Welcome Home – 40 Day Fast Devotion #7
A Blessed Distraction
Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.
We are creatures of habit. Think about your day: the way you get ready in the morning, the way you brush your teeth, the way you reverse out of your driveway and that left turn you take at the end of your street. To change any of these things feels strange. Have you ever started on your way somewhere and realised you’re going in the completely wrong direction, because your intended route was different to the one you usually take?
In our text today we have a crippled man, in his habit, and Peter and John in theirs. The crippled man was used to sitting by the gate. It was his ‘daily grind’: making a living off others’ spare change, receiving looks of pity and disdain, the man was well acquainted with his habitual life. Peter and John were in a different routine; a routine of prayer and devotion. They were on their way to the regular 3 o’clock prayer meeting in the temple. Then, something took place that would snap both groups out of what was familiar: it is sometimes a distraction from the usual routine that precedes a miracle.
These two followers of Jesus noticed the crippled man, and saw him as a person, not as an annoyance. They took what they had – something of worth much greater than gold or silver – and offered it to this man that he might become truly rich. As the disciples looked straight at him, the beggar knew he was not merely a distraction, but the focus of attention.
I wonder about the opportunities to share my faith, bring life to others and bring healing to hearts if I were attentive to the distractions of life! If I allowed the small delays, the looks of faces, and the meaningful asides to point me directly to where there is need, perhaps there would be more stories of grace and mercy to tell. Often I become so focused on my left-hand turn that I couldn’t turn right even if God had told me in an audible voice to do so!
As we begin another week together, let’s be mindful, prayerful and Spirit-led around the distractions, the inconveniences, the ‘randoms’. There’s nothing wrong with the daily grind, but let us look beyond that which is regular to see what happy surprises God has in store us if we would have eyes to see them.
- what are some of your most ingrained habits?
- What areas of life could you be more open to ‘God-surprises?’
- Think about a time in your life when something that was originally a distraction became a ‘blessing in disguise’. What did you learn about God and his heart for you?