This is a "God Moment!" (unless you are an auto-skeptic)
I told the pastor when Judy and I arrived for church this morning that our attendance may be cut short as Judy's nephew was dying and we expected the call any moment.
J.L. was born 21 years ago with Myotonic dystrophy. Myotonic Dystrophy is an inherited disorder in which the muscles contract but have decreasing power to relax. With this condition, the muscles also become weak and waste away.
As bad as that would be, he was also born autistic, so not only could he not tell his muscles what to do very easily, they were incapable of doing anything even if he could have. As you can imagine other than moans and groans he was largely unable to communicate at all. When he was younger his mom and his dad could understand him, but few else could. He lost all power of speech when he was about 16! Trapped inside a mind and body that refused to cooperate he was put into a nursing home as his father's body was broken and failing from trying to lift and care for him and his mother who had died of the same disease a few years earlier.
Earlier this week J.L. came down with double pneumonia and oxygen was used to help him breath, eventually that was not enough and we were told that the end was at hand.
Well, Judy and I are in church 1000 miles form Texas where Judy's brother is watching his only son fight to breath. Each breath further and further apart. He calls Judy to tell her the status and to discuss his son's salvation which is bothering us all greatly. Then he hangs up promising to call when the last breath has truly been confirmed....which it would be moments later!
The pastor stands up to preach and his text is....
2And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven." 3And some of the scribes said to themselves, "This fellow blasphemes."
4And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, "Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?
5"Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, and walk'?
6"But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--then He said to the paralytic, "Get up, pick up your bed and go home."
7And he got up and went home.
8But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Now here we were in church worrying if God would accept J.L. into heaven, and trusting that God was a just God and could be trusted better than any other, but wanting some comfort from the Holy Spirit to calm our childish fears... and the preacher stands up... tells the church that J.L. Has just passed away... and then by shear grace of God is preaching on a passage that he has been preparing for weeks that God knew we would need today.
The reason I say that is ... if you study the text:
What was the first priority for Jesus? It was the healing of the soul. When the scribes challenged Jesus then he healed the flesh but only to prove he actually had the power to forgive sins.
So we draw comfort from this text that God has healed J.L.'s soul and now he is in heaven with a healed body too.
Isn't God wondeful. Glory to God!