Yep, doing some reading again tonight. Simply felt compelled to “talk” about a subject that hits home. Again, wasn’t looking for a revelation, yet there it was, alive and life-giving. Tonight’s reading comes from Acts 3. Here you will find a story that involves Peter and John simply going to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the 3’clock prayer service. Can you relate? While on your way to a designed, maybe even routine event, and you find yourself walking smack dab into your purpose for the day? Here we read that the disciples pass by a gate, and not just an ordinary gate, but one named the Beautiful Gate, (wink, wink!) Here they came into contact with a lame man (lame for more than 40 years). This lame man looked up, eagerly anticipating money, and instead, he was able to rise up and walk out, instantly healed and strengthened. The people around him were absolutely astonished, can you image? And then I read this,
Through faith in the name of Jesus, the man was healed – and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes. (Acts 3:16, NLT)
THIS is my story. One might as replace the words “lame man” with Heather Conrad. Through faith, in the name of Jesus, we are healed. I was crippled, my heart that is. I was not walking, by any stretch of the imagination. I was paralyzed. Paralyzed and held captive with thoughts of a performance-based type of love. A philosophy I lived my life by and through. If I wasn’t serving Him, how could it be possible for Him to love me? How can I be justified and seen as righteous? By faith, through grace (Ephesians 2:8 tells me). I came face to face with my crippled condition and had a choice to make. Do I accept that He loves me, not by works or by deeds, but by the simple fact that He calls me His own? Can I accept the fact that while I was sinning, Christ died for me? (Romans 5:8) Or do I reject? Do I forsake understanding in order to accept and receive his gifts of grace by faith? And what exactly is faith? Faith is being certain of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see (Hebrew 11:1). All I can humbly say is if you do, not only will you walk, but you will see, and you will heal. Healing brings freedom, but it often includes pain. I think of running as my real life application. At times, it feels as if the Lord has been doing some off-shore drilling in my heart. He’s pentetrating deeper and deeper to the core of who He is in my life. This drilling is painful. Running is painful. So why go on? Simply put, there’s new life in pain. Life you could have never experienced had you not gone through pain. Pain has an alternative use. Instead of bringing about avoidance, it can bring about amazing endurance. The results are worth it every time. Through the pain, comes release – true, unabashed, life-giving freedom. Becoming free from the entanglement of sin leads to all things true and right.
…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
Do you find yourself in a place in need of healing? You’re not alone. Jesus tells us not to be afraid. He tells us to come, to confess, and to turn to Him for forgiveness. I urge you to recognize this need and talk to Him about it. In talking, ask Him who He is providing as one to share with. He does provide, most often in abundance… IF we ask. Will you ask today? You never know, it might just bring about sight, and the ability to walk. As always… my ears (or eyes) are available. Will you trust today?