Sunday, May 17, 2009

In Reach of Beautiful


Acts 3

1Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered into the temple. He, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, "Look on us." And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, I give thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And leaping up, he stood and walked and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and they knew that it was he that sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

I read this passage yesterday, and I was struck that the temple gate's name was Beautiful. The lame man sat daily, just outside that holy place, begging for a few coins just to get by. From reading this Scripture, we see he received far more than gold or silver, instead to be blessed with complete healing. That man had been unable to walk since birth, so it makes sense that after years of being handicapped, he had lowered expectations. He had come to expect just a little money to live on, even if it meant depending on others. I sometimes wonder if in life, perhaps, based on our life experiences, we limit our outlook and beliefs.

I admit, I found myself with lowered expectations as far as love and marriage. When my parent's 25+ year marriage fell apart when I was a teen, it shook my view of relationships altogether. And many of the guys I met worsened my opinion. The players, immature brats and self-centered jerks... I dated quite a few. Even though I only had three boyfriends before I began dating Keiron, I went to the movies, museums, dinner and the theatre with quite a few less than stellar guys. Some were nice, though, and we remain cool today. Others? Lord, have mercy! The saddest part in my misadventures in dating though, was my dim view of love. I often felt exasperated after the latest "fake" guy got the heave-ho (I should explain now that my brother and sister referred to many of the pre-Keiron guys as "fake" because they knew they wouldn't last; I hadn't found the real thing). By the time I went on my first date with K, I had settled into a nonchalant mindset. I figured "Hey, if I don't end up with someone great, I'll at least get someone good- or good enough."

I'm so thankful that even though I was willing to just get by in relationships, God had the best for me. While I spent years allowing my negative experiences to dictate what I thought I deserved, after just one date, I knew K was someone far better. But you know, I'm thankful for having gone through the "fake" ones. I value, cherish and love my real one so much more.

So I ask you, is there something in your life that you have settled for? Maybe it's a career goal or about receiving an education. Maybe you hold in your heart a secret dream, but as time has passed, you've found yourself letting your expectations fall, as you wait outside Beautiful. I encourage you to have faith. Not in your own limited hope, but in God and His will, knowing that He has a purpose for You. Beautiful can be reached.

Below is India Arie's song "Beautiful" which quite simply is... beautiful. Listen and enjoy.



Beautiful - India.Arie

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