3:1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 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; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 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.”
Expectations. For some time now God has been opening my eyes to the power and influence of our expectations. This lame man was expecting some spare change. He believed that was the most he could expect. It's sad when you think about it. He is laying at the Temple. The temple of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God who rescued Israel from bondage, opened the sea and closed it on the pursuing army. The God who made bitter water sweet, rained food from the sky every morning in the desert, brought water from a rock, and preserved their sandals and clothing for forty years. He defended them from attacks and that was just the easy stuff. He turned Abraham into a man of faith. He turned Jacob from an underhanded liar and cheat into an overcomer. He raised the dead through Elijah and Elisha. He raised up Samuel and David out of nowhere. He took Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego safely through the fiery furnace and protected Daniel from a den of lions.
It's true that He doesn't always perform the miracles that make us stand in awe. Sometimes it's because we don't position ourselves to see them. You can't be rescued from a furnace if you refuse to enter it. Sometimes He seems silent because the experience we are going through is necessary either for us, or for someone else or for reasons we may never know until we get Home.
Many of His best men were killed and He never intervened. John the Baptist unceremoniously lost his head to appease the wrath of an adulterous woman.
However none of this should ever permit us to lower our expectations. Just because He can does not mean He will but just because He didn't last time does not mean He won't this time.
I try to picture the scene. The man has accepted being lame as his reality. He has no expectation of more yet I have to believe the thought crosses his mind from time to time; maybe even daily. He sees others walking freely and wonders what it would be like but then reality sets in and he goes back to expecting spare change.
What cripples you? A short temper? Wandering eyes? An uncontrollable appetite? A gossiping tongue? A critical spirit? Moodiness? Lying? Have you accepted your infirmity? Are you expecting nothing will change? Perhaps you frequent the Temple too and hear stories of a Mighty God but have no expectations that He'll visit you with His miracle working power.
I want to encourage you to keep going to Him. His timing is perfect. His love is relentless, and His power is limitless. Dare to expect more. Dare to expect that He sees and knows you and has heard your cries. He will rescue you from whatever is crippling you. Believe that. He has promised it.
"He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it." Phil. 1:6