DayBreaks for 3/13/18: The Diagnosis
From the DayBreaks archive, 2008:
HAVERFORDWEST, England – A boy from Haverfordwest, England, can hear on one side for the first time in nine years after a cotton wool bud suddenly popped out of his ear. Jerome Bartens, 11, was diagnosed deaf in his right ear when he was two, causing him to struggle in school and strain to hear the TV and friends, Britain’s Daily Mail reported. But when playing pool with his friends in a church hall Jerome felt a sudden pop. And out of his right ear came the tip of a cotton wool bud that had been wedged in for almost 10 years. “It was just incredible — his hearing returned to normal in an instant. He was cured as suddenly as he became deaf. I had always suspected Jerome had stuck something in his ear when he was little and that was causing the problem. But the doctors and hearing specialists said it was wax and he would probably grow out of it,” said Jerome’s father, Carsten Bartens. “I am amazed they didn’t spot something as obvious as a cotton wool bud.”
Every now and then a story like this comes along and we are both fascinated and puzzled at the same time. I’m very happy for this young boy! It is one of those “feel good” stories that you hear about. But I’m also puzzled that the boy could have had this problem for so long and all the specialists and doctors he’d been to had never discovered the problem.
There are, as usual, lessons to be learned:
FIRST: don’t put your trust too much in the “learned and wise” in this world. They are still just humans, fallible as can be. They can be very persuasive, because we give them the benefit of the doubt because of their “knowledge”…and quite frankly, knowledge seems to equate to power in today’s world. It always has been that way, I guess. But our knowledge is limited. We may pretend to know more than we really do so that we have more power, but that’s a dangerous game to play.
SECOND: there are lots of things that can cause deafness – and that’s true spiritually as well. The Word is replete with comments on how we don’t hear God (usually meaning that we don’t seek to understand what He’s saying and then refusing to obey it if we do). Biblically, hearing usually implies action as well. A loud noise, a Q-tip, ear wax, various diseases – all can cause physical deafness. There are many causes of spiritual deafness, too: pride, willful rebellion, illicit pleasures and passions that we don’t want to have to give up, anger, lack of a forgiving spirit – the list is almost as long as Psalm 119!
Having the right diagnosis is important. When it comes to your life and how you should live it, whose diagnosis are you putting your faith in? A self-help book (even one bought at a Christian bookstore?) The words of a friend? The words of a pastor/minister/priest? If you do, let me suggest you’re putting your diagnosis and treatment plan in the wrong place. Put it in the revealed Word of God and His Spirit. If the diagnosis anyone else gives you doesn’t match with those two things – reject it and keep seeking!
Jesus stands at the door and knocks. We won’t open if we can’t hear him.
PRAYER: Our eyes and ears deceive us, Lord! We want easy answers and seek diagnosis of our lives and condition in all the wrong places, putting trust in those who don’t deserve our trust. Heal us, O Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.