How have you gone this long in your life unaided? That was the question from my ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat doctor) when he told me I needed to get a hearing aid. It really stopped me in my tracks and made me think. I was born completely deaf in my right ear and partially in my left. My left ear has about 12 percent hearing in a specific range, but that hearing has nerve damage so I hear incorrectly, (i.e. you say plain, I hear rain.)
Now, if you know me at all and have had conversations with me, you are most likely saying “I had no idea you could not hear.” You may stop and recall times that I smiled like an idiot for a moment and looked lost but for the most part answered your questions or kept the conversation going fairly well. This is because even though I am not able to hear, I could speech read very well.
I know the tricks to “keep up” and appear I know what is being said at all times. I know how to listen for key words; I know to stand on a certain side when you are speaking; and if all else fails I know how to say the words my family dread most … “what?” Either way, I could live life and most people not even know I am deaf.
My unaided deafness compared to my aided deafness is like night and day. After getting my aid, I realized just how much I was missing. I did not know when you shift gears in your car it makes a click, that lights in an office hum and I did not know the ice maker in the freezer makes noise. While these are simple unimportant noises that most normal hearing people simply block out, it was mind boggling to me how many noises I just did not know about. My brain was truly overwhelmed by noise for the first few weeks.
So the point in all this (yes, I actually have one): My unaided deafness could go unnoticed by most because I could “pretend” to have hearing. However, my aided deafness opened a new world for me. I can have a conversation and not feel clueless as to what was really going on. I still struggle, but much less and feel more equipped and confident to have a conversation.
This made me think of life in general, people can go through life “unaided’ or without God and others may not even know it and more importantly the person does not even realize what they are missing. I could appear to be a good person, I could even say things like “I will pray for you,” I could even come to church every week. But, am I praying, am I chasing God, am I living by his commandment or just pretending so others assume I am? If we are fully chasing God and pursing a real relationship with Him, then of course he will give us the tools to aid us in this life.
The Bible tells us to be ready but if we continue without allowing God to aid us in the fight, we are missing out and we will not succeed. We must put on our armor and we must help others to do the same.
Praying you are aided with all God has to offer as you walk through your day!
Ephesians 6:11-18 (NIV)
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people
1 John 4:20 (NIV)
20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.