Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.
And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
I must confess that during the last recession I prayed many times for God to deliver our family from the stress and great financial difficulty as our business income dropped in half. While it is certainly not wrong to pray in that way, we sometimes need to be reminded that God wants so much more for our lives than just a financial solution during times of trouble. God did show us how to proceed financially and our business was saved. But in the same way that God gave the lame man more than he thought to ask, God gave Pam and me so much more than just financial delivery. As we earnestly prayed and worked together day and night, God deepened and strengthened our marriage relationship more than we had ever dreamed. We learned that the loss of income was nothing compared to the gain of God’s hand on our marriage. Those were some dark days, but God showed us His immense grace and protection. I would not trade that experience for all the gold in the world.
Charles Dickens once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” and it truly was. However, God gives us “beauty for ashes…the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”. Praise be to God.
In His name,