Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. Genesis 33:14 KJV
I love the scene from The Chosen, when Jacob’s sons are digging a well and a neighbor comes over to tell them they probably won’t find any water and then falls into a conversation with Jacob about God. You see no one had ever heard of the God of Israel because Jacob’s name had only recently been changed to Israel. So, the neighbor begins to ask what kind of god Jacob served. First, Jacob begins explaining that God created the universe, that He is invisible and that they do not have a statue of Him anywhere. But as their talk is coming to an end Jacob adds, “Oh yes and He broke my hip!” Now I personally have always found that fact pretty curious. Why would God do that? Maybe the Bible answers that question in this scene from the day after the hip breaking. Jacob had come to meet with his brother Esau and is both astonished and grateful for the mercy he encounters. And when I came to today’s verse I simply thought that Jacob was again dealing in half truth’s when he told his brother to go on ahead. But then I remembered why Jacob had to follow slowly. God had put his hip out of joint and we are told that Jacob walked with a limp because of that for the rest of his life.
Do you feel like God has broken your hip? Does it seem that other people can hurry ahead to do all kinds of exciting things, but your disability holds you back? But just as God did with Jacob, He has not caused us injury to harm us. Instead, God is teaching us to walk softly with the lambs. You see, all his life Jacob had been running. He always did everything he could to get ahead of everyone else. But after Jacob met with God, he lost his ability to run. God wanted Jacob to walk softly with the lambs, and just in case he forgot, he was given a limp. Every step reminded him to go at the pace that God had chosen. Maybe the limp in your life looks different than Jacob’s but when you struggle with that weakness and pain, remember that God has given us every one of His children a limp and each of us some lambs to care for until we finish our journey home.