Last week, I read a blog entry by a woman whose husband has a bad hip. She and her husband are believing God will heal his hip but trust the Lord if He chooses not to. It was a blessing to hear from someone placing themselves in the hands of the Lord. I would encourage you to read her post and pray for them.
After reading, I left the following comment: “If God chooses not to heal, I think He is choosing to be strong in our weakness. One of the most famous of unhealed hips is Jacob’s. In fact, when he prayed, God injured his healthy hip. After Jacob was weakened by his bad hip, God changed his name to Israel, which means ‘he overcomes with God’ or ‘Prince with God.’ Either way you translate the name it means God’s power manifest in our weakness!”
Not long after hitting the “Post Comment” button, the words started to sink in. It became clear that my comment was more for me than anyone else. My expectation of the Lord is so often opposite of Jacob’s experience. My idea of faith or God’s power would be this: Jacob’s hip gets hurt by someone being used by the devil to attack God’s servant. (Because only the devil causes bad circumstances, right?). Jacob would writhe in pain and pray a beautiful prayer in faith. Suddenly, light would flash behind Jacob, and his hip would be made whole as an orchestra swelled in the background. (Jacob might possibly levitate during the healing, I’m not sure). All levity aside, I would expect something glorious, something Hollywood.
But scripture, as Jacob’s story illustrates, never heard of Hollywood. The Bible just ain’t hip like we’d like it to be. Instead, God’s power can’t fully manifest in Jacob until his healthy hip is put out. Paul had extraordinary revelations of the third heaven followed by a messenger of satan; the Lord refused to take this demonic messenger away so that His power could be perfected in Paul’s weakness (2 Cor. 12:7-9). When he was part of Pharaoh’s houe, Moses wasn’t fit to lead God’s people. After wasting 40 years tending sheep in the desert, he lost all self-confidence; he was a nobody with a stutter (Ex. 4:1, 10-13). Then and only then was he ready to be the instrument of God’s deliverance. Jesus told Peter, “I assure you: When you were young, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go” (John 21:18). In Christ, it is the spiritually young that are strong, self-determining, and capable. Being in Christ’s image, knowing His power inwardly, means outwardly wasting away (2 Cor. 4:16); it means limping rather than hitting your stride.