I promised myself I’d never tell people about this, so here it goes…
When I was in high school, I got a q-tip stuck in my ear. Yes, for real. I was cleaning my ear a little too vigorously and the cotton part got lodged in my inner ear canal, where it stayed for almost 24 hours.
Although I was partially deaf, I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d been so stupid. But my mom, Lord bless her, believed I had to be smarted than that. “It’s not actually in there,” she said. “You just need to pop your ears.” I kept telling her she was wrong, that there was definitely a ball of cotton in my ear canal, but her theory did seem plausible. And I was tired. So, like any trusty teenager, I decided to ignore the problem and go to bed.
Turns out, mom was wrong. The following day, I was partially deaf. I could hear my own muffled voice echoing in my head, and it wasn’t getting any better. In fact, with each passing minute: I grew more and more terrified.
I tried dunking the ear in water and shaking my head back and forth. I even tried Googling: “Q-tip stuck in ear,” but the results were adamant: I needed to see a doctor before my hearing was permanently damaged. Finally, I ran crying to my dad, and he came to the rescue with a pair of tweezers and incredible precision. I was embarrassed, but thrilled. I could hear again!
You’re probably thinking this is an interesting, albeit odd, story. You’re absolutely right. But it is relevant, I promise. I believe God brought it to my mind for a very specific reason this week.
It’s very similar to the spiritual warfare I’ve experienced the past few months. There are so many little lies that keep getting lodged inside me and deafening me to the truth of God. And I’m playing a never-ending game of OPERATION, trying to remove this “worldly cotton” so I can hear what God says.
You are all alone – NO, the Lord my God is with me (Deuteronomy 20:4).
Your success is what matters – NO, my identity is in Christ alone
You need to have a man to be happy – NO, Christ satisfies me, always and forever (Psalm 16.5).
You aren’t pretty enough – NO, I am a daughter of Christ, created in His image. He calls me lovely (Song of Solomon 4:7).
You should be ashamed of being a Christian, or at least don’t parade it around– NO, for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of salvation unto any who believe (Romans 1:16)
Does anyone else resonate with that? Friends, it is so easy to passively accept those lies, to the point where we’re hearing little to none of the truth. I’ve experienced it and I’m sure you have to. So what do we do? For starters, we get serious about preaching the Word to ourselves. In order to know the counterfeit, we have to intimately know the real thing, the truth of God. Secondly, we need to bolster each other. I can’t tell you how helpful it is when trusted friends speak edifying Scripture or encouragement into my life.
Most importantly though, it comes down to humility. When I struck myself deaf, I endured the silence for an entire day before I laid down my pride and asked my dad for help. And like any good father: He delighted in helping me. Don’t you see? Our heavenly Father is overflowing with even more kindness and mercy. He longs to help free us from the lies, if only we turn to Him in a spirit of humility.
This is something I’ve been praying through the past few months. It’s also an area I’m actively working to grow in. Will you pray with me? Will you pull out the tweezers and start extracting the lies? God has so much more for us than this world offers. He has so much more for you. Do you believe that?