November, 2022 – Faithful Living ~
So Silas and Jude pick me us as they normally do and carry me on the mat to my normal spot…in front of the Beautiful Gate. Golly, I appreciate their friendship. They have been so purposeful and dedicated to take me through the narrow passages of Jerusalem for so long. To be honest, I have been lame since birth and for years, I have been relegated to ask for donations to survive. Rarely do I even look up but I keep clinking my cup hoping for someone to drop in a coin or two. I have been here so long; the people passing into the Temple don’t even notice me anymore.
With my head buried in shame, I listen to the footsteps of those who shuffle though the gate to worship several times a day. There are more people for some reason that come to pray at 3:00 PM. But on this particular afternoon as they gather for prayers, everything changed!
Banging my cup and crying out that my brothers would extend mercy as I beg for money, I hear a voice clearly asking that I look up to see who is speaking to me. This man has a companion and he looks intently at me. With our gazes locked, he utters words that definitely astound me. He says, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Acts 3:6 ESV. Then immediately, this man reaches out his hand to take mine and helps me to stand up on my feet. For the first time in my life, my feet and ankles are strong! Not only that, I can jump and run, too! As I leap for joy, nothing ties me down. I have been loosed from the bonds that held me tight for these many years. “Now I am free! Yes, free indeed!”
Needless to say, I jump into the arms of the one who called out to me. Peter and I and his friend John enter the Temple by the Beautiful Gate! I was never allowed inside, until today. As we walk through and I feel the gate with both hands, and pause to touch the gate with my forehead in gratitude, there is quite a stir.
Everyone who is gathering around Solomon’s colonnade sees me embracing this fellow and his friend whom I have just met…and then, everyone rushes toward us. The commotion is electric! The excitement is contagious! Everyone marvels. They can’t believe it. Neither can I! The entire company is shouting and praising God. We all join in thanking Him for this healing miracle that just took place…in me!
What a remarkable story to be sure, but can anything remotely like this happen today?
The answer is emphatically yes! God incidences are happening every day. Some we can capture with our eyes and maybe feel in our bodies and others can only be experienced with the heart.
What if Joses was not able to be brought to the Beautiful Gate by his friends that day? Would he have been able to receive the call to be healed by Peter through the work of the risen Christ? Certainly not. God never misses an opportunity to make His Name known. The outward expression of an inward healing could not be kept silent. Something ordinary was transformed into something extraordinary.
God is in control of all the sequences and events in our lives. He knows how everything will play out. He has the entire picture of our lives before us. Therefore, as He completely knows and sees all from the beginning and even through the end of the age and beyond…He is able to accomplish far more than we can imagine or comprehend. Sometimes these occurrences have and will occur in our very lives as well.
Maybe you have had circumstances happen to you in your life that for some reason, there is no viable explanation. Events occur that are beyond normal reason or thought. In these cases, might it be possible to simply confess the extravagant goodness of the Lord?
If you are bound right now with a burden or burdens that seem insurmountable, whether they be physical, emotional, or spiritual—press into the One who holds you tightly and never let go.
Jesus will see you through the storms of life and on the other side, maybe you can share with others traveling a similar path and acknowledge how the Lord strengthened and encouraged you. We must always be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have in Christ Jesus.
Pray with confidence and boldness to face these challenges with grace and courage, my brothers and sisters in Christ! Who knows, Jesus just might show up and surprise you!