Friday, February 3, 2012
Acts 3:10 - A Gate Called Beautiful
Acts 3:10 Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
This man had sat every day at a gate known as Beautiful. Hmm, ironic. Here at the gate Beautiful could be found a poor, lame beggar. This gate had probably become very familiar to him, for it was here that he went to work to get money; it was here he interacted with people; it was here that he spent his life; and it was here where his weakness and need was so evident to everyone including himself. Perhaps the lame man had resigned himself to facing the fact that every day for the rest of his life he would be coming to this gate called Beautiful. But what was so beautiful about it to this man? There probably wasn’t anything beautiful about it to him. On the contrary, perhaps this gate was a cursed symbol of another hopeless day of begging for money due to his inabilities and weakness.
But one day, that all changed. In the name of Jesus Christ he would get strength in his ankles and feet and be able to walk for the first time in his life. All the people would see him, know he was the lame man they had seen all the time begging at the gate, and everyone would be “filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
Now think about the next day. When that man walked by the gate called Beautiful, what do you think he remembered? Perhaps he remembered all the years he spent begging hopelessly there and how now, with the power of Jesus, he was healed. He was now a beautiful, living, joyful testimony of God’s grace. Now, perhaps for the first time in his life, this gate no longer remained a cursed memory of all the days he had spent begging at the gate; it no longer remained just a memory of all his weaknesses and inabilities, but now, those memories were overpowered by the amazing day when he was healed there. Truly, the Beautiful Gate had indeed become beautiful to him as it would serve as a constant reminder of Christ’s strength overcoming his weakness.
So many times in our lives, we are that beggar. Whether it be a dead-end job, a broken marriage, cancer, our weaknesses and inabilities, or whatever else one can imagine, we find ourselves spending a good portion of our lives trapped and hopeless. But in Romans 8:28 it says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” For in time, God is willing to make all things beautiful if we let Him. About two weeks ago, we had visited a church for the first time. As we were in the parking lot leaving, a lady from the congregation who knew that we were from Potter’s Field Ranch, came over to us to say hi. She was so happy for us and wished she had time to hear all of our personal stories. However, even though time was short, she left us with this wisdom: “Whatever it is in your life where you struggle and feel the weakest, know that with God, He can turn that around in your life and that that is the area that may one day be your testimony.” So you see, as we go through these times of weaknesses and inabilities, we need to keep our eyes focused on the one who has all the strength and let Him do what He wills with our trials. Yes, our lives may be a hopeless, miserable mess now; but look around and know this – you are still sitting by a gate called Beautiful.
I will make a list of my weaknesses and struggles and thank God for them. I will ask Him to work in my life to turn my weaknesses into something beautiful as His strength is made perfect in me.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9-10