They say James’ knees were so callused they looked like a camel’s1. He spent so much time devoted to prayer that his body tangibly showed it. James’ words were proof, though, as much as his knees.
James was one of Jesus’ brothers, and was skeptical of Jesus’ claims. I would’ve been too, if my brother claimed to be God. When James witnessed Jesus’ resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7), everything changed.
James came to be known “James the Just”, because of his exceeding godliness and passion for obedience to God. He wrote to remind believers to walk out their faith, no matter the circumstances. To treat all with the love God asks us to, and to remind us that a faith without works is dead. To seek godliness with whatever means God provides for us, and to watch our tongues lest they bring death instead of life.
His life was an example of the result of constant prayer; his callused knees only part of the testimony.
I wonder what would change if my knees bore the same calluses as James? What would be different in my life? Joy overflowing, filling out the cracks of hardship? Patience to stretch the length of any bed time meltdown? Shalom amidst chaos? Love, love, love?
I am challenging myself to spend time every day in prayer, humbly on my knees.
1 The Reformation Study Bible. General Editor, RC Sproul. Reformation Trust, 2015.