Acts 4:22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
40 Years of Suffering for a Purpose
This story has become one of my favorites in the book of Acts. In chapter 3 we see a lame man from the time of his birth on was carried around. How humiliating. Have you ever been the person that everyone waits on. I don’t know about you but I hate it. I dont want to be the cause of that. But here in the story this man for 40 years was carried around.
For around 40 years he was laid a gate and survived off of others charity. How humbling. We all love gifts but the Bible does teach us a truth. It is way more blessed to give than to receive. This lame man who was carried around ever since he was born has lived off charity. People feeling so bad for you that they give you money because they would hate to be in your circumstances. That is how this man lived.
Then tack on 40 years of people looking at you. 40 years of people trying to avoid you. Not make eye contact with you because they forgot their wallet and had no money to give you. People trying to avoid eye contact because they dont want to be guilted into being shamed to give. It’s that feeling when you go to the store and the kids that sell popcorn or cookies are standing right next to the entrance and exit. I dont know about you but I try to avoid. I dont want to tell them no I cant buy cookies from you. Those kids have to see me going through the cart entrance so I dont have to pass by.
Now I want you to put yourself in this lame man’s situation. You cant walk. If you need to go to the bathroom someone has to carry you. You dont know what it feels like after a good hard day of work. The sense of accomplishment. You have lived off of everyone’s pity. People avoid looking at you. You suffer physically and sometimes worst of all emotionally. Imagine all the questions like that ran through this man’s head. Like why me? Why couldn’t it be someone else? Why couldn’t I have been born into richer family so I wouldn’t have to do this?
If you lived in this world there is no doubt that you have faced some type of sorrow or suffering. And it is during those times that you can often find yourself questioning God. But we all must remember if we are God’s children He has a plan and He takes our suffering and turns it into glory. (Romans 8:18)
And that is what God does in this story. 40 years of suffering served a purpose. 5,000 men heard the gospel and were saved. 40 years of looks, 40 years of always being carried around, and 40 years of pity was redeemed and God made it into a moment in time that more were saved in this event than the day of Pentecost.
Know today that God can take you suffering and turn it in for good. He does that with all His Children.