I just finished reading the book of Judges, and I came away from it utterly ashamed of man's sinful nature. So I decided that the book of Acts was the best book to read next. It is always so encouraging and hopeful to see the Holy Spirit work in building the Church knowing that the same part of the Triune God is at work in all believers lives. I read Acts 3, I was encouraged, convicted, and full of thanksgiving for Jesus Christ.
You can read the text here: Acts 3:1-10. I'll just summarize since, sadly, I so often overlook it when people quote Scripture.
It was a normal day for a lame man: being carried to Beautiful Gate outside of the temple to beg for alms. As he was being carried in, Peter and John approach the gate. As was the lame man's source of survival, he asks Peter and John for alms. So use to gazing from one worshiper to another with hopeful anticipation for help, Peter and John have to declare "Look at us" to get his attention. It works, and the man "fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them" (v5). However, it wasn't at all what he expected. What? They have no silver or gold to offer me. But wait, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, you tell me to rise up and walk?!?!?! Sure enough, Peter takes the man by his hand and raises him up. Instantly the lame man's feet and ankles are not only healed, but made strong. So strong that he leaps up and starts "walking and leaping and praising God" (v8). All who were in the temple recognized this once lame beggar whom they walked past at the Beautiful Gate asking for alms. They were filled with wonder and amazement!
I was struck with the realization that the beggar never expected to he healed. He was trying to take care of his current situation of needing to beg to survive. He was oblivious that he could and would be healed -- something much better and a bigger solution than silver and gold.
I was hit with the fact that I was like the beggar: "Anyone, anyone want to give to get us to Costa Rica? Anyone?" Reading this passage, I was convicted that my time and energy recently has been spent looking around for people interested in our ministry rather than asking God to get us there. Sure, He uses people (so far 84 people and 2 churches) but He's the One who provides the means for them to partner. God can work in bigger ways than I could conceive in getting us to the place He clearly has been leading us over these past 2 years. Now I wait in anxious anticipation to see what He will do in the next 6 weeks so we can move to Costa Rica! I'm so thankful for how He has been working these past few months.