I’m a heel-grabber. I’d like to think I’m in remission, but I have lots of setbacks.
I can relate to Jacob.
Jacob came out of the womb grabbing his brother Esau’s heel. Pushing his way through life to be first (Genesis 25:26).
He stole Esau’s birthright with a tempting bowl of soup. He stole his brother’s blessing by pretending to be Esau. Jacob then ran away to live with his uncle Laban, who was quite the deceiver himself. Jacob ended up married to both of Laban’s daughters. For a while he thought he was getting what he wanted, but more relationships were damaged. So Jacob found himself on the run again. Running from Esau. Running from Laban. Running from himself.
Ultimately, he was running from God.
We can’t outrun our problems forever. Our problems eventually catch up with us. “…and you may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
At the brook of Jabbok, we catch up with our notorious heel-grabber. Here Jacob wrestles with God. He’s tired of running. He’s come to the end of the road–the end of his rope–the end of himself. So he reaches out and grabs onto another heel.
This time Jacob grabs hold of the Only One who can truly bless him and he refuses to let go.
At daybreak the angel tells him to let go of him, but Jacob refuses to do it. He wanted God’s blessing. Jacob had been trying to get blessings his entire life in all the wrong ways.
He finally realizes where real blessings come from.
Aren’t we all heel grabbers? Aren’t we all grabbing something or someone we think will fulfill us? Heels come in many shapes and sizes. Money, jobs, hobbies, a spouse, children, friends, ministries, social media, power, popularity, position.
Or maybe we are grabbing the heels of others, pulling them back while pushing ourselves forward!
What if we let go of those heels? What if we, like Jacob, grab hold of God and refuse to let go? What if we boldly say, “I will not let go of you unless you bless me”? What if we grab hold of Him by getting in His Word—reading, meditating, memorizing–living it? What if we resolve to continually seek His face, listen to His voice, and pursue a relationship Him above all else? What if we allow God to penetrate to the depths of our deceptive “heel-grabbing” hearts to break us and convict us like never before?
God touched the socket of Jacob’s hip and Jacob walked with a limp the rest of his life.
Sometimes the greatest blessings are found in greatest breaking. Brokenness can be beautiful when we grab hold of God and He grabs hold of us.
Jacob never looked more like his Lord than when he was limping.
Rick Warren says, “If you want God to bless you and use you greatly, you must be willing to walk with a limp the rest of your life, because God uses weak people.”
When asked what people look like who are closest to God, Joni Eareckson Tada says, “They walk with a limp.”
We are all heel-grabbers! The question is:
Whose heels are we grabbing? The heels or the world or the heels of God?
Lord, help me be a heel-grabber! But let it be Your heel that I grab, hang onto, and never let go! Only You can truly bless me! And I want to want what You have, not what this old world offers me. Only You have shown me the path of life. In Your presence is the fullness of joy, and at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). Help me not to love the world or anything in the world. Help me love You, God. For the world and it’s desires pass away. But the one who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:15-17). Help the cry of my heart be, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” Because the real blessing in life, Lord, is You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.