BY: BRIANNA GOOD
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Acts 3:1-10: One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: The crippled man received something that day beyond anything he had hoped for. When Peter and John walked up, he simply wanted money. It says that when Peter spoke to him, the crippled man looked at him and John “expecting to get something from them.” I can imagine the disappointment he felt when Peter told the man he didn’t have any money for him; however, what followed was so much sweeter than the expected silver and gold. Peter didn’t just heal the crippled man; he gave him life that day. When we look at God expecting from past experiences to receive something, anything, He always exceeds our expectations. God’s gifts to us are so much more marvelous than what we can fathom.
What’s funny about this passage is that I read it on one of my nights in Bolivia. We had been talking about expecting the unexpected that morning in devotional, so it only makes sense for God to show me the passage to end out my day too. I had been to Bolivia before so there were expectations, no matter how much I tried to get past them. But just like the man in this passage, my expectations were completely surpassed. The things He revealed to me, the relationships He developed between me and others on the trip, and the undeniable and inconceivable love He developed inside of me for the kids I interacted with were all completely unexpected.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: I looked at this trip expecting to simply enjoy my time and hoping to get a life-changing lesson out of it like I did last time. Instead, I came away unable to put into words the change I felt. I came away jumping and praising God for what I had seen and felt and still feel almost three weeks later. My family and friends saw in me something different and watched in amazement as I tried to unsuccessfully portray what had happened. The only way to demonstrate what He had done was simply praise (all the while laughing and crying). I had looked upon God with expectations and had gotten something so much more life-changing and beyond words.
PRAYER: Lord, you are the God of the unexpected. Your constant reminders of that are so evident in life. I pray that you continue to perform miracles in the lives of your servants, and that as we look at you expecting to gain the bare minimum to get by in life, you would completely surpass our expectations and give us much more. I pray that because of what you give us, our lives will be changed and we won’t be able to refrain from sharing it with the world–if not with words, then with our actions. Let each day that we live be a day given to you, praising you all the while. I love you, God, more than anything in this world and beyond. It’s because of who you are and what you do in me and through me that I am truly alive. Thank you for your always unpredictable gifts. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I’m simply me. I’m a college student in my third year at Lipscomb University. I work at Petsmart and Belmont Animal Hospital. I’m part of “The Wagner Family.” I try daily to make my life count for the Kingdom.