The Anonymous Beggar
“Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate where he was put every day to beg…When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money…‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk’” Acts 3:2-6
While everyone else in this story is named, the beggar remains anonymous. I am confident that he has no name because his name can be any one of us. Don’t you know this man dreamed of being healthy and whole? Don’t you know that this man viewed his life with the backdrop of suffering and brokenness? Day after day he laid there watching others pass by…their busyness compared to his brokenness…their normalcy compared to his suffering. What day did he quit asking for healing and start asking for money? How long had it been since he had asked for the thing that he really needed… legs…freedom from frailty…freedom from dependency on man…freedom from captivity?
If we are on planet earth, we are all crippled of something. Have we been crippled from birth like the beggar or did something happen along the way that crippled us? I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t striving for acceptance and approval…my actions begging others for their love. I would pray for things that supported my need for acceptance…alms for the poor…when really I needed new legs. I needed spiritual legs on which to stand, that told me that I am loved apart from what I do…that I am who I am because of what Christ did for me, not what I do for Him. For so many years, I asked for things that were lesser than what I needed. Faithfully, God gave me lasting things instead of fleeting things …spiritual legs that would sprint instead of temporary acceptance that would wane.
What has crippled you in life? What are you praying for that is so much less than what God has in store for you? God is constantly surrounding us with people who can encourage and pray for us in our circumstances. Silver and gold they may not have, but they have something so much more…they have Jesus, and they want to share His name. They may not be able to understand your infirmity, but they understand the Healer. While you may not be able to see your own healing, they do. They believe that in the name of Jesus anything can happen…any brokenness can be made whole... and any suffering can be comforted by Christ.
Our beggar did the one thing that finished the transaction…he believed…rose up on those wobbly legs …and he walked. ‘Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong’ Acts 3:7.
I encourage you this morning to trust, stand up and watch the healing power of God in your infirmity.