I am deaf in one ear. The day it happened I suddenly got loud, EXTREMELY LOUD, ringing and intense pain in that ear and after a few minutes, the volume of ringing decreased somewhat and the pain stopped. But, other than the ringing I could hear nothing. They call it sudden sensorineural hearing loss. They tried several treatments to see if my hearing would return but it didn’t. Hearing aids didn’t help because, well, if you are really deaf then amplifying it doesn’t help. It’s just louder sounds that you still don’t hear. Eventually it was determined that I needed a cochlear implant and they went through all the insurance issues to get it approved. Finally after a couple denials it was approved and I had the surgery and now can hear in my previously deaf ear when I am wearing the processor. I have to say that it is not the same as my natural hearing but definitely better than nothing and it is a gift from God. I believe that He gives people the ability to find ways to cure some conditions or to improve some diseases so they are at least somewhat tolerable. I believe so very much and for that I am thankful. God uses people and technology to help us.
BUT, the issue that I face is that I still have the ringing, buzzing sound in my deaf ear. According to the surgeon the brain wants sounds and if for some reason our ears do not pick up the sounds around us the brain will create something. The ringing is, at times, annoying to say the least and at other times, near maddening. It makes it difficult to try to focus and concentrate. It also makes it difficult to hear more subtle sounds in that ear. Thank God, my hearing in the other ear is still good so I am able to hear well with it. Sometimes, with just one good ear, I hear too many sounds, my brain quit filtering the different conversations so I hear them all. When I go out to eat, I hear bits and pieces of everyone talking and all the clinking and clanking of silverware on the plates; that serves to make it harder to hear the conversation at the table. It distracts me terribly. So, between the loss of hearing and the new inability to filter extraneous sounds, I have more difficulty than I used to have when trying to hear someone tell me something important.
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Ephesians 4:18
As I thought about my loss of hearing, I thought about how I have in the past lost my spiritual hearing. Life events resulted in me hardening my heart towards God and not listening to Him when He tried to speak to me. I didn’t hear when He would talk to me, I didn’t understand when He spoke because I allowed the ringing in my spiritual ears to drown out what He was trying to say. I became spiritually deaf and blind. I let life prevent me from knowing it was Him and allowed all the hurt, anger, bitterness, preoccupation with my career, concerns about other demands on my time, financial hardships and worries of life keep me from knowing what He wanted me to do. It doesn’t matter exactly what those distractions were, we all have our own distractions and worries that interfere with our ability to hear Christ clearly; we all allow life events and concerns to plug our ears and interfere with our seeing what He has planned for us.
7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:15
In addition to having the surgery with the implant to help my hearing, I had to retrain my ears and brain to hear properly again; I had to relearn how to filter out the conversations and sounds that were distractions so I could focus on the one important conversation. I am still working on that as my ears still get all the stimuli coming in and I often have extraneous noises that overwhelm me and keep me from hearing the really important things. I also still have the ringing that also interferes. But, those things are getting better, rather I am getting better about filtering out the things I don’t want or need to hear so I can receive the information I need. Much like my spiritual hearing where I am learning better to hear His still small voice and not let the buzzing of human existence and the noises the enemy creates distract me when I want and need to listen to Him. I am not fully where I want to be in that regard, maybe I will never be as good as it as I want, but definitely much improved. I strongly suspect I am not the only one that way, truly I think we are all that way to one extent or another.
So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
I definitely need to hear Him better, to listen carefully and try harder to understand what He is saying to me.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelations 3:20
More than just hearing though, I need to learn to follow His instructions, do His bidding. Regardless of what my human nature says, in spite of the things the enemy tries to say to interfere with my ability to hear and willingness to obey Christ.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22
I have to remind myself that if I listen and follow the instructions He gives me, He will lead me in the path He plans for me and when I do, He will bless me for doing so.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
So, I shall strive to listen and to actually HEAR Him better, to take what He tells me to heart and do my best to follow His guidance, to learn to ignore the noises of life that interfere with my hearing Him, to block out the enemy’s taunts and attempts to distract me.
Lord, Praise You and Your Son, Jesus, who died on the cross for my sins so I could have salvation. Thank You for helping me see my shortcomings and helping me to understand how I need to improve to better serve You. I pray in the name of Jesus that I learn to block out the things that interfere with my ability to see Your plans and hear You in my heart so I can do what I know You want me to do. Help me understand better Your will for me. Teach me to focus better on You, Your wishes for me and know when Satan is trying to work against me. Draw me closer that I can be the person You want me to be. Draw us all closer to You, help my loved ones know how to see and hear You in their lives that they may all come to know you and the magnificent blessings You hold in store for those who follow Christ. Help us all to be people who glorify You with our words and deeds.
I hope all have a wonderful day and are blessed as they go about their business. Please try to be a blessing to someone else today as well.