We thought we loved our brother Jeff, until he had a stroke and lost use of the entire right side of his body. We thought Foundation Church was thankful for his wife and two beautiful children and all they add to us, until they were told he may have to live in the hospital for months. We thought we were grateful for our church and the relationships God has given us in many of you, until the doctors told us Jeff would never be the same again. But somehow, Jeff’s loss has given us a new sense of appreciation and affection for him, his family, one another and you.
Suddenly, we found ourselves praying fervently for Jeff and wondered why we hadn’t prayed like that before. Suddenly, all our brothers and sisters became more precious as they reaffirmed their commitment to him and his family. Suddenly, our hearts were full of love for many of you who called and emailed to offer your support. Suddenly a lot of things became clearer to all of us.
This should have been no surprise, but it always is. God works this way. Jeff loses the use of his right hand and gains the right hand of hundreds. Jeff cannot walk and all of us are privileged to walk for him and his family. What a wonderful gift God has given us in this trial.
We are reminded in this how Christ became poor so we could be rich, how he suffered so we can share in His glory and how he received the judgment of death for sins he didn’t commit so we can receive life and forgiveness for our many sins.
Thankfully, Jeff is now walking, holding his babies, throwing football and may soon be back to normal physically. But this event has touched him and all of us in a way we do not wish to recover from.
Mark A. Robinette is the founding pastor of Foundation Church in the Columbus, Ohio area. Pastor Robinette and his wife, Andrea, have seven children and have devoted their lives to the discipleship of their children first then the many new believers God has entrusted to them. By the grace of God they are building a church they pray will bring glory to God.