip thing does not escape me because Jacob isn’t the only one who has wrestled with God. In trying to adopt a newborn, five birthmothers have come and gone in my life since the start of 2015, each more painful than the last. The adoption contract has ended. And I’ve been to hell. And Iowa. Literally. More than once. Every prayer to God during these long and troubling months has been pretty? Yeah. Not so much.
Jacob isn’t the only one who has wrestled with God and has walked away with a memory and a limp. You have, too.
What you and I share is not the role of Sky Masterson, the foxtrot, the rumba, or 400-meter tracks. It’s this. Each of us has hurt profoundly. The Real Pain stuff—not the heartbreak of asking for an ice cream cake for your tenth birthday and ending up with a meringue pie that tasted like plastic.
We wrestle with God. Each of us. But unlike Jacob, sometimes we don’t hold on to God.
Jacob did. He sought his blessing and wouldn’t release God until he got it. His hip hurt meant nothing because he got his prize.
When everyone at work on Monday morning asked Jacob why he was limping, I hope he told them everything. Everything. I hope you tell people your everything, too. All of it.
And do not let go of God until you get your blessing. I am holding on. Hold on with me.
PRAYER: Lord, I am not letting You go. Amen.
[The photo with this prep is of Maddi Button, my incredibly talented costar in GUYS AND DOLLS. We are rehearsing the foxtrot with the pit band.]