“So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them – walking, leaping, and praising God”Acts 3:8
This man had been lame from birth (Acts 3:2) and he was now forty years old (Acts 4:22). This was his hour in which God would be glorified through him. He had been at the temple gate every day of his adult life enduring this affliction and begging for daily sustenance. Peter, John and even Jesus would have passed him many times before. He could have asked why he had to put up with years of lameness and begging when he could have been healed earlier.
He didn’t think about what might have been or accuse God of being unfair. He had been delivered from his lameness and was now free to rejoice in his new liberty. What a ridiculous sight it would have been if he had returned to his begging clothes and mat to beg again. No longer would he rely on the generosity of others. Now he would be able to work and provide for himself.
We who have received the Lord Jesus Christ have been set free from a much greater affliction, that of sin that binds us under Satan’s power and the inevitable consequence of death. We have no reason to accuse God. It is for this hour that we are here to glorify God and our history has brought us to this hour. Mordecai said to Esther, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
Instead of concerning ourselves about what might have been we can walk with Jesus and leap in faith praising God that we are in His time. The hour of our salvation may now be some time in the past and we have experienced many things that have been either pleasant or unpleasant; but through them the Lord has brought us to this hour. All that is passed in our lives has brought us to this hour for God’s glory. We won’t return to the begging mat of sin but we will do what we could not do before – serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
The lame man did not know that his hour to glorify God had come until it came – and neither will we.
When other people recognised this man walking, leaping and praising God as the one who had been lame they were ready to hear Peter proclaim Christ. This unnamed man who endured forty years of lameness became the opportunity for the Gospel to be proclaimed. His hour came. He is not complaining. He is still praising God.