Have you ever missed what was right in front of you?
I think each of us can identify with that at one level or another. We have all had moments where we are looking for our keys or a specific item of clothing, and we can’t find them anywhere, not realizing they were right in front of us the whole time. Keys and clothing are one thing, but many of us have also allowed this to happen with people. We miss those who are right in front of us.
It is much like every Hallmark Christmas movie ever made. The plot always goes something like this: a lonely individual faces a crisis, someone is there that they don’t really notice – it magically starts to snow – and VOILA! their eyes are opened to what was in front of them the whole time. They kiss, fall in love and everyone has a Merry Christmas.
I am guilty of this.
In Acts 3, we see two disciples of Jesus who were living out Jesus command to them to make disciples and be witnesses to Him (Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8). Peter and John are headed to the temple to pray. This was everyday, ordinary life for them. A man who had been crippled from birth was there at the gate, begging. This was everyday, ordinary for him. But something different happens this day.
It is likely that Peter and John had passed this same man before. In other words, they had potentially passed who was right in front of them. But this day was different. What did they do?
The man wanted money. They didn’t have any. But what I love about this exchange is that even though Peter and John didn’t have what the man was looking for, THEY HAD WHAT HE NEEDED.
As a follower of Jesus, you may not have what everyone is looking for, but you have what they need. Here are a few things that Peter and John did:
Peter and John’s eyes were open. How many days do we find ourselves so busy and so consumed that we fail to even SEE the people who are right in front of us at “our gate”?
Their mouths were ready. They didn’t just SEE, they SPOKE. It is one thing to see a need, it is another to be willing to speak up and point to the solution. Ultimately this man’s greatest need wasn’t money, it was Jesus! And that is what Peter offered.
Peter allowed his hands to get involved. Let there be no mistake here: the power that healed the man was Jesus’ power. But the hand that Jesus used to reach into the situation was Peter’s.
I want to be more intentional about who is sitting at my gate. I realize that this will take intentionality to have my eyes open, my mouth ready and my hands prepared. With that in mind, I am praying a simple prayer each day and I invite you to do the same.
Jesus, help my eyes to be open – to see what you see and not miss the people you have put in front of me. Help my mouth to be ready to speak the right words, understanding that even though I may not have what they are looking for, I have what they need. And help my hands to be prepared to reach, trusting that Your power is more than enough.