Suffering and Sovereignty

Peter and Gracie Rosenberger address a CIU Chapel Nov. 18.
November 18, 2010

By Abbey Shoemaker

CIU Student Writer

Peter and Gracie Rosenberger used humor and song to communicate with CIU students what God has taught them about human suffering and His sovereignty. It was 27 years ago to the day that Gracie was in a traumatic car accident as a 17-year-old. Every bone from her waist down was broken. After more than 70 operations and the amputation of both legs, Gracie and her husband Peter demonstrate remarkable confidence in the Lord's purposes.

As they have wrestled for many years with questions of God's sovereignty and goodness, Peter, a 1983 graduate of CIU, shared their conclusion: "A biblical viewpoint is not 'Why is this happening to Gracie?,' it's 'Why does mercy happen at all?'" He added, "It's not my job to figure out why this happened. Biblically, Satan does not get to touch my wife unless our sovereign God allows it. When it gets difficult and we don't know what to do, we go back to what we know."

Founders of Standing with Hope - a ministry to amputees around the world who have no access to prosthetic limbs - the Rosenbergers know what it is to suffer. But they also know what it is to have hope. The hope offered in the gospel by Jesus Christ addresses mankind's greatest problem - sin. This Good News is what the Rosenbergers boldly proclaim to those suffering worldwide. Speaking about worldwide suffering, Peter said, "These things are put into perspective when we consider the problem of sin in the context of God's holiness."

After reading an excerpt from her autobiography, Gracie closed in song, and students were challenged by Peter to consider how "God uses our weakness and brokenness to manifest His glory in ways we can't imagine."