I had a dream last night I was in my car downtown waiting for Audrey to pay a bill. I noticed a beggar outside of the building. I tried not to make eye contact, looked away, and when I turned back he was literally on the hood of my car peering in. I woke up right then, disregarded the dream, and got out of bed. I turned on the computer, made a pot of coffee, and was wondering who won Game 2 last night between the Rockets and Lakers.
On my way to the computer to find out, I felt a gentle nudge to read the Bible. Not taking gentle nudges lightly, I sat down with the Bible. I prayed, with my hand on the book, that the word would speak to me about finding a job, a career, money, etc. One chapter came to mind at the end of the prayer, Acts 3, which was the book I'd been studying for a little while.
I opened up to find "Peter heals the Crippled Beggar". In this chapter of Acts, Peter and John encounter a crippled beggar in front of the temple courts. The beggar, who'd been crippled from birth, was carried out to the steps everyday to beg. He sees Peter and John on their way to afternoon prayer and asks them for money. Peter tells him, "Look at us!" The beggar does. Then Peter says "Silver and Gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Peter takes him by the hand, helps me up, and instantly the man walks, jumps, and praises God. The other temple goers are surprised by this and don't understand how Peter and John could've performed such a miracle.
First of all, I don't know about you, but I have to admit I identify more with the beggar than the disciples here. As much as I want to say I'm pious and am never concerned with personal gain, I often sit at the temple gates, or how about the feet of God, and beg for money, a job, success, and all my troubles to go away when all I really need is to walk with Christ. In fact, without Christ we can't walk and are left begging for other people's scraps. God wants us to be strong in him, not in ourselves. He wants us to have faith in him, to walk in him, and through him we will find that a.) our troubles still exist, but b.) we will be provided for.
I've also been figuratively crippled from birth and have not been able to do life on my own. I simply couldn't. I needed Christ to help me up. Also, the beggar is at the TEMPLE COURTS, not at the BANK COURTS, meaning I'm pretty sure he knew some holy things were going on there. Sure there are a lot of people going in and out of the temple all day, but a beggar can beg anywhere. I know I sure do. So for him to be at the temple, on the outside looking in, is probably important.
Lastly, believing in Christ is not magic. We don't wake up with no worries, we just wake up and know that through faith our lives have been changed. We believe that Christ goes before us on a daily basis. This knowing also doesn't make us robots, blind believers, or lemmings who will jump off a mountain. We are saved, but are still beggars. And we always will be.