In the third chapter of Acts, the beginning of the chapter shows Peter healing a beggar who was lame from birth. In verse six, it says: “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.’” There are two things that struck me as I read that verse today. The first made me consider what the beggar’s emotions might have been like. In verse five it says that the beggar is expecting Peter and John to give him something, then Peter immediately says I don’t have money for you. The man had his hopes up to receive money which he begged for every day, and they were immediately dashed when Peter says that’s not what he was going to get. Obviously the man received a much greater gift right after, but I imagine he was upset when Peter told him he wasn’t offering anything financial.
I can see this issue in my own life. Someone can offer to help me, or God can, but when it’s not the specific kind of help that I want, I get upset. There are times that I’ve asked God for a specific kind of help, but He ends up sending me another, greater blessing. I’m sad to say that I have scoffed at those blessings before because they were not exactly what I wanted. I might get upset because I need help with something, and God decides to bless me with prayer from a friend rather than the help I was wanting. How easy it is for me to get bothered because I “only” got some prayer.
That ties into the second thing I noted from verse six. Peter says “What I have, I give you.” We may not always be able to give people what they want or even need. You might not be financially, physically, mentally, timely, or in whatever other manner able to help someone. That doesn’t mean you can’t offer them the best gift of all: God. Whether it be in encouraging words, Scripture you know, or prayer, you can always help someone. I’ve found myself in the past saying “I wish I could do more than pray,” yet that is the absolute best thing we can do for people. Do not underestimate the power of prayer. It’s not the “only” thing you can do, it is the absolute best thing.