The work of Jesus frees us to wrestle honestly with God and walk confidently in his world! – Ryan Paulson
32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh. – Genesis 32:32
Ask anyone about a scar and there’s bound to be a startling, horrific or humorous tale. Even if it’s not an epic story, scars are memory triggers because they remind us of moments where we were once wounded or where paths changed. Every once in a while, we may sit back and notice these scars begin to itch, or perhaps we happen to run our fingers over them, and recall how they came to be. Every scar tells a story.
The Apostle Paul carried a scar – a thorn in his flesh – as he called it. When He asked God to remove it, God refused. You see, God often gives his people physical symbols to trigger their memories. God asks the Israelites to set up monuments, memorials, festivals and circumcision. Later, God invites believers to participate in the physical symbols of baptism and communion. Even Jesus keeps his scars as a mark of his sacrifice and uses them to authenticate what happened during his darkest hour.
Jacob comes away from his encounter with God changed. He walks out of his struggle with a scar – a limp. We, too, carry marks of our past and as we run this journey, each scar becomes a part of the story. As Steffany Gretzinger puts it, “And oh as you run, what hindered love will only become part of the story.” Listen to her song, “Out of Hiding” and thank God for the scars you carry as a part of God’s story in your life.
“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,
for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself,
there was given me a thorn in the flesh,
a messenger of Satan to torment me
to keep me from exalting myself!
Concerning this I implored the Lord three times
that it might leave me. And He has said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
— 2 Corinthians 12:7–9
By Yvonne Biel