November 16

Written by Bill Grandi on November 13th, 2023

We all have a story. We all have a past. We all have a present. We all will have a future (although as Doc Brown says in Back to the Future: “Our future hasn’t been written yet.” Doc Brown is right, and he is also wrong.  We don’t know what the future holds. God does. He has written our future. What that all means is a discussion for another day).

I repeat: we all have a story. I’ve been reading each morning from a book entitled Limping with God by Chad Bird. It is a book solely committed to tell the life of Jacob. Jacob’s name means “supplanter, deceiver” and it seems his whole life was one big story on that idea. Many incidences in his life stand out, which would require far more space than I am able to give right now, but two stand out head and shoulders above the others. One was in Genesis 28 where Jacob dreamed of a stairway to heaven (yeah…don’t go there.  🙂 ). The other is in Genesis 32 as he goes to meet Esau and wrestles with God and comes away with a limp.

There is much to learn from diving into that story, but one I read this morning stuck. Mr. Bird writes, “Jacob limped into the future bearing the burdens of his past-burdens that were lightened by the memory of the God who christened him with a new name.” (p. 174).  BTW: that new name was Jacob to Israel.

We all carry scars of our past. Jacob’s (Israel’s) was a limp where his fellow wrestler (God) touched him on his hip because Jacob said he would not let him go unless he blessed him. Thus, the limp.

I have discussed this before: anyone who think becoming a follower of Jesus releases us from a tough time in life is whacked. No where, NO WHERE, does God promise us an easy road. Quite the contrary, what He does promise is that our present and future might be a life of pain from our skirmishes and scars, but one in which we are never left alone.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Pam says:

    Good post, Bill. Dick mentioned in his sermon yesterday that people often say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle. ” That is no where in the Bible. Even Paul admits to feeling overwhelmed by troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:8-10) But he also tells us that it causes us to rely on God not ourselves.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks for the kind words Pam. Dick is absolutely correct. That…and more. I am a firm believer that God is present in the trouble, even if I may not like what is happening.

  2. “God never promised you a rose garden.”
    There will be troubles along life’s journey, no doubt, Bill, but they are bearable because God walks with us. Great reflection!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Martha. I thought about that phrase you used, but I stopped. If someone really thinks about it, roses have thorns and as you say, the troubles (thorns) are bearable because God walks with us.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    Matthew 16:33 speaks to trouble we will have. We live in a world that is currently under the influence of evil. If we are against that evil, we will face challenges, trials, tribulations. You can’t enter a battle an not risk injury… even fatal injury. Thankfully, God is with us. Even in the event of a fatal injury, God has us in His hands to carry us through those trials. Pain, suffering, trials of all kinds… they aren’t fun, but through them, we grow stronger, we grow more dependent on God, we overcome.
    Following Jesus isn’t an easy path, but it is a joy filled path. No other path can guarantee our eternity.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Great points, Ryan, all of them. We need to be prepared for those troubles that will come. And we do that by being dependent on God.

  4. gail says:

    I think about the people that God used for His purpose but yet they had made some serious judgement errors , like Moses, David, Jacob, Paul for example. It teaches us that we are far from perfect, even though it seems like our actions separate us from God, God never gives up on us. When we repent and come back to Him, God can take that humble spirit and utilizes it for His glory. We are never out of reach for God to turn things around in our life. The Bible is full of people’s mistakes and short comings, but it is never the end of their story.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      So very true Gail and you gave some great examples. I’m glad God takes messes and straightens them around.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Oh, that limp! I think any child of God who has sold out to Him and made up their mind to follow Him, regardless, experiences a limp of their own. That kind of dogged determination to not let go of Him until He fills our spiritual hunger will alter us forever.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Well said, Cheryl. “Oh that limp!” Made me chuckle. But the rest of your comment is spot on. We will indeed be altered forever.