Do you ever refer to someone as a godsend? The term describes a blessing that comes at an opportune moment. The dictionary defines a godsend as “something good that happens unexpectedly and at a time when it is especially needed.”
What does a godsend look like? A nurse provides exceptional care during a hospital stay. A friend’s support makes a crisis more bearable. A timely rain saves a farmer’s crop. An unsolicited job offer comes soon after your employer decides to downsize. An unexpected check arrives in the mail just in time to cover a worrisome bill.
It may be grammatically incorrect to capitalize godsend, but it’s theologically advisable. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Timely blessings are Godsends, not just random bits of good fortune. The heavenly Father delights in sending “good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11). We can’t always trace his hand, but we trust his heart and thank God for his providential care. Godsends remind us that the Lord is for us, not against us.
The Hand Behind the Blessings
The beggar described in Acts chapter 3 must have considered Peter and John a Godsend. Day after day he occupied a familiar spot near the temple gate called Beautiful, but not everything was beautiful in his life. Crippled from birth and now over 40 years old (Acts 4:22), he relied on friends to carry him to the temple every day so he could beg for money from those who came to worship.
When God sent Peter and John his way, the fellow hoped they might give him silver or gold, but the apostles had a better blessing to offer: healing in Jesus’ name. God sent miraculous power, and the man’s feet and ankles, lame and useless from birth, snapped into place with sudden strength. No physical therapy was required. Standing on his own two feet for the first time in a life spanning four decades, the man walked, jumped, and leaped exuberantly, producing astonished gasps from the crowd. Even the church’s enemies couldn’t deny the reality of the miracle God sent (v. 14).
Peter and John didn’t want the crowd’s attention directed toward them. They didn’t even want to focus on the miracle itself. Their mission was to introduce others to the Lord who sent the miracle. Peter insisted, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see” (3:16).
Sent to Serve
I have some things in common with that crippled beggar. Perhaps you do as well. Do we ever assume that money and physical health are our greatest needs? Do we focus on the blessings themselves instead of recognizing God’s hand behind them? When we experience good things—an unexpected check in the mail, a new job, a smooth recovery from illness, the kindness of a friend—let’s be grateful to the Father who sent these gifts.
The greatest Godsend of all is the Messiah, Jesus, who brings refreshment to this battered earth (Acts 3:20). The Lord sent Peter and John to preach and serve in his name, and he sends us too. To whom will you be a Godsend this week?
David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2013, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.