It’s one thing for life to be difficult for everyone around you. But it’s a more difficult pill to swallow when it seems as though everyone else’s life is in order except for yours. Everyone thinks your city is one of the best places to live in because of the opportunities there. But this isn’t the same story for you. You are getting discouraged because you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. You coach people for interviews and they get jobs easily. However when you go, you get rejected. You have the degrees, and qualifications to do better but it’s as though your life is ugly in the midst of beauty. Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this?
Each time i study Acts 3:1-9, i try to imagine what the life of the lame man was like. I find the story very interesting because of the name of the gate. Why did this man choose to stay near the beautiful gate? As i begin to think deeply into this story, i began to admire the lame man’s courage and persistency.
Verse 3 of that scripture tells us that he was put there daily. The name ‘beautiful’ was a daily reminder of what his life wasn’t. He was daily reminded of the ugliness, pain and chaos that was associated with his situation. He couldn’t walk. Yet he saw people daily walking effortlessly through this beautiful gate. As a human being, i would like to believe a lot must have been going on in his mind. He must have gone through the stages of being hopeful, self pity, anger, and back to the cycle of thought. The bible doesn’t shed light on his thoughts but who knows if he one day thought of saying no to those who carried him there. Maybe he has shown frustration towards his situation but he still persisted and he didn’t stop going there.
Taking a closer look into this story, it looks as though he had settled into how his life was. I won’t blame him really because at this time, the disciples haven’t really started performing a lot of miracles. Actually this is the first healing miracle recorded after pentecost. So even though he was at the gate of the temple where the power of God resided, he didn’t understand this and as such he received nothing. I’m not sure why he didn’t ask to be carried into the temple so he could be prayed for.
He might have heard about the strange thing that happened at the day of pentecost. Maybe he didn’t know who Peter was. So when Peter and John came passing, he didn’t know enough to seize that opportunity for his healing. He asked for what he felt was easier to get – money.
His story is very brief but his actions makes me wonder why he settled for this. Probably he has prayed and he’s tired of praying.
There is a great danger in being comfortable with something that doesn’t align with God’s will and purpose for our lives. There is danger in losing sight of what you need and just accepting anything. There is danger when we lose the drive and passion to keep pushing. When we find ourselves like this, we ask amiss. When God tells us to come boldly before Him and ask anything, we reduce our list because we’ve lost faith in asking.
Have you changed your prayer requests due to delay? Have you substituted your prayer for total healing with ‘i just want to feel better a little bit’? Have you lost faith in the God that does uncommon miracles? Or do you believe that miracles can and do happen for others but not you? Have you disqualified yourself from the list of those who can receive extraordinary encounters from God?
I personally love how this story ended because God’s mercy shone through. People say opportunity comes but once. This statement isn’t always true because God is a God that gives chances. The lame man blew his chance. But God showed him mercy. Instead of getting money, he got perfect healing – something he couldn’t have been able to afford.
I don’t know what it is you are going through. Maybe you can identify with this story. You don’t feel happy even though everyone around you is. Your marriage might seem like the only one that isn’t beautiful like the ones around you. Your life might not be as pretty and exciting and your friends. And maybe you have given up on God because you don’t know why He hasn’t fixed your life yet.
I would love to encourage you to keep faith and hope alive. You might not need to change location because if the lame man had done this, he would have missed his miracle. So before you start buying into the idea that you are in the wrong place, take it to God in prayers. He will direct you on what to do. Be persistent in prayers. And open your heart to receive and obey what the Holy Spirit says to you. It might not happen the same time ad way it’s happening for others. God isn’t a one way person. Don’t lock Him in a box. He will come through for you at the right time.
“…… Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Listen! The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. Isaiah 59:1
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
I pray this encourages you today as you start a new week.