Peter said to the crippled beggar, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.”
~Acts 3:6 (NRSV).
It is normal for every single one of us to really doubt what it is of us we can bring to the seat of God, to offer our fellow humanity in Jesus’ name.
The ‘qualified’ or thinking believer will smell a concoction of falsity in that. Is it us bringing what we have, or is it merely about us offering ourselves so God can use us for godly purposes? Certainly the latter appeals more as we consider we have little more to offer God that he doesn’t already have.
Yet, we are the feet and hands of Jesus, or God-in-skin.
Peter’s Paradox – the Beggar’s ‘Eternal’ Windfall
Isn’t it an amazing reality that of all things Peter couldn’t give it was that which met the transient, less needy, need? God’s like that. We get more, much more, than we bargain for in God’s ministry to our souls; deeper does this healing of God go than a material need could ever truly satisfy.
Yet, Peter states it matter-of-factly and simply performs the miracle. He satisfied the beggar’s truest need. What Peter had to give was perfect. Not another gift could ever match it. This gift rocked the eternal world of this crippled beggar.
Sensing Needs and Doing What We Can
If we can, we do the same thing as Peter.
“What... do healing miracles?” I hear you say.
Well, as we consider our powerlessness to produce healing miracles at will—a select ministry; a gift beyond the vast majority—and therefore become downcast, we can also just as easily re-read the passage and recoil over the words, “What I have I give you.”
Stunned for a moment we think... “I can do something.”
Needs in this world are most often framed in the simple space of uncommon kindnesses. Loving patience and less-than-common grace flow through the person in doing what they can, with what they have to give.
Not much, perhaps, but many times what we have on us is just enough. The grace of God’s provision is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). What we have on us is also sufficient for the need right before us, and certainly it’s within our resources to get more if there’s the need of it.
People are never normally asking the world of us. Needs are generally simpler than that.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.