One day Peter and John were going to the temple to pray when they encountered a man who was unable to walk since birth. He was begging for a few coins and asked the two men to help him. He was probably disappointed with their answer since they didn’t have any silver or gold, but he must have been surprised when Peter told him I have something even better, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth walk.” Acts 3:6 Before the man could even reply Peter reached down and took him by the hand and lifted him up. Instantly he was healed and he started praising God and leaping around. I have MS and one day I fell down and couldn’t get up. I finally crawled to the phone and got in touch with my wife, Ruth, who came home from work and helped me into bed. For over five months I couldn’t walk any distance without stumbling and falling. When the episode finally passed and I could get around again it was one of the happiest times in my life. I can not even imagine what the poor man went through. Every day carried to the gate called Beautiful where his friends left him to beg. Think about how hurt and humiliated this man must have felt. In his heart he must have envied every person who walked by and imagined what it would be like to walk. Then one day the impossible happened the love and power of God fell on him through Peter and John. One minute he was without hope and the next he was restored to health. He could work, earn his keep and the stigma of failure would disappear. He would go from the least respected man in the city to the most talked about all because he reached out his hand.
I decided to write this blog because for sixteen years I walked away from God. I will tell you more about that in future blogs, but let me say, I am surprised how easy it was to forget God’s plans for my life. But, stories like the one about the beggar at the gate called Beautiful touched my heart and I’ve started my journey again. God’s love and compassion reached down into the lame man’s life and changed it. He hadn’t repented, asked for forgiveness, confessed his sins, done a dozen Bible studies or been baptized. Instead, with his head down and his hand out, God’s grace touched him and his life would never be the same. This blog is not about getting you to go back to church or all the other stuff that religion seems to thrive on. I just want you to know that there’s hope for all of us discouraged Christians. Remember 0ur past never define us. In your struggles, hurt, and pain I just want to say don’t give up and throw in the towel. God still loves you with all His heart and He will never give up on you. My hope is that as you read these blogs over the coming months you will receive reassurance that God’s still there and He still cares and He still heals broken hearts. And while the religious leaders tried to spin the miracle, the beggar danced.