Now Peter and John were going up together to the temple complex at the hour of prayer at three in the afternoon. And a man who was lame from birth was carried there and placed every day at the temple gate called Beautiful, so he could beg from those entering the temple complex. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple complex, he asked for help. Peter, along with John, looked at him intently and said, “Look at us.” So he turned to them, expecting to get something from them. But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. So he jumped up, stood, and started to walk, and he entered the temple complex with them — walking, leaping, and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized that he was the one who used to sit and beg at the Beautiful Gate of the temple complex. So they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him. — Acts 3:1-10
Faith in the name of Jesus changes lives.
As I read Acts 3 this week, I was struck by this passage about a man who’s healed. He’s not only healed, but he becomes strong. He has spent his entire life disabled, begging at the gates of the temple. That’s when Peter and John come across him. It’s after the resurrection of Jesus, and they’re traveling around Jerusalem to preach the Good News.
They find this man, and he turns to them—expecting money, food, or something material. But he receives a gift beyond a small token. He receives complete healing. This man is restored!
I don’t know about you, but when I read that, I get chills.
Peter tells this man, in the name of Jesus, to get up and walk. And there’s an exclamation point at the end of the sentence. This isn’t some passive suggestion that the man stretch out his legs and try taking a gentle stroll. No. This is a command to rise up and boldly walk in full strength.
I know this man’s story firsthand because it’s like my story. I am in the best place mentally, emotionally, and physically than I have been in a long time. Actually, ever. I praise God for that. While, yes, I’ve been in counseling, and I’ve prioritized my health, these are not the reasons for my recovery from my eating disorder. Recovery without Christ is empty. He’s the one who has brought healing into my life.
He’s making me more like Him with each passing day. My biggest prayer as of late is that I would know Him more. That I would love Him more and walk out the calling He’s given me.
Because, as believers in Jesus, we are free, even if we don’t experience the fullness of that freedom on this side of heaven. We get to experience sanctification—being refined and becoming more and more like Jesus with each passing day. We might not have perfect health or happiness here on earth, but we can trust that God is restoring us until we meet Him in heaven.
While I’m in the best place recovery-wise that I’ve ever been, I’ve also been experiencing a lot of digestive stress and discomfort the past few months. I’m working with doctors to find some relief, and it is getting better. The more I shift focus off of myself, the better I actually feel. Intense nausea, acid reflux, bloating, stomach pain—these symptoms all serve as reminders that I cannot control everything, as much as I may try.
Surely you know someone in your life who was diagnosed with an illness out of the blue. It makes no sense. We can’t understand the why. And sometimes we’re not going to. The thing is: God is still faithful. He is still good. God can heal and does heal every single day. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). No matter how much we manipulate, plan, and hyper-organize our lives, we are not in control.
What we are in control of is our response to God’s call.
He has true power and might. He is sovereign. He sees our pain, our suffering, and our frustrations. Guess what? He knows what all of that feels like.
Charles and I been talking a lot lately about how Jesus is both fully God and fully man. We've been reading the books of Mark and John, where Jesus walked on Earth leading up to His death and resurrection. We’re struck by Jesus' utter humanness. He was perfect. He was without sin. He was and IS God.
But He also went through intense pain, hurt, and suffering. He experienced deep loneliness. He was separated from God the Father, and He was abandoned by many of the people He came to save here on earth. They put Him to death, a death He knew was coming. Yet He still loved the and still showed them his might power and grace.
In John 6, Jesus feeds the five thousand. You know the story: He miraculously makes five loaves of bread and two fish enough food to feed five thousand people, plus leftovers!