31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. 

32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.

Jacob had wrestled with the Lord, and he had prevailed, but that didn’t mean he came off without injury. He moved on from the fight, but with a limp. At one point or another we all have to similarly wrestle with God in our path of spiritual growth. It might be because our sense of reality is challenged by the truth, or that God is removing barnacles from our heart that don’t want to let go. And when those wrestles happen, we will certainly find ourselves feeling worn and raw from the struggle.

To be sure, the outcome of these spiritual strivings is unquestionably good. We might have gained a truer view of the world, or a nobler perspective of our own self, or had our wounds dressed and healed. But alongside of those pleasant effects, we will also be exhausted. We will walk away joyfully, even if with a slight limp.

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