«Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him— the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the Lord is his name!» (Hosea 12:4, 5).
One of my classmates always bragged about his scars and liked telling the story of how he’d gotten them. Scars are often the source of entertaining tales, but they generally remind us of moments of intense pain or also discomfort.
We don’t know whether the «scar» Jacob was left with after his encounter with the angel was something he frequently talked about, but his limping was surely a daily reminder of his encounter with God.
In The Great Controversy we’re told, «Through humiliation, repentance, and self-surrender, this sinful, erring mortal prevailed with the Majesty of heaven. He had fastened his trembling grasp upon the promises of God, and the heart of Infinite Love could not turn away the sinner’s plea. As an evidence of his triumph and an encouragement to others to imitate his example, his name was changed from one which was a reminder of his sin, to one that commemorated his victory» (ch. 39, p. 617).
Maybe today we need an encounter like Jacob’s, in which without pride or presumption, but rather by trusting fully, we ask Him to stay and bless us.
Your scar today may be due to an illness, the loss of a loved one, betrayal, pride, rejection, deceit, misunderstandings . . . Or, why not, the scars of self-reproach that often make us our own worst enemy.
Whatever the case, let’ s remember that, when we see open wounds and keep wrestling in the midst of pain, Jesus comes, lays His hand on our shoulder and, instead of wounds, sees scars. Instead of remembering our sin, He wants to give us a new name that commemorates that victory.
What if instead of using wounds as an excuse not to move forward, we begin using them as a motor to help us and others reach the end? It’s always interesting to hear the story behind a scar. We generate a space for others to find out about His love.