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November 18, 2021 3:00 am
"Now a man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. Jesus, upon seeing this man lying there and knowing that he had already been in that condition for a long time …" John 5: 5-6
While one of the most familiar passages in the Bible, the story of Jesus meeting this man now carries a more profound significance to Gracie and me. Scripture records the man's plight as lasting 38 years.
In the following sentence, Scripture validates that 38 years is a long time.
This month marks the 38th anniversary of Gracie's car accident, and it continues to reach through the decades with challenges and pain. Still recovering from a terrible fall in September that resulted in a broken femur, numerous challenges daily remind Gracie that 38 years is indeed a long time.
Why is it important that God also recognizes 38 years as a long time?
You ever struggled to trust God when healthy things happen to you. I'm Gracie Rosenberger in 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident, leading to 80 surgeries in both legs. They became it.
I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me. But over time, my questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God that understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish standing with help more than a dozen years we been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people on a regular basis. We purchased in ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in the Tennessee prison. We also recycle parts from donated lambs.
All of this is to point others to Christ. The source of my hope and strength. These visit standing with help.com to learn more and participate in lifting others that standing without.com. I'm Gracie and I am staining with hope is a family caregiver were served with greasy powerful hope for tomorrow. George love that song was nursing. I told you which you sing something just something happens full of rebel today so you had to listen to me. The whole program by myself a hobo didn't send you screaming into the night, but I love being able just to kick around some of these ideas, but I wanted to end on something else today, you'll have to partly because it's it's real up close and personal.
There's a scripture in the Gospel of John Anderson, John five, I think most of us know Jesus goes to that pool were always different people with infirmities of their will be read Bella man was there who had been ill for 38 years.
Jesus, upon seeing this man lying there and knowing that he'd already been in that condition for a long time it is. With that Velma man was there who had been ill for 38 years Jesus upon seeing this man lying there and knowing that he'd already been in that condition for a long we all are familiar with this lot of sore but this month, next week. This particular verse has a great significance to me integration. Scripture records of this man's plight lasted 38 years in the following sentence you see that it validates it 38 years is a long time. November 18, 1983 Gracie had this horrific act that happened on on the highway when she wrecked 38 years ago, and it continues to reach through the decades to cause a great deal of heartache for she's not know the day without pain real serious pain in 38 years old.
Scripture says it sold just in September. She had a significant fall broke her femur spiral breaking. It was ugly break. She's starting to put weight down. Be able to walk order prosthetic limb with that broken leg. It's it's all skeletal hardware like she closes a great deal of stress for the TSA would you go to the airport.
She's reminded daily, moment to moment 38 years is indeed a long one is a simple why my doing this why my struggling to even say things that are numerous passages in Scripture that remind us that God sees us in our affliction, but when I see the gospel of John, save 38 years and then turn right around and say it's a long time 38 years. It's a long time. We double stand about 38 years, he knew had been there long time and you cannot help but see the juxtaposition of an eternal God. An infinite God, recognizing that a finite period of affliction was a long time. Think about that was a long time to an infinite God and yet he sees 38 years is a long time Scripture did around the number this for almost 40 or you'll a while couple decades. Whatever was very specific.
38 years. The prophet Isaiah foretold the Messiah in Isaiah 53 is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And then you go back and you look there was a time when Jesus I think is Matthew nine and he saw the crowds, and they were they were so helpless and he felt compassion for them, said in Scripture because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.
All of this points to a Savior, who is acquainted with grief but also acquainted with our grief with Gracie's grief with your grief spending a lot of time thinking about one of the Beatitudes, which is blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted that Scripture implies that the morning must occur before the comfort could come has to be morning you get comfort before you get before you board you go to mourn, then you'll be comforted. What is this list of those who mourn for they shall be comforted. You can't mourn. If you too busy raging and despairing over afflictions, but you mourn when you accept the brokenness for what it is, as Jesus did when he saw the crowds, he solve the brokenness and he mourned over use it Lazarus to any mourned over wept. Remember when he would look at it, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem love to be of just crabby like a kid grabs her chips anymore over the seas.
He saw it for what it is looking at our own brokenness. We also mourned, but sometimes we have to go through these periods of flailing around before we look at it and accept it for what it is and here's what I the last minute or two that I have with you here today is what I like to leave with what our hearts falter.
While waiting on the comfort and healing. Sometimes we have to wait most times we have to wait what our hearts falter when they do when we went will be doing our resolve to strengthen when we remember that God sees the days the weeks the months the years and even decades of our affliction 38 years. He sees all of this is very specific about he counts all of it even counts the tears some 56 eight says you have taken account of my wanderings put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book. I don't know how long you've been a caregiver. I don't know how long you've had to watch brokenness. I don't have to. He knows it's not important that I noticed that important about anything else other than the fact that your God knows this, he sees this and he is ever present in your sorrow and sometimes are flailing around and sometimes are our anger and our despair to reach heights that from us, but there is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God. A place where sin cannot molest dear to the heart of God as the old hymn resources it in those moments when we mourn and we see the brokenness for what it is we step into a different walk with God that we had before we play hymns a little slower.
We stand however feebly a little more attention to recognize that there something else going on. You know the old song holy ground where the Lord is present where years is holy when we start to understand is present in our suffering holy moment and you will never be the same again ceasing use the 38 years is a long time. He recognized the caregivers that conviction. We are not alone strength each and every hope for the caregiver.com will see next week. Some of you know the remarkable story of Peter's wife Gracie and recently Peter talk to Gracie about all the wonderful things that have emerged from her difficult journey. Take a listen Gracie.
When you envision doing a prosthetic limb outreach.
Did you ever think the inmates would help you do that, not in a million years. When you go to the facility run by core civic and you see the faces of these inmates that are working on prosthetic limbs that you helped collect from all of the countries that you put out the plea for and their disassembly sell these legs like what you have your own prosody and arms and orange everything when you see all this makes me cry because I see the smiles on their faces and I know I know what it is like someplace where you can't get out without somebody else allowing you to get out me in the hospital. These men are so glad that they get to be doing is one thing said something good with my did you know before you became in a PT that parts of prosthetic limbs could be recycled. Now I had no idea I thought Peg leg. I thought of wooden legs. I never thought of titanium and carbon legs and flexibly see legs and all that.
I never thought about. As you watch these inmates participate in something like this, knowing that there there helping other people all providing the means for the supplies to get over there. What is it do to you. Just on the heart level. I wish I could explain to the world. What I see in here and I wish that I can be able to come and say the this guy right here in East Africa with that. I never not feel that way out every time you know you always make me have to lead I don't want to leave. I I feel like I'm at home with them and I feel like that we have a common bond that would never expected that only God could put together. Now that you could experience with what you think of the faith-based programs. The core civic offers.
I think there is absolutely awesome and I think every prisoner out there for half faith-based programs because he return rate of the men that are involved in this particular faith-based program and other ones like it, but I know about this one car is amazingly low rate compared to those who think that says that is with me just has something to do with God is somebody to help people want to donate a use prosthetic live with a loved one who passed away or you somebody well-groomed you donated some of your own for the please go to standing with.com/recycle.