It is better to walk with a limp in humility before God than to stand whole and proud before man.
Jacob discovered this, too, when he wrestled with God. In this passage of Scripture, Jacob and his family had to cross over the “ford of Jabbok.” Jabbok means “emptying; pouring forth.” I believe the Lord wants to take us all to a place where we make a choice to be emptied and poured out before him. There is no hope in going back – the past is the past. There is only the future, full of new confrontations, but also full of great blessings.
It is in the place of being emptied that Jacob, tired and alone, wrestles with God. Now, he doesn’t win against God, but instead he endures in the fight, overcoming to the end. (And isn’t that exactly who the promises of Christ in the book of Revelation are for – to those who overcome?) It is in the place of emptiness and wrestling that Jacob’s hip is touched, and he is never the same.
I know that many are in the process of being poured out, and you feel empty because you are wrestling with God. However, if you will endure the process, on the other side is the promise. Jacob became Israel in this place, and instead of moving forward in fear, he moved forward in faith with peace that God was for him. God will do the same for you and me. The question we must ask ourselves is, are we willing to persevere, enduring the fight of our lives to be emptied of self, and be the person the Lord declares an overcomer. It’s not something others can do for you – this is between you and God.
Our blessing is not in physical comforts, although God graciously provides them for us. Our blessing lies in having a new name, bestowed by the everlasting God. Even with a new name, Israel still left the place where he was emptied out before the Lord walking with a limp, and so will you. Being poured out comes with a price, but walking with a limp before the Lord is much better than standing whole before men because God tells us that in our weakness, His strength is made perfect, and we can overcome, moving forward, face towards God!
Gen. 32:22-31, “And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford at Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, ‘Let Me go, for the day breaks.’ But he said, ‘I will not let You go unless You bless me!’ So He said to him, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Jacob.’ And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.’ Then Jacob asked, saying, ‘Tell me Your name, I pray.’ And He said, ‘Why is it that you ask about My name?’ And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name Peniel: ‘For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.’ Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.” NKJV