I wrote this article on Friday 19 October, 162 years to the day when someone yelled “Fire!” as a prank whilst Charles Spurgeon, then aged 22, was preaching to thousands in the Surrey Garden Music Hall. Although Spurgeon tried to calm the panic, 7 people were trampled to death and 28 severely injured. This tragic event had a profound effect on him for the rest of his life as he constantly battled with depression. One writer comments: “From then on, Spurgeon’s heart was never the same. He preached with a limp.”
Such a description perhaps reminds you of Jacob limping following his wrestling ‘match’ with, seemingly, the Lord in Genesis 32. The next day, Jacob is helpless as he meets his estranged brother Esau – he certainly can’t run! He has to rely totally on God – and Esau is (miraculously) so gracious and forgiving.
In different ways each of us may walk with a limp and God allows this, indeed even plans this, so that we learn to depend on Him. Think of Paul and his ‘thorn in the flesh’ – his testimony was “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12v7-10).
Above all, meditate on how the Lord Jesus Himself walked with an awful limp as He carried His cross to that hillside outside the city wall.
Peace and Grace