Life at the Beautiful Gate! {Acts 3}

1:22 AM

By Lisa Thayer

Miracles happen out of what we have.  I wish I could remember who said this.  I heard it while I was driving more than a year ago and wrote it down on a piece of paper.

I have to admit I regularly struggle with looking at my circumstances and not being able to see beyond them.  Some circumstances are easier to overlook, while others simply overwhelm me. 

I just love how in verses 11-26, Peter is so bold.  I would like to be so bold!  There have been times that I have shared the gospel and the person I’m speaking to simply appears to be deaf.  It is just so heartbreaking to see our Lord rejected. 

“It is not the Church’s business in the world to simply make the present condition more bearable; the task of the Church is to release here on earth the redemptive work of God in Christ.”  (LaSor)

I have been frustrated with how we see thousands of people come to know and trust Christ as we read these chapters, yet as I look around me and few come to believe.  Just like the religious here in the Bible.  It’s a bold move, I’ll admit to trust something we cannot see.  It’s bold to trust in Jesus, especially when you are not willing to read the Bible.  It’s bold because you have to let go of what you keep hearing from this world. 

Let me share a leap of faith.

I have shared several times about my first husband.  It’s always fun to share memories of him because so often God reveals something to me.  Bob had cystic fibrosis and as my sister-in-law reminded me yesterday, Bob had a tenacious desire to live.  CF is a terminal illness and people suffer with respiratory and digestive issues.  Those circumstances eventually lead to death.  When Bob died, he left behind an 8 year old daughter, a 5 year old son, a 3 year old son, and a wife of 13 years.  I was 37 years old.  Bob had always tried to deal with his circumstances.  He would do everything in his power to change the outcome of whatever situation.  I remember when we were in Loyola and he was being wheeled into the operating room, he told me that we was not afraid.  That was probably the biggest shock to me.  Bob was always afraid!  And he was what many people considered a ‘control freak’.  But what happened to him?  What made him not afraid to enter an operating room that could change his circumstances forever?  He was getting a 2nd chance in life.  A new heart and new lungs.  This would change our lives forever.

What happened in the next several hours changed my circumstances forever.  I remember sleeping in the waiting room along with his brother and sister and her husband.  As I sat in that chair, Bob came to me and sat next to me.  I was surprised he was there, since he had recently returned from the operating room and was in his recovery room.  I said to him, “Shouldn’t you go back to your room?”  What was the biggest surprise to me was how Bob looked.  He was very much alive!  And he was at peace.  He was happy!  God had definitely changed his circumstances.

Bob wasn’t afraid to surrender his daughter and two sons and wife to this world.  He wasn’t afraid to let God control what we, who were left behind, would do.  I know he trusted Jesus.  I know he came to a point that the name of Jesus was the most powerful name to him.  One of the last things Bob wanted to see was his little girl receive her first communion.  Just one week before he died he did just that!  He told me how he wanted to be there for that because he knew if she accepted Jesus, she would have all the power she would ever need.

Life as we know it will always give us circumstances.  But the Lord has given us His Word and a community of believers to look to, to help us get through.  God has more to give us than we can expect.  We can be like the lame beggar and simply expect for people to support us in our present circumstances, or we can take Jesus by the hand and get up and walk and praise Him for giving us a life with Him.  

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