God can use the broken...

24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
27 The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered.
28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."
29 Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
Genesis Chapter 32

Jacob was pretty satisfied with himself. I mean, he'd literally stolen Esau's birthright, and though at first things looked grim with Laban, eventually he got two wives, two beautiful wives out of the deal. Those wives had children, and soon his family was more of a rolling army, than a nuclear unit. He was wealthy and happy, and for a man of his age, in impeccable shape. All that working in the pastures for Laban had given him a strong figure. He was a man's man and God's anointing rode with him, until God decided to take Jacob's pride head on. See, I believe that Jacob, for lack of a better term had "gotten to big for his britches." He'd forgotten that this wasn't about him, and he needed a reminder. So, God literally takes Jacob on in a wrestling match, and in His infinite mercy, does not in fact crush him but only touches him at the hip. Jacob limps from then on, a constant reminder that his story is not all about him. It's God's strength he must rely on, and not his own.

One thing that absolutely fascinates me about God is his eagerness and preference in using the weak and broken to carry out His will. There's a whole long laundry list of weak and broken people in Jesus' lineage and in His ministry. David was a murderer and adulterer, Rahab was a harlot, Tamar was a hooker, Ruth was a foreigner and a widow, Matthew was a tax collector, Paul was a murder of believers, Peter was a fishermen...can you see where I am going here? God delights in the people that the world believes are "nobodies."

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

About five years ago, I was broken. You have to know something about me though before I continue on. I was born to sing. With every fiber of my being I sang. My mother claims it started in an opera concert she went to when she was pregnant. She said I literally kicked and danced the whole night long. I was born to do this and I was successful. I won numerous awards and eventually my head, like Jacobs, got a bit too big. Suddenly life became about me. I relished in praise and become hotheaded to advice and criticism. In Christianese, my heart had become hard. My first year of college studying performance, God broke me. I had vocal nodules and to them my voice became unusable. It's also the time where I realized I need God, and so at 19 I gave my life to him.

For years I lamented, alternating between blaming God and blaming Satan. But it was His mercy that took my voice for those years. I couldn't hear His voice above the praise and acclamations I was giving myself. Something had to give. But I couldn't see His mercy yet. I resigned myself to a life of weakness, of being "unusable."

Tonight, at a ministry event, I finally decided that God didn't mind questions and so I was frank. I sat down and asked Him why my voice was gone, and if I'd ever get it back. Suddenly I heard that familiar still and small voice say "It was for you I broke it. I like to use the broken remember?" I sat amazed but unsure. "Can you still use my voice?" And I'm not sure if God uses this word but I swear He retorted, "DUH!" and then, "You were born a singer. That's who you are, and I can use you still."

In a world where God is often touted as "dead", His power shows out of the weak. When someone who has no credentials to do what he's doing, suddenly accomplishes, it amazes the world and it points everyone back to God. In a world where status is worshipped, God uses the lowly to accomplish the mighty works He has in store. That's my kind of God. That's just the way He rolls.


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