Many of us who believe in Jesus (especially those of us who are Jewish) hear from our non-believing friends and relatives that he is “only a crutch.” Robert Rosett, a family physician in California, remembers the first time, as a child, that he asked his father about God:
I don’t recall the question, but I can well remember the extensive orientation that he gave me to his atheistic viewpoint. He stated categorically that there simply is no God, it is a primitive idea fabricated by weak people who need a crutch; the rational man stands on his own by the superiority of his reason etc., etc. By the age of seven or eight, I could argue the atheist position vociferously and with great certainty.1
In this edition, you will read the stories of three Jewish women who faced daunting physical, emotional and mental health challenges. They each turned to God, and specifically to Yeshua (Jesus), and found rest and peace in him.
A common assumption is that people with these types of challenges only turn to Yeshua as a “crutch.” But, as Bill Withers sang, “We all need somebody to lean on.” 2 Don’t we all have our own “crutches,” our own way of numbing our wounds, hurts and disappointments? We bury ourselves in our work. We surround ourselves with expensive things. Or we lean on people, only to discover that even our best friends can let us down. While we need to depend on each other, the Hebrew Scriptures speak of “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Withers concludes his song “Lean on Me” with this thought:
If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load if you just call me.
That sounds an awful lot like Jesus, who said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
But is God a crutch like the things or people we lean on? Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus, once said, “God is not a crutch. A crutch is a crutch and God is God. To lean on God is not wrong, but he is not a piece of healthcare equipment.”
Those who share their stories on these next pages would agree. Their motive was to find the truth. Is their faith just a crutch? You decide.