Whenever I’m out on my run and this song begins to play I can’t help but think of Acts 3.
I’m not sure if Cloverton had these verses in mind when they wrote the song but it’s where my mind goes each time I hear it…right there to the entrance of the Gate called “Beautiful.”
Acts 3: 1-16 is the story of the man who was lame since birth. Everyday of his life he was placed by the Beautiful Gate to beg for money. Everyday, his only goal was to get enough money to survive another day. But, one day, all of that changes when he encounters Peter and John. On that day, he asks them the same question he has asked passing strangers a thousand times before in his life. Can you give me some money?
I love this story in scripture. It’s one of my favorites. It’s not only a great reminder of God’s power at work through others, but it’s also a great reminder of how limited our human perspectives can be and how easy it is to stay trapped in that “this is the only solution” cycle. And because of this, we tend to spend our time dwelling on trying to get answers to the wrong questions. How often do we settle for a temporary fix to our problems when there’s really a much better, long-term solution available?
I love Peter’s answer to the lame man’s questions: “But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have…”
Here’s my extended version of Peter’s response.
Sir, I don’t have a dime to my name, but I do have the power and love of Jesus Christ residing inside me. What you ask for, will leave you in need again tomorrow. What you ask for, won’t last and will keep you stuck in this exact same place. Look at me! Open your eyes! I have been given something better. I have been given something that, if I share it with you today, will change your life in the most profound way ever.
Today, this story reminded of two things:
Sometimes, we are much like the begger. We feel stuck in a seemingly impossible situation and we seek temporary solutions that only perpetuate our stuck-ness. Our eyes can’t see that the gate to something much more beautiful is right there in our midst.
Other times, we have the opportunity to become a Peter to the people God puts on our path. We encounter folks who are crying out for help and instead of receiving the same temporary solution they’ve received a thousand times before, they need to hear the truth. Sir, what you are chasing after, wont get you what your heart is truly and desperately needing. Here, take my hand, let me share that beauty with you today.