There’s nothing quite like sitting in a class and becoming engaged so fully that you aren’t even aware of how much time has passed. All of your senses are totally and completely absorbed in what is being taught and discussed, and it is beautiful. This is how I felt in my New Testament class this past week. We have only barely begun talking about the first few chapters in Acts, but I already feel real spiritual truth being taught.
On Wednesday, we talked about Peter’s healing of the lame man. In verse 2 of chapter 3 we read that the man was “laid daily at the gate of the temple.” A seemingly inconsequential verse reveals that in begging on the outskirts of the temple, this man most likely encountered Jesus as he previously ministered among the Jews. This man surely saw Him perform miracles and heal countless others. But still he remain maimed. It wasn’t until Christ had ascended into heaven, and His apostles remained when Peter healed the man. This event affected many more than just this man; it was witnessed by many (v. 9-11) and was the means by which many believed.
In the Lord’s omniscience, unbound by time (Alma 40:8), He uses us as instruments in accomplishing His purposes. This may mean that even while we are living righteously, our blessings may be withheld for a season so that we may serve His purposes. We know that he desires to bless us, as Peter says in verse 26 of chapter 3 (and in verse 1 of D&C 41):
“Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you…”
Sometimes miracles and blessings require our trust in his timing. He has so much in store for us, more than we could ever possibly imagine. I have seen in this in my own life as I recognize that my seeming diligence of gospel living is not rewarded until later when I have grown enough to properly utilize the blessing or can use the experience to benefit others. I have also experienced the frustration of those types of experiences, just as the man begging at the temple must have, as he time and time again witnessed Christ healing the multitudes. But whether in this life or the next, our blessings await. Deprivations will be made right. He loves us. Sister Julie B. Beck reminds us:
“We do not abandon true principles while we are waiting for our blessings.”