“He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.”
~ Acts 3:8
One of my favorite stories of healing in the Bible comes in the Book of Acts, Chapter 3, when Peter, in the name of Jesus, heals the lame beggar at the entrance to the Temple. Acts 3 (NLT)The man was lame from birth and had to be carried and placed at the Temple gate where he would beg from the people going into the Temple.
Along comes Peter and John and, as the beggar did many times every day, he asked them for money. Peter and John did not give him money, but the response they gave the beggar was one that dramatically changed his life. In the name of Jesus, the beggar was healed and with Peter’s help, he stood.
That alone, is a great story, and if it ended there, it would be an awesome miracle! But, the best is yet to come!
The account in Acts goes on to say that as the man stood, his feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. Not only did God heal the man, He strengthened him too!
So, this man, who was lame from birth is now standing. But it gets even better! The beggar who had to be carried his entire life…JUMPED UP and LEAPED! Think about that for a minute!
The older I get, the harder it is for me to stand and walk just getting out of bed in the morning! After only eight hours, my muscles and joints are stiff. Imagine not being able to stand or walk for an entire lifetime and suddenly being able, not only to walk, but also to jump and leap! No wonder the man went on praising God!
The account of this miracle paints such a beautiful picture of the loving, generous God that we serve. We come to Him with our wants, and He says, “No, that may be what you want, but I know what you need, my child, and I will give it to you in abundance!”
I can only imagine that the beggar thought that day was going to be like every other one he had experienced over the years. He was going to be placed in front of the gate and, if he was lucky, he would have a few coins in his possession at the end of the day. I’m sure he never dreamed of how things were going to change for him that day.
All the beggar wanted, and probably prayed for that day, was enough money to get by. The account of this miracle shows us that God wants to give us so much more than what we hope for and ask of Him. Ephesians 3:20 (NLT) In addition to giving us a glimpse of the generous God that we serve, this miracle also inspires me to PRAY BIG!
God wants to be involved in every aspect of our life, including both the minute details and our larger than life dreams! I pray for good parking spots when it’s raining outside. I pray that God limits my phone calls at work on the days when I am not feeling the best. I pray that I don’t get a pimple the day before a big meeting. God is honored when we include Him in every part of our life and when we pray unceasingly. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
The story of the beggar, however, is a great reminder that God wants to bless us in big ways too! It takes BIG FAITH to expect answers to BIG PRAYERS! I challenge you this week, to honor God in this way. You may not get the answer you want but you will always get what you need and so much more.