1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6Then 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.” 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. Acts 3:1-9
Often time what we think are good are out of our reach, so we wait, we strategize, we work hard, and we pray, but what we want are still not ours to have. Eventually we might just settle at a stage of equilibrium where we think we are making the most of out of what we have.
Little do we know that there are better options.
For the crippled beggar, to be able to walk was out of his belief system. He had been so used to his own way of survival: begging for money. He couldn’t have imagined a better way to live, because any other option might have been tried and failed for many years already. Who wants to be a beggar if there were better options? To him, the best he could get were money or necessities such as clothes and food.
And we all have encountered a similar situation like that of the beggar: after many trails and errors, we settled. But we weren’t giving up, we just came to believe that this was the best we could have. Any thought of asking for more didn’t even come across our minds anymore. We get used to our busy and tired life. We get used to familiar conflicts with our loved one. We have settled at the current level of achievements. We’d settled at where we live, with the mother language we grew up with, with the kind of people we usually hang around with, and etc.
What we need is maybe closer than we think.
It’s easy to ask for what we want, but miss out on asking for what we truly need. For example, I used to be praying for a dream job, a dream job that allow me to work while meditate on God’s words day and night. I looked afar and formed vague visions of what a dream job should be. Eventually I found out that the answer to my prayer had always been with me in my bedroom: my Apple laptop computer! I was to become a Christian blogger, posting my own spiritual insights on the Web.
God sometime answer my prayer even before I thought of praying about it. But the problem often lies with me, it usually takes me quite a while to recognize God’s answer to my prayer for what it is. God has been waiting for me, instead of me waiting for Him!
Like in the case of the crippled beggar, God is willing to give him the best solution: a total health, but at the time all he could think of was any tangible thing he could get from Peter and John.
How about you? Is it possible that the answer to your prayer has been with you all along?