“The law of the LORD is perfect,
restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.”
In April of 1984, I underwent surgery in both ears. As a result I lost most of my hearing and began suffering from continuous tinnitus. I was suddenly cut off from easy communication with my world and left with a vacuum cleaner running in my head. During the summer as I gradually began to realize I was not going to regain normal hearing, my grief was overwhelming.
In December, I was finally fitted with a hearing aid which brought back very limited hearing and verbal interaction with people. For someone who enjoyed talking and listening to others, the continuing isolation was very difficult. Over the next few years I struggled with adjusting to my handicap. I would think I was coping well until some incident triggered again the realization of the seriousness of my loss and the possibility of total deafness. I greatly feared losing what little hearing I had left and being locked alone in a world of noise. The thought panicked me because I knew I could not cope with it. My relationship with the Lord was alternately marked with trust in His care and fear that He would throw me into a situation in which I would drown from the pain. I would briefly touch the ground of trust and than an undertow of circumstances would come, knocking me off my feet.
Three years later I was in a summer Bible study that was helping me walk a little more certainly on the ground of God’s sufficiency. As I was looking at passages in the Bible describing how God sets us apart and changes us, I came across Romans 15:4:
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
As I read these words my hearing loss and my fear of possible deafness came to mind immediately. I realized that through this verse the Lord was telling me to stop being afraid of the future; whatever might happen with my hearing, I needed to persevere, knowing that He would be changing me through His Word, giving me the encouragement I needed to live in hope. I knew I could go on without constant fear and dread. I cannot find words to tell you how significant this was to me, there was such a strong and instantaneous witness of His Spirit to my spirit. It was one of the most important spiritual markers in my life. Although I had constantly been in or led Bible studies since becoming a Christian, God used my hearing loss to drive me to His Word in a deeper awareness of its effective power and the absolute necessity of having His mind and thoughts regarding my circumstances. Since then I have seen over and over again the central part His Word has in enabling me to live “the life which I now live by faith in the Son of God.”1
Through the Bible, God reveals who He is and who we are. He tells us how we can know Him and how we are to live before Him. The words of the Bible are the very words of the living God to you and me. It is amazing that we can hold in our hands the communication of the infinite Creator to us, His finite creatures. His Word is healing, giving life and restoration to us as it guides us in God’s ways.
Bee & Flowers: Public Domain, National Park Service.
Original content: Copyright ©2010 Iwana Carpenter