Have a seat at the table my friends! I’ve removed the Christmas center piece and its now winter décor that races my table and dining room. Purple lights and silver and purple snowflakes are on my dining room tree. The table has a black and white buffalo plaid scarf masquerading as a table runner down the center. Black chargers sit waiting to cradle a dinner plate and invite table conversation. Join me? Let’s pray…
Father in Heaven, would You open our eyes to see You here in this message? In Jesus name, Amen.
So, we are in a brand-new year and I’ve dragged my same old back pain into 2021. I have had difficulty with my hip slipping out of alignment now and then. I experienced said slipping about six to eight weeks ago. I can usually manipulate it to realign but had been unsuccessful. No matter what twists, bends, counter-pressure, or any other typical maneuvers were simply not working. I tried massaging and hot baths, resting and relaxing, stretching and sitting to try and ease the pain.
I took pain relievers and essential oils. I lay flat and curled up. I implemented hot showers and heating pads, muscle rubs and vibrating massagers. Nothing… was… working!
Then my husband asked the million-dollar question, “Have you called John?”
John is a dear friend who is a physical therapist. He is very skilled at his job and has helped me in the past with this same issue. I sheepishly answered in a low guilty voice, “no”. I hadn’t wanted to admit that I didn’t go to the person who could have helped me when this issue first began weeks ago.
It was New Years eve morning and I sat in my favorite chair with tears brimming in my eyes. For the past couple of days the pain was so bad I could no longer bare it without help. I have been at my husband’s hospital bedside many times when the nurse came in and asked him what his pain level was like. He would answer sometimes with the number five or so and the nurse determined it was a good number to base giving him his next dose of pain medicine. “We don’t want it getting out of control” she would say.
Hearing the question “what’s your pain level?” seemed to echo in my mind and I evaluated my number. “about seven and a half”, I heard myself whisper. It was climbing even as my husband made the call to our friend. He agreed to come out and see if he could help me.
John walked me through all the evaluation tests to see exactly what he was dealing with and the contorting began.
He saw I was out of alignment and began twisting me like a pretzel to get my hip back in. After the third twist, we heard the wanted sound of “pop pop” and I knew it was back in. I felt immediate relief and then a new kind of pain.
My muscles surrounding the hip and up into my back had been so over worked and off kilter for so long that they, in a manner of speaking, went on strike. They were protesting and arguing and just causing me grief. Why oh why did I wait so long to tend to the pain I was having? I could have saved myself this crippling pain and immobility if I had paid attention to what my body was trying to tell me.
I wonder if Jacob could have done the same…
Genesis 32:24-25 “and Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket and Jacobs hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.” (ESV)
Jacob was about to meet up with his brother Esau after many years of separation. Jacob was filled with angst because he had stolen his brothers’ birth right twenty years before and he was certain Esau would be seeking revenge. Jacob sent ahead many gifts and peace offerings to his brother but still struggled with the anxiety of seeing Esau again.
He sent his wives and children ahead across the river and was left alone with his thoughts. A man, who we believe was God Himself in human form, came to Jacob and wrestled with him. This was a participatory wrestling match from both men. God allowed Jacob to wrestle with Him and even win a little. But God touched a Vidal area for mobility on Jacob to let him know that He was still God.
Jacob spent so much time lamenting and stressing about his interaction with Esau that he never even brought the matter to God and asked for council or wisdom. Jacob had done his brother wrong and never really made it right. He didn’t listen to his body that was filled with heartache and pain of the emotional kind and he didn’t take care of the matter causing the pain before it got out of control.
Had Jacob paid attention to his pain, might he have spared himself the wrestling match that now caused him more pain. Sometimes it’s painful to wrestle with God and surrender our will to Him but ultimately, it’s His will that is best.
Sometimes we put ourselves through more pain than we need too and for a longer period of time then is necessary. God will remind us who He is but will allow us to wrestle something out with Him. The problem isn’t the wrestling, it’s when we think we can or should prevail over God.
The wrestling match ended when God touched Jacob’s hip and reminded him who He was. Jacob walked with a limp after that and I believe it was so he could always remember his miraculous encounter with God.
I have to wonder though, if Jacob had first brought his stress and anxiety and misdeeds before God a lot earlier, could he have spared his long-lasting pain? Friends if you are wrestling with something, bring it before the Lord in prayer. Set it before your heavenly Father and ask for His guidance. Don’t cause yourself unnecessary pain and grief by waiting to see if things get better on their own.
My hip is back in place and I’m on the road to recovery but it will be a process. If I had listened to my pain and called on the one who could help me in the beginning, I could have spared myself the added pain and recovery time.
Blessings to you table family and I’d love to hear from you.