How can people say they are free when they are bound to a wheelchair, or need a seeing-eye dog to get around, or a ventilator to breathe? Perhaps we can understand by getting a glimpse into their own world. I am deaf. The Lord has helped me even though my problems continue. I gradually lost my hearing from an early age. I was wearing a hearing aid by the second grade. My Mom took me to the University of California, Long Beach, to be tutored for lip-reading. I did not attend schools for the deaf, but regular schools. As late as my twenties I could still enjoy classical music, listen to the radio, and use the telephone. Soon after, my hearing worsened until I no longer listened to music or the radio, and relied on others to make calls for me.
The Lord has helped me on various fronts, even though my hearing problem has not improved. I grew up quite shy and introverted. How many of us would love to be a little less shy or fearful? When I believed the Holy Spirit wanted to empower me to be like Jesus, I’ve stepped out in faith to witness to total strangers. I also have been able to get in front of a group and speak without fear.
How many of us have experienced the painful frustration of impatience? God has helped me endure the inconveniences of my hearing loss by the promise of a life to come. The trials of this life are easier to bear because I know Jesus has the power, as demonstrated by his resurrection, to raise me from the dead and give me new life. The Bible promises me a new life with a body free from the ravages of disease, disability, and death. Compared to eternity, this life is brief.
Many people question why they have been singled out to suffer. Instead of focusing on the suffering, though, I’ve learn to find God’s strength and comfort in it. Such comforting experiences have illuminated many Bible passages on God and his ways. I’ve been able to encourage others with the same insights.
Due to my disability, I’ve felt alienated at times and misunderstood by the hearing world. Jesus was someone else who was misunderstood and alienated because he was different than others. I have taken comfort in that thought, and it has drawn me closer to him.
God does not have to cure the afflicted in this life in order to help them.
What Do You Think?
a. If you were a desperately thirsty quadriplegic and someone saw your plight and helped you to some cold water, would you feel a measure of relief, even though your handicap would remain?
b. I am deaf. I look forward to the coming of Jesus Christ and his kingdom, for then he will restore my hearing. Have you been able to endure a trial because you knew that it would soon be over?