So the man (the lame man at the temple gate) gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. (Acts 3:5-8a)
As a physical therapist, I know that weight-bearing strengthens our muscles and bones. Babies must bear weight on their elbows and knees before they have the strength to pull themselves up to walk. I have helped many people bear weight on their arms and legs by helping them stand in the parallel bars when they couldn’t do it alone. But when the weak don’t try to get better, I can’t help them.
Peter assisted the lame man up, not needing to lift him because he already had strength in his arms, hips, and knees. As Peter helped him bear weight on his feet and ankles, by the power of the Holy Spirit this man’s strength returned supernaturally. He didn’t fight Peter, so he must have had at least a small amount of faith he could stand with Peter’s help in the name of Jesus.
Like Peter, to help others, we may need to become more like Jesus and step out of our comfort zones. We help others by caring and giving them only the assistance required. If we take the full load of lifting the weak, they won’t depend on Jesus and may never walk. It’s only when we help in the name of Jesus that a person can recover completely.
Throwing money at people doesn’t help much. Yes, they use it to survive one more day by buying food, alcohol, or drugs. but they won’t recover from whatever physical or mental illness they have. This lame man barely survived for many years living off the money he begged for, but it isn’t until a changed Peter cares for him in the name of Jesus Christ that he becomes strong and his life changes.
Dearest Heavenly Father, I praise you because of the power of Your Holy Spirit. Help me become more like Jesus. Give me someone to care for like you did Peter so I can help them become strong in the name of Jesus Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.