Alms or Healing?

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’ And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ‘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!’ And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 3:1-10

It is all he ever knew, being carried by others and unable to walk, so it is understandable his daily practice of survival was to beg for alms. But did he ever think he could have more? His whole experience was limited by his infirmity, but one day, God broke in and changed everything. Peter and John shook him awake from his settled lethargy and said ‘we offer you something you haven’t even imagined, and it is available in the name of Jesus!’ I wonder at what Jesus might want to do in and for me today.

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Where do I settle into superficial routines, even in spending time with God, and fail to expect fresh insight, strength and hope? Have loving arms and gospel-propelled feet atrophied due to lack of exercise? What attitudes have become rigid and unforgiving, what paralysis of heart sours my expression and taints my demeanor toward others? Are my words complaining “woe is me” instead of proclaiming “Great is God”? What inspiration of the Spirit fizzles because I do not act on it? Have I slid into sitting and asking for just enough to get by, with no vision for what could be, no pursuit of God in all His power and wisdom, no specific prayer to be healed of selfishness, to be made holy and fully energized by my mighty Savior?

“Jesus! the name that charms our fears, That bids our sorrows cease;                                     ’Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’Tis life, and health, and peace.                                              Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb, Your loosen’d tongues employ;                                     Ye blind, behold your Savior come, And leap, ye lame, for joy.” ~Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

Lord on high and Jehovah Rapha the Healer, may I wholly desire all You have to give. Quicken what is lifeless in me, make strong my limbs of faith, love, and joy, that with all my energy I might walk, leap, live, and serve to praise Your name.

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