Genesis 32:31 NLT
'The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip.'
In his book, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Bantam Doubleday Dell), Thomas Merton wrote these words, “Sunrise is an event that calls forth solemn music in the very depths of man’s nature, as if one’s whole being had to attune itself to the cosmos and praise God for the new day…”
I, like Merton, and in some ways inspired by him, seek to rise early enough to observe the dawn. I love sitting surrounded by the last darkness of the night and slowly experience the sky filling with light as the sun rises above the horizon. It is for me a sacramental moment, a Eucharist of sight and sound, as I celebrate with all of nature the return of light and the dissipation of darkness that cannot withstand its arrival, much as an incoming tide slowly consumes the beach before it.
Daybreak is a symbol of Christ’s faithfulness. It breaks the hold of night and brings with it a fresh wave of hope. No longer constrained by night’s shadows, light brings both perspective and clarity. So here with Jacob, wrestling through the night, daybreak brings clarity and a remembrance from his fight with God in the shape of a limp.
Jacob dealt with his deepest fears through his fight with God. Finding revelation is often the toughest part of walking the way of faith. How am I to find my way forward when so much appears stacked against me? In whom or in what can I place my hope? It can only be God and the way forward may mean a season in the dark night terrors and little clarity. Yet the dawn will break, although I may emerge a very different person into the daylight. I walk forward aware that I now have a limp, I have wrestled with God, I have gazed upon and embraced my destiny, and discover again the warmth of God’s love and a fresh clarity of faith.