This post originally appeared in print for the Lincoln Journal as part of a weekly devotional series. http://www.lincolnjournalinc.com
I broke a crayon this week. It was a brand new, perfectly sharpened, royal blue Crayola that was just waiting to be used. I broke it accidentally while cleaning and just placed it back in the box with the others, knowing it could still be used despite the minor flaw. This was not the end of the world (considering we have 157 other crayons in this house), but my toddler made much haste in bringing the brokenness to my attention once she found it.
“Mommy crayon broke! Fix it! Fix it!” She loves to point out imperfections. I can’t blame her; she comes by it honestly. I have an eye for things out of place. But she takes things a step further and insists they be fixed immediately. If a toy isn’t working her response is usually, “Daddy, go to the store and get batteries.” The girl knows what she wants and knows how to get it.
Back to the crayon. She brings it to me in distress, hoping I can put the pieces back together. Without hesitation I say, “We can’t fix those. Some things have to stay broken.” Then I couldn’t help but think of Jacob and his story of wrestling found in Genesis 32.
Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, did not have a good relationship with his twin brother Esau. When we pick up with Jacob’s story in Genesis 32, he is preparing to meet his brother and is fearful Esau will kill him. Jacob cries out to the Lord for help. Instead of audibly answering Jacob, God actually wrestles with him. During this wrestling match God touched Jacob’s hip socket and put his joint out of place. This seems bizarre but hang with me. I want to focus on what happens after the fight. In Genesis 32:31 we read, “The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.”
Jacob was limping.
He would walk with a limp for the remainder of his life on earth.
Jacob appeared broken. He wrestled with God and walked away a bit scathed. His limp served as a reminder of the strength he found in the Lord, not the weakness he found in himself. Just as some crayons must stay broken… Some people stay broken too. May our brokenness point to our great Deliverer, the One in whom our strength is found.