Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Got a limp?
For some reason, studying God's Word is a struggle for me at times. Usually it's when things get busy or when I am not feeling well, etc. Lately I haven't felt that great physically and even emotionally. Tomorrow I will be 33 weeks pregnant but I feel like I will be 36 instead. There is something about physical pain and feeling uncomfortable that makes your spirit feel very discouraged. It takes everything I've got to get out of bed each morning and get going. I'm not sleeping well, the kids have been sick and Jeremy's work schedule is crazy right now with the Holidays (He works for UPS, need I say more?). I have just felt yucky and I am waiting for the last spurt of energy to kick in where I start cleaning everything. It will happen, it always does but for now, I am lacking energy in every way imaginable. Unfortunately I have allowed this time to interrupt my routine with God and spending time in His Word. This morning I woke up and thought I would try to jump back in despite my physical exhaustion.

It wasn't easy. I struggled. I got online to look up some verses I had read in different translations. I began to think about how much I need to hunger and thirst for God and for His word. So once again I thought of something Rob Bell said in Velvet Elvis. His words make me want to dig deeper and really study the text. Sometimes scripture confuses me or leaves me with a lot of questions. I don't always feel like I understand the text and when I don't, I don't try to understand it. But I need to. I want my Bible to be so worn out from turning pages that I have to tape it together or I have to buy a new one. I don't want to just READ the text, I want to WRESTLE with it.

Here is an excerpt from Velvet Elvis.
Binding and loosing can only be done if communities are willing to wrestle. The ultimate display of our respect for the scared words of God is that we are willing to wade in and struggle with the text-the good parts, the hard to understand parts, the parts we wish weren't there.

The Rabbis even say a specific blessing when they don't understand a portion of the text. When it eludes them, when it makes no sense, they say a word of thanks to God because of the blessing that will be theirs someday. "Thank you God, that at some point in the future, the lights are going to come on for me."

The rabbis have a metaphor for the wrestling with the text: The story of Jacob wrestling the angel in Genesis32. He struggles, and it is exhausting and tiring, and in the end his hip is injured. It hurts. And he walks away limping.

Because when you wrestle with the text, you walk away limping.

And some people have no limp, because they haven't wrestled. But the ones limping have had an experience with the living God.

I think God does know what He is doing with the Bible. But a better question is, do we know what we're doing with the Bible?

And I say, yes, we are binding and loosing and wrestling and limping.

Because God has spoken.


So I wonder, do I walk with a limp? Have I surrounded myself with others that walk with a limp? Do I have a pastor that has a limp? Do I know my Bible well enough to not understand some things or to question God?

You see, we are all allowed to ask "why". Have you ever seen the movie Bruce Almighty? There is a part where God (Morgan Freeman) is explaining things to Bruce (Jim Carrey). God is giving him instructions and Bruce stops him and says, "Can I ask why?" God says, "YES. That's the beauty of it. You can ask why!" Sometimes I find myself not even asking God why. I just accept. But sometimes I believe the limp I can receive by asking WHY could bring me to a deeper understanding.

Recently I have not allowed myself to be in situations where I may get hurt. I've pretty much cut myself off from trying to make new friends. I haven't wanted a limp. I haven't wanted to wrestle. Instead I have chosen to just protect myself. It's no fun being confused and wondering why God allowed you to go through something. But I am realizing that those times that have brought so much pain, have also brought a limp which brought me closer to Jesus.

This morning the Lord answered a huge prayer of mine. I won't share exactly how but He knows how. I talked to a friend of mine that also had a limp. I never knew it. But, the fact that I know she also walks with a limp, helps me to be okay with mine. I'm not quite sure if this is all making sense or if I am connecting the dots very well but today I have decided that I need to thank God for my limp. I need to thank Him for the wrestling that I have been doing. It may not always be the text I wrestle with but maybe His plan or how things have turned out. I've been griping and complaining about my limp for way too long but I need to thank Him for it. For I have truly had an experience with the living God and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

I pray that you will soon have a limp if you don't already. I pray that you won't be afraid to ask God why or that you won't be afraid to ask questions or even get mad. There is so much joy in that journey and I pray that God will surround me with a whole lot of limping men and women. That's what I need!

  posted at 1:58 AM
  7 comments



7 Comments:
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

I know, we should always thank God for the "limp". We do have them, it's whether or not we acknowledge them.
Also, I understand. Now I am going through one of my "hard times" as far as studying God's word. I am 9 weeks pregnant,and exhausted, nauseous, so I understand

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger Stacey said...

Yes, I love this explanation. I used to pretend I was perfect before our Lord, but once I got real with Him, I could really experience intimacy with Him. Acknowledging and embracing our limps doesn't weaken us, it empowers us!
Yes! Thank you for your word today!

 
At 5:06 AM, Blogger Paula said...

You are so true. We are to praise God in all circumstances. It is tough though. Sometimes you think...can it get worse than this...that in itself is a scary thought. One I don't want to voice....you know the story of Job. It can get worse and I don't think any of us want to experience that!

 
At 5:51 AM, Blogger Dee said...

AMEN Sister!!!! This greatly echoes what I stated about my absence on my blog a few days ago! And I fully agree with Stacey - it's easy to pretend to be GOOD, but with a REAL RELATIONSHIP we allow ourselves to be honest and accept and share our failures with Him (not that He wasn't already aware). Part of my reality is that I am not perfect...and those times when I fall away from reading and absorbing the word, I KNOW I can crawl back in to His arms and He will lovingly embrace me. I too am thankful for my limp! :)

Love you girl!

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I have a very dear friend, Bruce Craft, who has given me his testimony and he has publicly given his testimony. He had an affair on his precious wife and almost lost her and his beautiful girls. Long story short -- Bruce came back to God and his marriage was restored. His ministry and his wife's ministry is amazing. One daughter married a young minister and the other is engaged to a minister. So, ministry lives on in that family. When entering into the ministry he had wise counsel from an amazing man who shared with him the story of Jacob's wrestle. Bruce told me this with tears streaming down his face in my salon one day, Bruce said "I've got a limp" but I wrestled. The wise man told him, "Never trust a man without a limp."

Our wrestle is the "pulling down of strongholds".

God is so real. God restores and God heals. I am so thankful that I have a limp. I believe my limp has caused me to be compassionate.

Your limp shows you have fought and you have wrestled. I believe we should keep that mentality alive in our spirits today -- I won't let you go until you bless me!

Wrestle!

I love you
Mom

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Christy said...

How encouraging! This was an awesome word!

 
At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Lela said...

Hey Amanda, WOW! I read another blog the other day that talked of the SAME story from Genesis. I've never understood it, but he explained it and I've been THINKING about it ever since. I left a comment on the other blog saying that I have a limp. I do and I WOULD NOT give it up. Oh, I struggled; at that point, it was the worst time in my life. Now, I consider it one of the sweetest times. God got my attention and has taught me the most amazing things. I'm focusing on Him; I'm focusing on eternity. This life is so short here; Heaven is our home. Your boldness helps keep me focused on it.

 

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