- Genesis 32:31 (NKJV) Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.
From my vantage point, one of the most bitter and sad tasks in life is when a parent is called upon to bury one of their own children—that is a sad, sad day. I’ve stood by the side of two families these last few days as they had that solemn responsibility.
I’ll not broadcast their pain to the world; but you know who you are and I offer my deepest condolences and most fervent prayers.
But here is a lesson for us all. The backdrop in both deaths was two young adults that were deeply loved and who had great potential and ability. However, in both cases (to use a sport’s analogy) they did life “playing hurt”.
Their struggles reminded me of an important truth. You’ll not hear the success and self-improvement gurus talking about it, but personal experience and 35+ years of being a pastor has taught me that there will be some things in life that we will not conquer.
Jacob learned this. Even after a pivotal encounter with God he still came away from it crippled. He walked with a limp for the rest of his life. It was God’s way of reminding him that no matter how successful and saintly we may become—while in this life, we will always have brokenness in our lives.
Christians, for the most part are not runners; we’re seldom world champions; and very, very few of us deserve the moniker of “saint.” If the truth be known what we’re best at is “limping”—always in need of God’s mercy and grace and the mercy and grace of each other.
As a pastor, a part of my job is to faithfully preach the Standard, to raise the bar on the cost of discipleship and call God’s people to a higher accountability. Yes, Jesus gives his shepherds a “rod”. However, He also gives his shepherds a staff; a staff to rescue and help the weak and crippled.
And as I look back over my life and ministry I’ve learned that most often it is the staff that is needed. Even at our best we still limp. Sometimes the most courageous thing a person can do is get up another day. Most often we are called upon to fight the good fight knowing the victory may not come until we enter the portals of Heaven.
Yes, sometimes the best we can do is simply to cope.
Dear friend, fight on. Remember, in the end, it will be Jesus’ victory—not yours that will get you through and into Heaven.
In the midst of the struggles of life, may God’s peace and strength give you hope and help.
Peace to all…and especially to those dear parents that have lost a child in this life.