Beautiful. How do we find it? Usually, our lives don’t look the way we thought they would. But finding the beauty sets us free to love the life we’ve been given. Indeed, we’re all searching for something called BEAUTIFUL. Whether it is a beautiful life, a beautiful relationship, or maybe a beautiful face, we’re all in a constant pursuit of this thing called beautiful.
Interestingly, Acts 3 recounts a day when Peter and John were on their way to the temple. As usual, they encounter a lame beggar sitting at the gate. This man, he’s there every day; most step right over him without even realizing it. Hoping to be noticed, he sits at the gate waiting on a hand-out.
He doesn’t know it, but today will be different; today will be beautiful.
Today, this man will finally find something beautiful in a life he never wanted. He didn’t ask for this. Neither do we. Inevitably, there are times when life seems to be too much. Often, we’re left feeling stuck; we wish for something more, something different, something beautiful. Longing for things to change, we become complacent. Believing things will never change, we get stuck. What we really want is for someone to see our misery and fix it fast.
At some point, aren’t we all crying out, “Please, see me!”
Instead, Peter stops and implores the man, “Look at me.” And then, essentially says to the beggar, “I ain’t got nothin’ for you, man.” Can’t you just see Peter emptying his pockets as proof and declaring, “I don’t have any coins.” Yet, knowing he’s been given the authority of heaven, Peter doesn’t stop there. He continues to explain that what he does have, he will freely give. Reaching out, Peter gives the beggar what he really wants.
[bctt tweet=”Instead of a hand-out, Peter gives the weary beggar a hand-up saying, “Arise, walk! In the name of Jesus.”” username=”amyelainewrites”]
Something beautiful happened when Peter actually took notice and reached out in love.
Though, he didn’t have what the man was asking for, he did have what the man really needed. Like Peter, we may not have the means to give others what they ask for, but we do have Jesus. And, He has everything they need.
Every day these men would put the lame man at a gate in the temple courtyard.
The gate was called Beautiful Gate. Acts 3:2
As I read this man’s story, I feel a strong connection. Thinking of the shame he must have felt while sitting at the gate stirs up great compassion within me. He went to the same place every day, not to get his favorite coffee, but to beg for his most basic needs. He was lame; handicapped. Yes, he had legs, but they were useless. He was stuck.
Do you ever feel stuck? Sometimes, I do. I feel paralyzed by fear, immobilized by doubt and insecurity.
Meanwhile, we tend to go to the same places every day looking for acceptance, courage, and hope. Unfortunately, what we often find is disappointment and dissatisfaction. Usually, we end up with a stronger need for approval than ever before. Instead, sure we’ve found a cure, we’re actually left wanting still. Without thinking, many of us park ourselves at the gate called beautiful.
Day after day, we sit there thinking and believing that new dress, that relationship, that promotion at work might be the one thing that catapults us into our destiny. Suddenly, we will have arrived! Somehow, we’ll finally get to the place where we feel complete, satisfied, and whole.
However, much like the beggar, the beautiful things we seek act only as a crutch.
We think we’ve discovered what we need, only to find we haven’t found anything life-changing after all. Sadly, we limp away, defeated once again. Stuck yet again, we start thinking it will always be this way. Losing all hope that things could ever change, we lose ability to move forward.
We stay stuck because we’re too afraid to walk into the beautiful unknown.
In Acts 3, the beggar’s healing came immediately. And, with a leap, he stood up and began to walk. He ran straight to the temple “running and leaping and praising God,” and those who saw him were filled with wonder and amazement. Puzzled, they wanted to know how this happened? Peter tells them, “the name of Jesus has strengthened this man” and made him to walk in wholeness, in “perfect health.”
It is Jesus who strengthens us, making us able to walk out our destiny. Setting us free from the places where we were once stuck, He gives us the opportunity to reach out and lift up others along the way. Because the abundant life in Christ fills us with joy, even in the midst of difficulty, we can choose to not stay stuck. We can get up, walk around, and go about our daily lives running and leaping and praising God! In time, others will come to recognize us as those who once sat at the Gate called Beautiful waiting for a hand out. When asked what is going on in our lives, we get to point them to Jesus.
Jesus takes a life we never wanted and makes it into something beautiful.
And, that’s something worth sharing. Bringing hope to the hopeless and shining our light to help bring others out of the darkness makes us radiant. Holy Spirit draws people to the Jesus in us so that we get to share the amazing things He’s done in our lives. Sharing our story brings freedom for others. Today, get up and start walking in wholeness. Arise, in the powerful name of Jesus. Make today different. Make today beautiful. There are so many just waiting to be noticed.
We can choose to get free and learn to see the beautiful even in a life we never wanted!
Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance…So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others, so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon then, and they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.
PRAYER: Lord, we are all searching for something beautiful. Let us see it in You. We want to be free and point others to Your love. Let us be the light the world is looking for today. Please help us lift each other up and take notice of those around us. We’re all broken; we need You to heal our hearts and make us whole. Thank You for the beautiful gift of eternal life through Jesus…He is all we need. When we go searching for what the world calls beautiful, turn our gaze towards You.
© Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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