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What Do You Say To The Suffering?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2021 3:30 am

What Do You Say To The Suffering?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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July 14, 2021 3:30 am

Ever found yourself the recipient of glib comments from church folks about your challenges? Admittedly, it's hard to know what to say to someone in distress or in messy situations. In a dusty clinic in Ghana West Africa, this point was driven home to me that forever altered the way I approach the heartache and messy situations of others. (From opening monologue on our national broadcast)  


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Have you ever been in that situation where people just glibly give you stuff and so you know well God obviously has a plan. Thank you Capt. obvious ill and just the other night my wife was talking to me in an and she hates it when people say you will. I had such a suspect God was good to be and I and I was okay and she's like, you know, that implies that God wasn't good to me in and I got share of her frustration that I think we we can monitor our speech little bit and not come across so glibly and understand that the goodness of God is not contingent on whether not we feel good about things. God is good all the time even in the midst of heartbreaking suffering and how we speak. Those who are going through these things, how we minister to those how we communicate the goodness of God are those it is a real opportunity for us as believers to speak with clarity with wisdom with compassion give an example. I was I was at a national religious conference some years ago and I was just going around talking to folks and was big fella and and he was. I got to talk with us and what he does duties that we we do apologetics and news he had me was he stood at least ahead taller than I am and I'm 6 feet tall big fellow and he just kind of thundered out apologetics and I asked him I don't know what happened to my brain numbing.

I just sometimes I just am just goofing this way and I symbol what would you say to someone who suffers and he just belted out. I tell them that God's sovereign and for whatever reason you want asked my wife why do these things are of a 2nd black belt. Maybe that gave me a little extra courage out of but I looked at the sky running on. I said that must've been very comforting to you. Ryan's parents, you know who you rile us Iran was the guy that his wife was there bathing on the roof and David King David saw her took and got her pregnant.

We thought out about he try to get errata go sleep with her to cover his sin up your I would do it because it is an honorable man try to get drunk and he was an honorable man would do it and then David sent word to sending it to the general's about to put you right where is hottest and then they backed away from us and they just backed away and let him get killed and then David married her and thought he got away with, you know, think about the implications of that of your eyes, parents, how much help his family that they must've grieved in this King did this wicked thing this man after God's own heart and a wicked thing and caused enormous amount of courage. So when we see people who suffer, who were going through grief and bereavement and loss do we just go growl out to God's sovereign or he obviously got a planner or your one day you will be okay.

You know, and we try to somehow make ourselves feel better.

In dealing with their suffering. Maybe we can just sit with them for a while. Maybe we can just be with them and an end. By the way, to let you know where Uriah stands. He is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew just go check it out wasn't even blood candid Jesus buddies mentioned in the most important genealogy ever recorded your right is mentioned that's where God puts priorities. He sees the suffering he sees the broken hearted. He is near to them. Are we near to them as well. Are we engage with about a guy come into our clinic in West Africa.

We work over there about once once my wife lost her legs. She decided that she wanted to do an outreach to help her fellow amputees and and and use prosthetic limbs as a way to share the gospel and so is what we been doing for New Year's and in the West African country of Ghana. We ask you to sponsor life regard. Can you just this week, but this was some years ago and this guy came in and and all of her team were busy and and I saw this felon. He had a prosthetic leg and was a young man of about 25. What is he doing these are got a leg, but I thought well will take about, but all or all her team was busy. It was late in the afternoon so I set out in front of them and I said okay listless he was going on. Just do a kind of you know overview of what's going on with and he took office prosthesis and they had a line or a gel liner under which we provide a lot of those things and he had found one somewhere and everything seemed to be okay and that he took that liner off and the smell came off this man's leg was so putrid a minute it was.

I mean, I could hardly breathe in a friend of mine was you about 10 feet away and he backed up but I was sitting in the chair right over it.

I mean, my eyes were watering. I thought my goodness this man is gotta an infection or something going on about it abscess and I kind of thought through the gag reflex and and I was looking at his amputated limb and there were no wounds. This just body odor peaches had washed his limb is just talk and I try to explain that he didn't speak the language from Nigeria but he didn't speak the language.

We were in Ghana and and and that I didn't speak his language is pretty comedic.

It had washed and finally I just I had somebody grab you a bowl basin, and some soap and I wash this man's amputated limb showed up and do it and the lantern sleeve gave him a sleep and so forth and I wash his head if you told me after 9/11 and the sky was young Muslim man if you told me after 9/11 that I would be doing this in a clinic in West Africa. I thought your crazy, but I just let you know how messed up I was and is out and it is.

I wash this man's smelly leg and see the scar with amputation was everything else. You know, my eyes started watering for a different reason because I realize how much more putrid my sin, my life because they asked Jesus to water and that he washed me whom I did withhold this from others who might to withhold ministry of what I've received from Christ to others and I had a moment there in that dusty clinic in West Africa where I solved the provision of God's faithfulness is the way he washes is the way he weeps over the of the Holy Spirit cries out in groaning for us Jesus it's at the fathers and interceding for us. And yet when we go and see people suffering when we see our neighbor suffered when we see someone going through a terrible divorce or would we see them struggling with their their children are having sexual brokenness do we just give glib phrases. Are we willing to wait with them. We willing to plunge our hands into it with and just be with them and minister to them or are we going to just you know ~God's sovereign and go about our business. God is suffered unrest in the sovereignty of God. I'm grateful for the sovereignty of God. I stake my life on the sovereignty of God. But I also don't glibly just say this to people who are hurting. When my wife had her car Rick. She was laying by the side of the road bleeding out and she was just 17. I didn't know where the time I met her several years later the pyramids get there but I have heard the storing of of help to write a book with it and and the paramedics got there and none of them said God sovereign to none of them said what the world are you doing out here. They all said, you know, almost like to have script will be okay with you to get you to safety. Hang in there to be okay were here were here were here were here to get you to safety. Is this the way we function as believers we function like paramedics who somebody is bleeding out on the side of the road or do we want to somehow lecture them and point at and I'm guilty of this and not to my shame as I cringe over and I one of things that are due on the show is not to tell people advice not to say what you should be doing this. I don't know what you should be doing but I'm going to tell you what God has done.

I'm going to tell you about this great Savior who bled out for us so that we are not condemned to the brokenness of this world. If we are found in him. There are things that are not going to be fixed this side of heaven. We know this yesterday. My guess was John Erickson, Todd. She knows this.

My wife knows this were okay with with with God healing right now but were trusting him when he doesn't. And I want to equip others as many as possible so that when you engage people who are suffering when you engage people who are filled with resentment and rage who are shaking their fist at God, and everybody else that you're not taken aback, or that you want to throw some kind of pablum at him or some kind of just standard Hallmark card reading, but you want to be able to clearly communicate the gospel. If you don't have the words sit with them. Just be with them. If you go back and look at Job 213 as were my favorite passages of Scripture. They came and sat with Job for seven days and didn't say a word.

The Jewish world continues at the sitting Shiva. They just sit with the bereaved and then when they started talking after that that's what it all came off the rails theologically speaking, but can we sit with people q. week we weep with those who we can we mourn with those who mourn and you you know you are Johnny now yesterday, though she was in the show yesterday, know that when we laugh and make Gracie left, she cuts up and we do WERE just goofy but when we encounter those who are grieving or they're so angry and their and their filled with just deep deep wounds when the smell was so bad that it causes our eyes to water. Can we remember what this great Savior did for us.

Can we remember that he washed us that he is with his own blood, like the hymns that I go and keyboard can wash away must Jesus be home again. Nothing, nothing, nothing will precious is the flow that makes me want to snow mother found nothing. Jesus I'm not good to take for granted that those of you listening today are all believers there.

Some of you who are not in their some of you were going through some very, very painful things in your watching those around you suffer was 65 million caregivers. I know that many of you in this audience right now are watching this.

You gotta love one who has Alzheimer's. You got a kid with autism you got somebody who was strung out on drugs. Those things are all important to God and he would speak into those things.

But can he use us to do it.

Are we willing to do. Are we willing to speak into the we willing to forgive. We willing to let go. Are we willing to wash somebody's stinky thanks he did for us. That's the cost the great news and that's why we can rejoice, even in the midst of all these things Peter Rosenberger. We will be right back.

You never struggled to trust God when things happen to. I'm Gracie Rosenberger in 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading 80 surgeries in both legs and became I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me.

But over time the 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 ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison.

We also recycle parts from donated lambs. All of this is to point others to Christ.

The source of my help and strength, please visit standing with to learn more and participate in lifting others that standing I'm Gracie and I am staining with help

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