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February 20, 2014

Walking with Limps

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Some days I want to throw in the towel. Not because I am tired of my life but because I am tired of my limps.

I am tired of the things that hang me up from my past. Tired of wrestling with the same old memories, the same old wounds, the same old words. I am tired of tripping on the same old shoelaces of my weaknesses and making those around me trip as well.

In the deepest part of my heart, I want to be big for God, bold for God, consecrated to God, do great things for God, but most days I can’t seem to shake the thought that I will always be stuck in the same old ruts because He only uses people who walk without limps.

So when I read this line from Ann Voskamp’s blog A Holy Experience, that my friend, Melissa, sent me, it stopped me long enough to pick up my proverbial towel and continue trudging on:

“Do whatever makes you a God-wrestler, that makes you push and press into Him, till He wrests your hip socket and you never walk the same. There are swaggers and there are talkers and there are pundits and cynics and megaphones, but there are annals that bear blatant testimony: The real leaders only limp….Never trust a leader who doesn’t limp. The Limpers lead you lower. Limp into service and prayer and limp under that cross you carry and you walk as the greatest.”

Never trust a leader who doesn’t limp…if that’s the case, then you can trust me. Truly. I have more wrenched more sockets from wrestling with the Lord than Jacob on his worst day. But if I will stop viewing my limps as things that keep me from greatness and start viewing them as the only things that press me in to true greatness, then perhaps I can learn to live with my limps.

For if the Kingdom of God was a classroom, the first and foremost rule would be: To become greater, you must go lower. Limp slower. Grow lesser. In fact, the Teacher Himself said it in Luke 9:23-24: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”

What are your limps? Are they from your past? Do you feel some days that you will never be able to rise above its paralysis or pain? Never be able to overcome the un-dones or the re-dos? Never be able to shake off your sin or the sin of others?

Are your limps from your present? From fears you are facing, battles you are fighting, relationships you are fleeing? Are they from the races you are running and far too many miles logged on your running shoes?

My limps come from my past, they come from my present, and they come from fears of never measuring up in my future. But if my limps are the very things that make me lean on Jesus and look like Jesus, let go of myself and my pride and my expectations of myself, then maybe I can learn to live with my limps. Or, at the very least, not despise them quite so much.

Oh, Lord, let us embrace our limps. Let us embrace the things that make us less in the world’s eyes, in our own eyes, and press us hard into You. Let us go lower to get higher. Let us pick up our crosses, bear up under the weight of humility, and follow You. Because if following You means walking with a limp, then let us limp hard right behind You until we see You Face to face when all of our limps are healed, whole, and we made new.