"Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened.He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.” Acts 3:7-8
Somewhere in the recesses of my memory is a Vacation Bible School song whose title I can’t remember, but whose chorus echoes this verse in Acts, “He went walking and leaping and praising God, walking and leaping and praising God. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” It was a catchy chorus, but that’s all I got! It’s pretty much all I really need when I think about the story in Acts where Peter and John were going about their daily routine, and basically stumbled on this guy laying in the entrance to the Temple. Both parties were expecting the same old, same old for the day; Peter and John the ninth hour prayer practice, and the gate blocker another day of asking for money.
Both took somewhat of a “leap of faith” as I see it; Peter to extend his hand, and the beggar to take it. In the leap of faith was the miracle. Peter pulled him up like a fellow player on a football team, and the beggar stood, gained strength, and began to walk. Then they walked together to church; Peter looking smugly like he knew something no one else did and he couldn’t wait to tell it, and the beggar leaping around and praising God like a kid on Christmas morning after receiving an unexpected gift.
To take a leap of faith means to attempt an endeavor which might seem impossible. Yet that’s what faith is, a belief in the impossible, the unbelievable, the seemingly unrealistic. Putting our faith or life into action may seem like a scary leap, leaving that which is comfortable. Yet we all know we don’t grow where it’s comfortable; we grow in the leaps.
Is there a leap of faith that you have been meaning to take? Something in your life that sounds impossible, unrealistic even? Something nagging your inner being to do? Today is Leap Day! It sounds like as good a day as any to slap the Nike swoosh on your shirt and “just do it!” Leap away! Believe what you have been taught; “Nothing is impossible with God” and “I am with you always!” You do not leap alone. When confronted with a leap of faith, trust God enough to jump. Maybe the miracle will be in your leap. You can do it! Like for Indiana Jones, there is always an invisible bridge called God to get you where you want to be. Maybe, just maybe if you do, you will find yourself walking and leaping and praising God too!
Rev. Mary Jo Bray
Hampton Park Christian Church, Toledo and Grandparents Camp Co-Director
The full Lenten Devotional Booklet can be downloaded by clicking HERE.