Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. – Acts 9:32-35
It might be as simple as a run of bad experiences with a certain brand of clothing. It could be as major as a complete loss of trust with your doctor. Sometimes it’s a visit to the doctor and the words, “You’ve got diabetes.” It can be a real turning point. Often they are brought on by more negative events: illness, loss of job, breakdown of a relationship.
But once in a while these turning points come as a result of a very good turn of events: you meet Mr. Right. You get a large promotion and pay raise. You discover that you are an heir to a fortune of which you had no previous knowledge.
Such is the case in these few verses from Acts 9. Peter encounters Aeneas and brings God’s healing power to him. His life is changed. He’s standing upright. His future is not to be lived from the sickbed any longer. God has come calling in a dramatic way.
Whole towns can be changed by these turning points. In this case it was Lydda. When the people there saw Aeneas healed and well, strong and upright, they were amazed. They turned to the Lord. Their outlook was changed because Aeneas’ outlook was changed.
I wonder what we might examine more closely that would yield a new outlook toward God ourselves. Have we seen someone’s life changed by God’s intervention and healing? Have we overlooked some great work of God in a friend’s life and failed to grasp the extent of God’s grace and how it is meant to turn us to God?
God works in people’s lives not only for their own good, but for the good of all people. His desire is to bring us close to him, to ground us in the truth of Jesus Christ and the grace of forgiveness. When we see him at work in others, we do well to turn to him in thankful faith.