It started in 2004. At some point between May and July of that year, my hearing in both ears deteriorated by 70 percent, and a constant ringing began. After seeking medical help, the doctor suggested surgery for partial hearing repair. The doctor would only repair one ear at a time, should the repair not work. If the surgery did not work, then I was to expect total hearing loss. The doctor repaired my left ear, which restored about 70 percent of hearing in that ear. But even so, I continue to experience slow hearing deterioration.
About the right ear, let’s change the subject! The doctors have yet to repair it for several reasons I won’t go into now. Let’s just say, I’m thankful for the ear that works, and I tolerate the other. One such toleration is my having to live with the constant ringing . . . medically termed as tinnitus. Over the years, I have come to appreciate tinnitus because of a chapter in the Bible which is foundational to all of our lives. Psalm 1:1–3 says:
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither. (NIV)
Let’s Apply God’s Word
The word meditates found in verse 2 refers to a constant, ongoing thought process on and about God’s Word . . . similar to a quiet hum of sorts. This verse calls us to have God’s Word consistently “ringing in our minds” so to speak, and as it does, God changes our thinking, a renewing process much like what Paul wrote of in Romans 12:2 . . . a calling to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Psalm 1:3 offers a word picture of what happens. When we continually meditate upon God’s Word, our lives become fixed to the unshakable foundation of truth, similar to a tree’s root system firmly affixed to the earth and its constant supply of nutrients. As we meditate, God makes visible His presence in our lives, and our purpose becomes clearer.
What about You?
Perhaps you struggle with a constant irritation . . . something that quietly but persistently awakens you like tinnitus does me. Instead of allowing this irritation to bother you, welcome it as a reminder . . . as a call to live out Psalm 1. I promise; the mind-set is transforming!