I have a sister who has been deaf since she was about eighteen months old. She was able to attend school, graduate, and learn a trade. She is beautiful and talented in many things. When she was young she married a man who was part of a family oriented cult which included a self-proclaimed preacher who made up the rules as he went along. Most of his followers were ignorant and uneducated. The women in the family were not much more than property and were habitually mistreated, as were the children. This perpetuated the cycle of abuse and superstition to the next generation.
Eventually, my sister became a victim as well. Her new husband was not only abusive, but he became a drunk. Her husband had an unholy hold on her and was able to convince her to come back to him after each beating. This cult had convinced her that the reason she could not hear was because she was demon-possessed and lacked faith. They put her through some mumbo-jumbo rituals to exorcise the demon which, of course, accomplished nothing. She was convinced that they were right and that she lacked faith which was the reason for the demon to have control of her.
In John 9:1-3, we read that Jesus met a man who was blind from birth. As they went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” I shared this passage with my sister. I told her that it was not her lack of faith in God that kept her from hearing but His divine will for her life. Just by living a godly life, in spite of what some would see as a handicap, could be a way to glorify God every day.
I read to her the passage in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 where Paul relates that three times he had asked God to remove a thorn in his flesh. To keep me from becoming conceited because of these great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I pointed out to her that Paul was certainly not lacking in faith and neither was she.
Eventually, my sister was able to get away from her abusive situation and never went back. As a single mother, she was able to raise her two daughters and helped raise two of her grandchildren. She is a beautiful woman who has a sweet and loving spirit who just happens to be deaf. God is truly faithful to His word and can be trusted in all things. When we trust Him, His grace is truly enough to see us through whatever this world throws our way.