My life is a comeback story. Yours can be too

Everyone loves a good comeback story. As a pastor at Cross City Church in Euless, I hear countless personal stories that tell of the path from defeat and discouragement to joy and sometimes even victory.

I have one myself.

When I was 6 years old, I became seriously ill and had a high fever for a long period. One of my earliest memories is of my parents keeping me in a bathtub filled with ice water, in an attempt to break that fever. I didn’t understand what happened. Their desperate faces and my confusion are still vivid in my mind.

That night the fever broke and I began to recover, but as a result of the fever I lost my hearing due to inner ear nerve damage in both ears. The loss of more than 90% of my hearing in both ears left my world largely silent. I could only hear sounds that were accompanied by strong vibrations, such as a door slamming nearby or a heavy bass beat in music. As a young boy, my world became one of silent moving lips and actions that had no sounds. I felt alone and separated from everything around me. I couldn’t even hear my own voice.

My wonderful parents began trying to alleviate the problems in my silent world, which included lip-reading homework, hearing aids, and thinking of every possible way to help me function in a hearing world. Elementary school teachers in my small town joined the army of helpers, and I honestly believe that this team of incredible people made my world so much better than it would have been otherwise.

See also  As fracking ramps up in the Barnett shale, Arlington city leaders avoid scrutiny

But life was still difficult, and the challenges were endless. In addition, I had some serious questions about it all. Why is everyone else normal while I have this hearing loss? Where was God when this happened? How can a God who is supposed to be able to do something sit still when I struggle badly?

I was convinced that life was unfair and that I was a victim.

I can’t remember how many times God reminded me: I’m not done with you yet. The story is not over. Why can’t you trust me for the next chapter?

Slowly I learned to trust God for one thing and then another. And now I trust God daily. God is still not done! My faith journey continues and I am in no way disappointed in what he is doing!

It is inevitable when we hear stories of people who have encountered God’s help and grace that we compare our lives to theirs. Although our experiences will not all be the same, I strongly believe that the God who works in my life is the same God who works in the stories of the Bible, and in your life as well.

When we look at the lives of those we read about in the Bible, we should ask: “What would these people be like if they had never listened to God or been open to His help? How would their stories be different?”

There are many stories in the Bible about those who did not allow God to bring them back. There are stories like this in our local communities too. I know some of them. I have helped counsel people when their lives went from bad to worse because someone close to them refused to consider that God was not done working in their lives yet.

See also  Student arrested after 1 killed, 1 injured outside Arlington high school: WFAA

I often think about where I would be today if I were alone. I don’t like what I see.

I resolved my own issues with God over my hearing loss when I read a Bible passage where God told the apostle Paul that he would be given enough strength to overcome all physical and spiritual difficulties. I read this at a time when I doubted my ability to obey God in what I felt He was calling me to. I was willing, but I knew my limitations. Then I read this promise:

And he has said to me: My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. Ideally, therefore, I would rather glory in my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power can dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

The promise God gave Paul became mine. I have learned in the decades since I have used that verse in my life that God keeps His promises. His grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in weakness.

John Meador is the lead pastor at Cross City Church in Euless. His first book, “God’s Not Done With You: Encouragement from the Bible’s Greatest Comeback Stories,” will be released next month. He wrote this for The Dallas Morning News.

This column is part of our ongoing Opinion commentary on faith, called Living our faith. Find the entire series here.

We welcome your thoughts in a letter to the editor. See the guidelines and submit your letter here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *