Fanning The Flames Of Faith
Left at The Gate!
Ramona Isler: Posted on Friday, December 18, 2015 1:30 AM
Recently my pastor spoke from Acts 3 about the lame man who was healed.
"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.” Acts 3:1-6
Pastor Darryl's focus what on what Peter and John gave the man when they spoke to him with the authority of Jesus Christ. But I got stuck on verse 2: 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;
There were people who carried this man every single day to the gate of the temple. We have to assume they were his friends because they took him every day. And even if we assume that the man had been doing it for, let's say, 10 years, they would have carried this man to the gate 3,650 times. I think you develop quite a relationship doing that.
But my question is how come these friends never took him inside the temple?
Okay, okay, apparently the lame weren't allowed inside the temple because of some Old Testament stuff (see 2 Samuel 5:8 although David used 'lame and blind to talk about the Jebusites and not actual people with disabilities...) HOWEVER...that's not my point.
Sometimes we have to see that we have friends who will take us to the gate but not all the way into the temple. It would seem that the lame man's friends probably really wanted to take him inside, so that he could give praises to God, but they couldn't. They weren't able to. And we probably have some friends like that too.
They want to take us further, push us further, support us further, but they can't for whatever reason. Maybe they haven't gone as far and don't know the way. Maybe they don't really want you to go as far as you can. Maybe their sole purpose in this life is to simply bring you to the gate and leave you there. They leave you there so you can meet your own Peter and John, saints of God who simply tell you with authority to get up and go inside on your own.
I've been thinking a lot about friendships, and relationships, lately, how strong they are, what they endure, and how long they last. And I'm starting to see those who could only bring me to the gate and those who were waiting for me when I got there. And truth be told I'm completely and utterly grateful for all of them. There hasn't been one relationship in my life that hasn't taught me a lifetime of lessons; some good and some bad. But I am wiser all the same.
My relationship with my ex-husband is one that I thought would end after the divorce, but it hasn't. We are truly friends and we really will last 'until death do us part', just not as man and wife. And that's okay.
I have see-you-every-now-and-again-friends, I-like-your-status-on-Facebook friends, hey-we met-on-Twitter-but-you-are-cool friends, see-you-at-church friends, ride-or-die friends, and I-would-give-you-my-last-dollar friends. I'm happy for each and every one. Not all can bring me to the gate. Some don't even know there is a gate! But each one is a part of my journey towards it and through it. And I consider myself truly blessed.
The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has many friends. Proverbs 14:20