Tuesday, December 4, 2012

He Went Walking, Leaping and Praising God...

I'm now in the book of Acts in my daily devotions. Some of my favorite stories of all time. One, in chapter 3 of Acts, is about a lame man being healed.

Peter and John were "as usual" on their way to the temple to pray. In their "as usual" routine of the every day, they saw a man in need. How often do we overlook the needy in our "as usual" routines of the day?

The lame man had been lame from birth. Every day, he was carried to this particular entrance into the temple area. He was carried there not to get well but to beg for his daily bread. He was "ptocheia" poor or what we would call in "absolute poverty." All his hope depended on the mercy and kindness of others. He was, in a sense, a true charity case.

When he saw Peter and John entering the temple complex, he called out to them and asked for help. Peter and John stopped, looked intently at him and said, "Look at us..." So he turned to them expecting to receive a gift of money. But Peter said, "I don't have silver of gold, but what I have I give to you. In the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk."

Peter took the lame man by the hand and helped him stand. At once, his feet and ankles became strong. He jumped up, stood and started to walk. He entered the temple complex with them walking, leaping and praising God! And when all the people saw this lame man healed, they were amazed and filled with wonder and awe!

A couple of things really jump out at me in regards to this story (no pun intended). For one, how many years did that man sit by the gate and beg? I assume that there is a good possibility that he had sat there when Jesus passed by. But he was never healed. Is it that Jesus ignored him? Or is it that he didn't ask Jesus for help? Or was it simply that the timing of his healing was really to be when John and Peter walked by? We really can't know the answer to that question. But we do know that when he was healed, in God's timing, he jumped up and went into the temple walking, leaping and praising God!

When is the last time that you and I jumped for joy because of what God has done for us? For me, far too long...

Another thing that strikes me is that Peter and John took time to help. Even though they didn't have a lot of material things to share with the lame beggar, they had time and they had a message of hope in Jesus Christ. I often cringe and even try to look the other way when coming in contact with a person in need. The truth is no matter what we have in our pockets, we can always share a bit of time, a message of hope or even a listening ear to those in need. How much does it cost to stop, listen and pray for or with those in need?

When we allow God or join God in working in His ways, we get to experience what Peter and John did that day. We get to see those freed of their needs walking and leaping and praising God. And, we get to see other who witness God's working be amazed and filled with awe and wonder.

I don't know about you, but I desire to see God do amazing things. I also hope it moves me to walk, leap and praise Him as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment