Monday, May 22, 2017

The Gate of Beautiful

Now a man crippled from birth was being carried…to the temple gate called Beautiful where he was put every day to beg…When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money…Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ…walk.’ He jumped to his feet and began to walk.” Acts 3:1-8.

Here is a story of a man who had become accustomed to his disability. He had accepted the life of limitations and weakness. We can only imagine that at some point his prayers shifted from healing to providing. This passage paints the picture of a man who depended on others to satisfy his needs in his infirmity. No doubt that day after day people would give him a few pieces of money for his plight. But as we all know both money and kindness are extinguishable and unreliable. The cripple was begging for something that could not satisfy…would not last…did not heal. It was not until the interaction with those vessels of God, [Peter and John] that his life was forever changed. He went from dependency on man to dependency on God. He went from begging for something temporal to receiving something permanent. He went from being crippled in his circumstances to being liberated in his life. He begged for something small but God granted him something huge.

This man’s story was my story when my sister was sick with cancer. She was so young and was enjoying a beautiful marriage and sweet little daughter. She became terminally ill and so many people approached the gate of Beautiful…God’s throne room. Every day we all begged for more time…more health…more days. But God had a more beautiful plan for her, a plan where her days would never end…her pain would never return…cancer would be defeated for good. So many times, the things we pray for are less than what God is ready to give. We are invited and encouraged to pray for the desires of our heart, but we must frame our prayers with the wisdom and will of God. We must understand that sometimes we ask for desires that contradict the desires God has for our lives or the lives of others. God intensely loves us and relentlessly acts on our behalf to bring about His best for us. If our prayers are framed with knowing God, knowing His ways and understanding His will we will better understand when prayers are answered in a different way.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us..." Ephesians 3:20.

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