Jacob was nearing the end of his life and he was blessing each of his 12 sons. He seemed to base his blessings on the way his sons lived their lives. They would reap what they had sown, and so would their descendants after them for years to come.
I love the blessing that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Joseph had faced a lot of hardship–being thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his own brothers. Then he was falsely accused of a sin he did not commit and was tossed into prison. Finally, he was put second in command of Egypt.
This is what Jacob said of Joseph:
“But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above.” Genesis 49:24-25
How did Joseph keep a steady bow in the midst of such hardship?
Another hand held the bow of Joseph’s life.
The hand of the Mighty One of Jacob.
I often feel like my bow is anything but steady. My bow is more like a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, twists and turns, even an occasional back flip.
I have been pondering this phrase, “his strong arms stayed limber.”
We don’t usually think of strength being in the same category as limber, but I believe it’s a perfect fit.
Limber means moveable, flexible, capable of being shaped.
Do you see it?
True strength is found in surrender.
We have to let go and completely depend on God. That is what He wants. We have to let God have control of our lives. We allow the Lord to wrap His strong arms around ours and let Him take control of our bow. We let Him aim it where He wants it to go.
See, we don’t have to have it all together. We just need to let Him hold us together. He doesn’t just want to give us strength, He wants to BE our strength. God doesn’t just want to give us the answers, He wants to BE our answer.
Surrender is realizing that in and of ourselves, we are weak, fallible, broken. We miss the mark by a long shot.
We are nothing apart from God.
And we desperately need to depend on God for everything.
Our bows are only steady and our arms are only strong when we are completely in the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, the Almighty!