Scripture: “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 (Beautiful Gate) …Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, the (lame man) asked to receive alms.
And Peter directed his gaze at (the lame man), as did John, and said “Look at us!”
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 happened to him. While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, (were) utterly astounded…” (excerpts from Acts 3:1-11 with a small liberty taken on verse 11a)
Observation: I wondered how prepared Peter and John were that afternoon? Prepared enough, it appears that more astonishment, wonder, amazement, and downright awe was the result…
Analysis: “There they go just a’walking down the street; do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do..” (Manfred Mann)
This is what I am aspiring to as I grow older. I want to be just like John and Peter and the rest of those guys, walking down the street and, “Hullo, what’s this? Huh, I don’t have any spare change but here is what I do have—take my hand and walk in the Name of Jesus.“
It isn’t the Shock and Awe, Sizzle and Flame of seeing a guy jump up where he hasn’t been able to jump before in a long, long, time. It is the renunciation of cowardness and the embrace of faithfulness to pray right there, right now, as the Spirit nudges, prods on me.
What then? Is it the prospect that I stop ant pray or is it that I stop and pray expecting Mr. Joe to jump out of his wheelchair in Publix singing, shouting, and praising God?
Getting my head on straight, If I pray expecting a visible result like Mr. Joe jumping up and he doesn’t; Mr. Joe says “Thank you” for the thought, I can get discouraged and my faith (and faithful courage) goes south—so much so the second time a “Mr. Joe” shows up, I walk on by.
Here is what I have control over: My actions. Who heals? Not me. What does God use? A bonehead like me, repudiating and relinquishing cowardice and fear and trusting Him to do what He pleases.
Boneheads are His instruments of mercy; an Instrument in the Redeemer’s Hands. So I work at stopping and praying, give alms where I can, being fearless instead of fearful—all of this trusting God to perform His will in all things.
Prayer: Father God, when I write these journal entries, You use them to convict my heart. I wrote the above—the above holds me accountable for the words, thoughts, implications, and imperatives You brought on these little electronic bits and bytes.
Make me responsive to Your Word, Lord. Make me responsive to the commentary I write. Let it be, like in Timothy, that I practice these things, I immerse myself in them, so that my progress may be seen. (1 Tim 4:15) AMEN.