Sunday, October 14, 2018

Expecting Something

"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." Acts 3:1-5

Uh-oh. Did I leave off at a cliffhanger? Sorry. Read the rest of Acts chapter three if you want to know what Peter does next. ;-)

Today, I'm focusing on the lame man.

Can you picture this man?

Each day he wakes up, and he can't move. Sores and aches probably covered his body as a result of being in the same position every. single. day. He can't take care of that number one need in the morning, so he either has to suffer through the indignity of his caretakers cleaning him or he sits in his own filth. He spends days, hours, and seconds just waiting. Waiting for someone to help him, to move him, to clean him, to speak to him.

Then he's carried through the streets like a spectacle. He's jostled and bumped and dropped. Pitying looks are thrown his way. Scathing comments always find their mark. But the indifference of those around him still stings his heart; try as he might, he's never gotten used to it.

And then he begs. Because that's all he can do: beg. That was the only contribution he can make to his family (if he even had any), to society, to his future. So day in and day out, he sits in front of the Beautiful Gate of the temple, the place where his fellow people go to worship Abba God. The place where many of those same people ignore him.

And some days he wonders if God ignores him, too.

Can you see this man?

As I was reading this chapter, something hit me.

"And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them." Acts 3:5

This man had every reason to feel hopeless. He had every reason not to expect anything for anybody, least of all God.

But he did.

He expected to receive something - anything - from Peter and John.

And he received more than he could imagine from God.

Guys, I don't know what you're going through right now. But I can tell you that I know what it feels like to stop expecting and hoping for something good, or for God to help, bless, or even touch your hurting heart. And our hopelessness is probably justified in some ways. We're broken. We're beaten down. We're hurting. Those tsunamis of heartache keep crashing over us, threatening to down us.

But if that lame man could expect something, than so can I! If he could keep going and hoping day after day despite the thoughts of worthlessness the enemy whispered into his ear, than so can you! And if Abba God could give the lame man so much more than he expected, then He will do the same for us!

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

(This verse literally popped into my mind as I was writing this post. Also, I've got a song recommendation for you guys: "Reckless Love" by Cory Asbury.)

None of us are forgotten. We are dearly loved by our Abba God. So keep expecting. Keep hoping.

Hugs, love, and blessings.

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

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