Tag Archives: Tinnitus

A quieter, gentler world



Maybe I’m just getting old. They say, “You know you’re getting old when any sound you don’t make bothers you.” But really, don’t you find life can be too noisy?! And does it seem to you that it is getting noisier all the time? Machines whirring, constant chatter, more and more people in a hurry and eager to beep their horns, and always – I mean always – something close by beeping some reminder at you. Then there is the ‘noise’ of fast paced living. Even in the absence of sounds, the level of activity itself seems ‘noisy.’


If you have encountered any sort of life changing trauma, be it cancer, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or some chronic pain, you know that even soundless tension can also register as noise and set your spirit on edge. I experienced this when I contracted Tinnitus. It was as if a switch went On that I could never turn Off. The ringing in my ears was and is like the whine of a jet engine that never goes away. Fifteen years later, I still long for “the sounds of silence.” Perhaps you’ve been in a situation where you’ve had to closely attend to medical routines, medications, or pain levels. So much mental focus becomes unbearably ‘noisy’.


If you endure such an experience, you might come to experience an appreciation for a quieter, slower pace of life. Some things that once seemed urgent become less important. It’s fine to want to be excellent in what you do, but it really doesn’t add any value if you sand the studs before you put on the drywall, if you know what I mean.


There are seasons of life that are busier and noisier than others and we all have to get through those and enjoy them the best we can. But if you find that life has become too noisy and hectic, perhaps it is time to make a list of how you can slow down. In business we used to ask, “What needs to stop and what needs to start?” “What do we need to do less of (or stop doing entirely because it just wastes time) and what do I need to do more of?” Try it. You’ll be glad you did if it leads you to slow down and enjoy a bit more peace in your life. And for ultimate peace, turn down the noise in your life and turn to God. Spend quiet time meditating on and memorizing His Word. If you are too busy for God, you might be too busy.


“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3



Peace right now



No Jesus – No peace.

Know Jesus – Know peace.


“My peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart not be troubled. Neither let it be afraid.”  (John 14:27)


Jesus was talking with his followers shortly before the end of His physical ministry on earth. He was encouraging them by promising them God would send a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to remind and teach them all they needed to enter into God’s presence and His peace. (Words for us today!)


How valuable to you is peace? I can assure you that the more turmoil there is in your life, the more you will long for some peace. If your body is torn apart by disease – or by the effects of the cure – you will long for peace. If your mind is constantly in a whirlwind, always jumping from one worry to another, trying to find an escape from sorrow and pain, you will seek peace with all your might. While you are recovering from grief you will welcome peace.


But what kind of peace will fill our needs? Will quietness or solitude? If you experience Tinnitus, a constant ringing in your ears that never stops,  quietness may bring more stress than peace! If you are lonely, solitude may only serve to insult your sensibilities. What about the absence of stress and hurt? That would be nice, but do you know of such a protective place where heartache never visits? How about a bigger pile of money, a life of comfort? There are too many stories of extremely wealthy people who never found peace.


Jesus says that He gives us true peace, not the kind of peace the world offers. What is this true peace that we are offered? He says it is the kind of peace that can protect our hearts from being troubled by the storm raging around and within us. It is the peace that overcomes fear. It is a peace that endures and persists despite our circumstances.


Paul wrote that he had learned the secret of being content; that whether he had plenty or none, he “could do all things through Christ who strengthened him.” He endured plenty of pain and sorrow, including some unknown ‘thorn in the flesh’ that just wouldn’t leave him. But a contented peace allowed him to rise above his circumstances. He found the peace that surpasses all human understanding, the peace that Jesus gives. Surely, this peace is ‘the favor of the Lord, more than any other ‘riches’ you may acquire!


Doesn’t that sound like the peace you want? Isn’t that the kind of peace that would make your light shine brighter within and around you? I wonder what transformation awaits us when we decide to relentlessly pursue the peace of God rather than the peace that the world offers! Why not spend time with God and talk with the Prince of Peace about experiencing His peace in your life?!



“I Own You!”

My sister sent me an interesting article written by a person with Meniere’s Disease. The comment that grabbed my attention in the article was the author’s observation that her disability sometimes screams to her, “I own you!”

Have you ever felt that way? That something in your life, your health, your personal relationships, your job, your debt, perhaps a destructive self habit…something cries out to you, “I own you.” Marcia and I were tempted by this thought at the very beginning of our journey with Leukemia. Even now we are periodically attacked with this thought. The ongoing demands of the very real symptoms insist on being attended to. They will not be ignored and we cannot escape them. But do these challenging realities really OWN us? Just because thieves continue to survey your house, that is not the same as breaking in and stealing from you or taking you hostage. And certainly you don’t leave the house unprotected.

A servant cannot serve two masters. We cannot be owned simultaneously by peace and fear. In an earlier post we looked at 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 which tells us “You are not your own. You were bought at a price.” (This may be an affront to those who think they can give part of their life to God and have the right to call all their own shots.) If you are a devoted follower of Jesus, your body (and mind) belongs to Him and His care. It is a temporary dwelling for an eternal and divine purpose. That is why we are able to persevere in faith through difficult trials (and you can too). We know to whom we belong. “We have this faith as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)

We are not owned by our troubles unless we willingly surrender to them. What is the antidote for this? Developing an attitude of gratitude, praising God, for who He is, for what He has done, what He will do, and what He is now doing on your behalf. I would be glad to be healed of Leukemia, and believe I will be one day. At the same time, I am thankful I do not carry a heavier cross. I am thankful I do not bear this alone. I am thankful for a loving God who never abandons me. Even for a sense of humor that sometimes gives me a break from becoming too serious.

When the devil tells you about your troubles, you tell him about your Great God! Your troubles, whatever they are, do not have to own you. Say it out loud. “You (name the affliction) do NOT own me.” Draw close to God and He WILL draw close to you. It’s a promise.