“Everyone of us must learn something about thriving through uninvited change.”
Kristen Strong from Girl Meets Change
Sunshine bright and warm started our morning. Towels were softly blowing in the breeze. Cushions and pillows on the patio furniture, inviting me to sit a while. I stood in the quiet, face turned up towards the sun for moment or two. Lola, was sunning in her favorite place. Were I to pick an Autumn day dripping perfection, this was it.
Unexpectedly, quickly there was a sudden shifting, the gentle breeze turned to violent wind, within minutes the sky had gone dark and angry, things were blowing about. There was urgency in moving things to dry, safe places. Gathering loose balls, stacking chairs, securing them, gathering pillows and cushions, bringing them in.
How quickly things can change.
“The change is not the end. God’s grace and goodness are.” Kristen Strong from Girl Meets Change
We leave our friends, Peter and John, holding the hand of a lame beggar, now standing on his feet. Jumping and dancing, leaping about with joy, shouting praises to God in the Temple Court.
When we come back, a hush runs through the crowd, astonished and dumfounded, they soon realize this is the lame beggar who lay by the gate begging mercy crumbs his entire life.
Astonishment swept over the crowd, for they were amazed over what had happened to him. Dumfounded over what they were witnessing, the crowd ran over to Peter and John…~Acts 3:10b-11a The Passion Translation
He asks them a question, one I often ask myself:
“Why are you so amazed by this healing?”
Why am I, why are we so amazed by the answered prayer, the healing, the change we have been crying out to God for? Why? Where is my faith?
Peter, no longer timid and ashamed, steps forward with courage and boldness. He answers their question.
And when he answers, he possesses a certain humility, one that was missing not so long ago when he denied Jesus. Peter, boldly proclaiming before the crowd laced with a side of blame, “We did not make this crippled man walk by our own power or authority.”
The God of our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has done this. For he has glorified his Servant Jesus, the one you denied to Pilates’s face when he decided to release him-and YOU(emphasis mine)insisted that he be crucified. YOU rejected the one who is holy and righteous, and instead begged for a murderer to be released…BUT God raised him from the dead, and we stand here as witnesses to the fact. Faith in Jesus’ name that has made the crippled man walk right in front of your eyes! ~Acts 3:13-16 The Passion Translation
Then Peter softens the blow of blame and guilt.
My fellow Jews, I realize that neither you nor your leaders realize the grave mistake you made. ~Acts3:17 The Passion Translation
Peter goes on to preach The Gospel, the simplicity of it; confess, repent, turn to God. Your sins will be washed away. As far as the east is from the west. (Psalms 103:12)
With truth words, anger is stirred, through anger a fissure tears, in creeps the enemy of our hearts, the enemy of our souls, the enemy of our Father God. ~tlm
As Peter drives home truths which drive into hearts, Peter and John are confronted. They are confronted by angry priests, and the temple police. They were furious with them.
Suddenly everything changes.
Peter and John are arrested.
In spite of the uproar, five thousand believed and were added to the church that day. “The change is not the end.”
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I love this book, the concept, the stories, and the cover. The fact that I was invited to be tucked among the pages is an honor.
“If you only have one hour in the day to write, don’t spend it frustrated. Spend it writing.” ~@lisajobaker, #FMFbook
Gifts of Grace