"One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-at three in the afternoon. Now a crippled man from birth was being carried to the temple gate 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. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said " Look at us!" So the man gave them attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said,"Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. "
A first glance at this story one would think it is a great story with a wonderful happy ending. Look deeper though. First let me say, there is something wonderful here. A man was healed and can walk through a miracle due to the faith of the apostles. Now look closer. This man, the beggar was brought to the temple every day by his friends. The temple... A place where you think he or someone would have thought "Hey lets have some faith to pray for this man and over this man and believe he can be healed." But instead he sat there everyday. He sat and asked for money. He asked for things that had no bearing on his life really. Yeah, money gets us things we want, but if he wanted those things so bad then why didn't he ask for those or for a way to get them. I mean it says he did expect something when Peter and John called him to look up at them. He had some type of expectation sitting there. It is very apparent though that he didn't set that expectation for his fellow man or himself high enough though. His friends could take him to the temple but they couldn't make him ask for the things he really needed.
When I read this story it made me think. Do I set my expectations high enough? Do I believe i can be healed and do I ask for it instead of depending on others to do it and other things for me. I received an email today that had this comment in it "I believe ... that our background and circusmstances may have influenced who we are, but, we are responsible for who we become." The beggar was crippled from birth. He didn't know anything different from that but he had seen all those around him walking so I am sure he may have wondered what it would be like. He may have had some self pity, but it never gives us an excuse to set the bar low. It never gives us an excuse to not engage in life. There are things that happen to all of us that take things away from us or hurt us but the circumstances of life can't be used as excuses to set life out if we are going to have the life God truly intended us to have. We must make a choice to set the expectations high for others and ourselves.