Published May 18, 2010

Paul's Epistle...

"Why?" is probably one of the most-used words in personal prayers, somewhere right behind "Please." So often we are faced with problems we just don't understand and wonder why God has allowed them to come our way. Quite often, among the worst of them are physical problems – for ourselves or loved ones.

Jerry Tinkle is the baritone singer for the Minister's Quartet based in Muncie, Indiana. In a recent quartet newsletter he shared a very personal story about something that recently happened to him — something that, although scary at the time, turned into yet another faith-builder for him. With his permission, I'd like to share his story, hoping it may be also be a good reminder for you.

- Paul

by Jerry Tinkle

A little over a week ago I was experiencing a loss of hearing in both ears. I knew that it was because of my penchant for wax buildup in my ears, and I was way overdue for an earwash. But here's the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say:

I went to work anyway, not trying to worry about my hearing. As I got into the flow of the business day, however, I began to struggle mightily to hear what the customers were saying to me, as well as what my co-workers were saying to me. It got to the point where I was trying to read their lips as they were talking to me, and I found myself 'squaring up' to their faces, so that I could see their mouths moving. It really began to be a chore, and I was becoming more and more concerned about my loss of hearing.

The next day, I was almost totally deaf before I decided to go on to work. The deafness was worse, and I knew I had to get help. I called and made arrangements to get an earwash. I went to the appointment, and the practitioner flooded my ears with warm water. It actually pained me to do this, and I was almost in tears from the pain, but I made it through the procedure. However, much to my dismay, the practitioner told me that I was impacted to the point that I would have to let the water sit in my ears for a while to soften the wax inside. I was told that the wax would expand, rendering me totally deaf for a short time.

This scared the bejeebers out of me! I couldn't go deaf! I'm a Gospel singer for Heaven's sake. I can't sing if I can't hear the music, I thought! This just couldn't be!!

But, as I was told, it happened just that way. For a little over two hours, I was totally deaf, and I was at work. I had to try and tell each customer to write out their request on a form and give it to me. I would then process the request (I am the "release of information clerk" at the VA in Marion, Indiana) while they waited outside my office door. When done, I would come out and present them their paperwork. I even went so far as to post a notice on my door stating that I was temporarily deaf, so I couldn't answer their questions unless they were written out. Talk about a royal pain, this was it!!

The longer this went on, the more I began to wonder, what if this becomes permanent!! What am I going to do? I began pleading with the Lord, "Please don't let this happen to me, Lord" and I was thinking — He won't , because I work for Him as a singer AND as a witness here at work. He just can't let it stay this way.

I guess I let worry get the better of me for a while, totally ignoring the verse in the Bible that talks about worrying and how it won't add even one hour to your life, so STOP IT!! (paraphrase by JT). So, my prayers then turned to, "How much longer must I wait for deliverance, Lord?"

I got my answer about two hours later, as I was due to go back to have a second treatment with the practitioner. The procedure went smoothly, and voila! I could again hear! Thank the Lord!

You don't know how much I thanked God for delivering me from that deaf time! It was amazing to again hear the machines running, the phone ringing, the people talking to me, etc. It was wonderful! But it made me think about some other things.

I remembered a very good friend of mine who passed away almost exactly one year ago. Rick battled cancer like no one I have ever seen or heard about before. I was distanced from him toward the end of his life, both by choice and circumstance, but kept close tabs on him through his emails. He had t-shirts made up for some of his closest friends and family members that said, "No fear." He faced death straight up, in the face, without backing down even one inch. He showed me, and others, what being a Christian was all about. I will always be grateful for that...

Then, last night, I was scanning the dial on the TV set, when I stopped for a short time to watch James Robison's show. He had a young man on that had no arms, no legs, and part of one foot. He sat in a chair proclaiming the goodness of God and was testifying about Jesus Christ's love for him. Amazing man! He admitted to going through periods of depression, contemplation of suicide, etc., but through all of that he was able to cling to the constant that was Jesus Christ's love for him. He didn't need legs or arms to be able to tell others what Jesus Christ had done for him. All he needed was his mouth, and was he ever using it! Praise the Lord!

My point to all of this is this: NEVER, I'll say it again, NEVER let the devil get a foothold on you. Cling only to HIM [the Lord], and the fact that He loves YOU. Whatever obstacle(s) you are faced with, face them together with the Creator of the universe, and you can and WILL overcome them. Together. Apart from Him, we are nothing, that is true, and without Him in our lives, we can't truly find the answers to life's problems, but WITH HIM, we can accomplish ALL things!

Rick always said, "No Fear." God says, "Trust in me." I say "Amen" to all of that!

What will you say to Him?

You can write to Jerry Tinkle directly at

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