I first heard this Bible story as a child. It was during a program Southern Baptists have for young girls: Girls in Action (GAs). I adored Girls in Action. We took on projects and learned about missionaries and there I heard the story of Acts 3: Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar.
It goes like this: One day, Peter and John were walking to the temple and passed a crippled man. He was lying outside the temple gate called Beautiful, and every day the man would be carried there to beg from those going to the temple courts. As Peter and John were about to pass through the gate called Beautiful, the crippled man asked them for money. And then Peter got the man's attention and uttered what I believe is one of the most fantastic verses of the New Testament: Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.
And he did. The crippled man was crippled no more. For while he lay at a gate called Beautiful, hoping just to get by... begging to get through another day, God had a plan to heal him. To restore his life.
What a powerful, powerful account of what God is able to do in our lives. And what a powerful account of what God is able to do through our lives, too. So the thought today is twofold: sometimes, on our way and just on the other side of a place called Beautiful, we can be a bit crippled ourselves. Crippled by any number of things: loss, debt, failure, fear, heartbreak. And when we are... when we're down and to the point of begging for someone - anyone - to help, that's often when God's already on His way. (For surely nothing rings louder in God's ears than His childrens' sorrow.) So sit tight. Sit outside that gate and call on Him. He won't pass you by.
And if you're a Christian reading this today and thinking, I'm not crippled. I'm not begging for help, that means YOU are the Peter or John. Notice the men were on their way to pray. As they were seeking Him, He was using them. And, like Peter and John, you may not have money. Or a lot of time. Or a theological degree. But you do have something. God has equipped you with something to advance His kingdom. I realized this week that He equipped me with a lawnmower and an oven. Laughable, right? It's not much. I can't give wads of cash, but I can mow a yard and take someone some dang good cookies... along with the message that they are seen, loved, and desired by Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the God who still heals.
Funny thing. When I was a GA, I always thought we were kind of like Christian Girl Scouts, only without the cookies. And I remember deciding that one day I would be a sort of grown up Christian Girl Scout, only instead of selling cookies I would give them away. A sort of cookie missionary, you understand. I remembered all this Saturday as I rested my fingers on a plate of freshly-baked cookies. Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you....
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, or Fudge Chocolate Chip? Here we come.
Monday Moment is a little devotional to help kick-start your week. See you again next time!