“I’m so glad you and Eric are a part of Young Adults,” a young woman told me enthusiastically, “We need older people here for wisdom.” I smiled at both the compliment and the reality check. I honestly thought we still fit in the demographics of young adults. True, we’re married. True, we’re starting a family. True, we pay property taxes. And yes, we were the first to wear the trendy 90’s fashion that so many wear today. So maybe that reality check should have hit me a while ago…
Now that I’m in my mid*uhem* 30s, some people would consider me “grown.” People are less likely to mentor me, correct me, or encourage me; I’m guessing this trend won’t change with the coming years. Since I’m grown, I’ve got it all figured out. Right?! Never. Not now, not at 50, not at 65, not at 83. But what do you do when the world tells you otherwise and has moved on to the next thing?
I wonder if the man from Acts 3-4 felt the same way. We don’t know much about him, but what we do know is that from birth, he couldn’t walk, and for his entire life, he was dependent on others to take him to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem where he would beg for alms (Acts 3:1-3). That was how he survived. And we do know his age, 40 (Acts 4:22). During the first century AD in the Roman Empire, 40 was not only way past young adults, it was considered elderly. He was at the end of his life, and between his age and his ability, he would have been easy to overlook by pretty much everyone. Everyone, except for the One who matters most.
Peter and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, enter the scene and go to the Temple to pray. They see this man. They stop. They look him in the eye. They give him dignity. And then they heal him in Jesus’ name (Acts 3:4-10).
For the first time in his life, this man walks. He is made whole.
From healing comes his thankful praise.
From praise comes the crowd’s keen wonder.
From wonder comes the story of Jesus’ love and an invitation to be saved from brokenness as Peter and John explain to the crowd what has just happened to this overlooked, worn out man (Acts 3:11-26).
And the people accept the invitation.
What the world may have considered a throw away, God did not. Though the man was at the end of his life, God was not finished with him. Not only did God bring healing to this man, but through this man’s story, five thousand people came to know Jesus’ love and salvation (Acts 4:4). He who was in the shadows was brought into the light, and he didn’t come into the light alone. Miracle birthed 5,000 more miracles because God wasn’t finished with him yet.
Our age doesn’t determine how God will move in our lives. He is forever forming us and developing us—if we allow it. Just as God promises in Acts 2 that “old(er) men will dream dreams,” there are still many dreams left in us. Many dreams and many miracles, just waiting to unfold.
Movement Step: How is God showing up in your life? If you sense God isn’t there, take a few moments. Pray and ask God to show you how he is working in your life. Pray for God’s movement. Look for the miracles. Dare to dream, whether you are dreaming for the first time or dreaming again. God is never through with us.