Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Feeling left out

Today I'm beginning to feel a lot better, but still in need of rest and pain relief. I'm also aware that the world is moving on quite well without me. A step away from the pace makes me aware that I'm not as necessary as I would like, but that is life. Everything continues on just fine whether I'm involved or not. It's a strange realization that we aren't necessary for the world to function. It does quite a number on our egos, but it's true that with just a few adjustments all will continue on whether you or I are here or not.
Today I'm reading a very interesting story in Acts 3. This guy was probably thought of as the ultimate "unnecessary individual." He knew from an early age that he was a burden on society, and as you read the story I want to share some other things about him that will make your world seem great, no matter how hard it looks today. Here's his story-
Act 3:1- One day at three o'clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, "Look here." He looked up, expecting to get something from them. Peter said, "I don't have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!" He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked. The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple's Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing what they were seeing.
The man threw his arms around Peter and John, ecstatic. All the people ran up to where they were at Solomon's Porch to see it for themselves.

This man was born lame. In the Jewish society of the day he was considered a sinner. He was so handicapped that others brought him to the gate of the temple each day to beg. He made his living asking for money from others. He watched them as they entered the temple, day by day. He had never been in the temple, the law forbade it, but he watched the flow of people coming and going daily and he begged for money. He saw Jesus enter the temple a number of times. He watched as the merchants scattered when Jesus made the whip and drove them out. I'm sure that was an entertaining day in a boring life. He watched as the blind man, maybe a beggar friend of earlier days, came into the temple to tell them how Jesus had healed him. He watched, he begged, but was always left out.
Then the worse possible thing happened....Jesus, his only hope for healing, was crucified. I wonder why Jesus never stopped to heal this man, but it's obvious from the story that Jesus had decided to leave this one for Peter after the resurrection. If you could visit with this guy after Calvary he had to be thinking that all hope was gone. He was doomed to be a broken, handicapped beggar for the rest of his life. He had missed his only chance....then comes Peter into the temple and this man's life is changed forever.
Most of us feel that we have been left out of God's care at one time or another. We may feel that he has passed us by, that he didn't notice our need, that he took care of everyone else....but I was left out. Nothing could be further from the truth.
God has a wonderful plan for each of our lives and each of our lives is designed to give him glory. We have been created for his special purpose, and in that purpose is his timing. He has a plan that will bless us and glorify him, but you may feel, as you wait for him, that you missed it....that you were left out. You may feel that all hope is gone.
You need to know that God has designed your life to glorify him if you will let him do so. It means trust, rest, peace in him and his timing, knowing you haven't "missed it," knowing that he didn't forget you. He's madly in love with each one of us, and has our very best in mind because if we have trusted Christ as our savior we are his precious children. We are the dear ones he died to save. He loves us. So relax. Rest. Trust. Don't worry, you aren't left out of his wonderful love and care.


Anonymous said...

Well the mush head is gone and The Preacherman is back! You may have been a little down for a while, and the motor cycle is still parked, but the typing fingers are back conected to a good head. Even the scraps at your table are good. Mike McM

Brother John said...

Well said, my friend. Get better soon! We're all praying for you here in the office. It's sad to walk by a dark office every day.

Schweers' Mom said...

I agree with Brother John - it was weird walking past your dark office last Wed.! I miss poking my head in to ask a deep, theological question before my Bible study. And I miss you walking past my class to clarify important issues to us like...oooh, let's say...Free Will and Predestination???? (I will never forget your "Y" explanation and have used it many times since!) So you might be resting, but the things you have taught many of us are being used even while you get some shut-eye. Imagine that!

Heidi Day said...

This is really good. I am so encouraged today! Oftentimes, I struggle with feeling "small". It seems to dog me, and this reminds me that I'm somebody special to my Father.

Karen said...

It's my belief that your "horizontal" pulpit has greater depth!
You have reminded me that He does love even me.
Hey, I'm working close to your home now, and when I pass your street daily, I'm praying for you!
Thanks for the reminder of His love.