Growing up in a house full of boys, wrestling was a big part of my life. I never had my thigh snapped, but I did break my collar bone on New Year’s Day during my eighth grade year, wrestling with my brother.
But, I still tussle with folks, even as an old man! Only now I’m careful not to break anything! I know my limits.
I find it interesting that my Torah portion is VaYishlakh, where Ya’akov, the namesake of my son, wrestles with someone.
Ya’akov wrestles with the Messenger of יהוה , which is a manifestation of Yeshua, before He finally manifested forever as a human being.
He knows who he is wrestling with. This man is about to become the namesake of Yisra’el. He tells the being with whom he wrestles, “I will not let you go, except that you bless me!” That being is a temporary manifestation of G-d as a Malakh, a Messenger; it is, as I said, Yeshua, manifesting as the Creator in the form of a man. He is a tangible being, APPEARING AS A MAN, wrestling with the man Ya’akov. Ya’akov knows who He is, even though he asks Him to tell him His Name. “I have seen the face of Elohim!”
This is at the culmination of Ya’akov’s life in Shinar, the land of Bavel. He is returning to Be’er Sheva, the land of his fathers, the “Well of the Oath.” And he is seeking the blessing of the Creator. This time, he is not asking for food and raiment as he had twenty years before, but a ‘blessing.’ An ‘increase’ in the supernatural. A greater manifestation of the power of Elohim.
What the Messenger does is beat him; he snaps his sinew on his thigh, causing him to limp for the REST OF HIS LIFE.
Is that the blessing? Is it a blessing to know the WEAKNESS that G-d gave you, in order for you to trust in HIS strength? Isn’t that exactly what the Creator tells Sha’ul when he prays three times that He take his infirmity away? ““My compassion is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in your weakness.” Is it possible that Elohim visited him at this moment, and ‘blessed’ him with such a condition, because Ya’akov finally recognized the Presence of G-d in His life all along? He had just prayed, “I am not worthy of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which You have shown unto your servant…”
So many people are striving to ‘be perfect’, when what hey do not realize is that they should be striving for HIM to make up the difference between our shortcomings and HIS perfection, with HIS perfection.
This acceptance of permanent brokenness, which is memorialized in the diets of observant Jews, is indeed a blessing, because it reminds us of our having seen HIS FACE! ONLY HE can truly ‘break us’. And when He does, it is for OUR BLESSING.