About a month ago, I was grabbing dinner with some friends at a pretty busy restaurant. We sat in the middle of the restaurant. Most tables around us were filled. The place, in my opinion, was quite loud.
We were having fun talking, laughing, and enjoying our time together, when our waiter came over, introduced himself, and asked me what I would like to drink.
I didn’t hear a word he said.
This didn’t concern me much. I mean, the place was full. It was loud. Sure, everyone else could hear him just fine, but I’m sure it was just the overall noise in the place.
About a week later, I started getting this weird “knife in your ears” type feeling. A shot of pain would resonate through my left ear and then give me a massive headache for a couple of minutes, and then it would leave.
“I’m sure it’s allergies or just a head cold.”
A few days later, we were doing a sound check with my band. After going through the mixing, I was having a horrible time hearing certain instruments when the rest of the band could hear them perfectly fine. This, for me, was the first major red flag (even though I had a few already). I went ahead and made an appointment with an audiologist.
I’ll never forget what happened next. I’ll never forget when the doctor looked at me and said “Josh, you only have 80% of hearing in my right ear, and 60% of hearing in my left ear, and the hearing in your left ear is losing hearing rapidly.”
That sentence was the beginning of a very hard road.
I’m going to be honest with you. Does this concern me? yes. very much so. Is it becoming a struggle to lead others in worship with this? A little. This isn’t something you can take away. This is now something I’m going to have to live with for the rest of my life.
And I am perfectly ok with that.
My friends, this is a blessing. This is God saying “here’s another refinement. Give it everything you got.” And I love when He does that. Because coal doesn’t become diamonds without a struggle.
I’ve already decided I won’t compromise. This doesn’t mean quitting. This means re-inventing myself. This means re-training myself in a different way. This means perfecting my ear training. This means working hard. Yeah, it’s going to be tough. But it’s worth it. Because hardships brings refinement, which brings accomplishments.
This life change also reminded me that passion never fails. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my passion, my privilege, and my duty as a leader of worship does not, I repeat, does not rely on my ability to hear. Sound is emotion. The moving of the spirit is supernatural.
Listen, we all go through things like this. But my friend, please remember, Jesus has those situations you are going through, just like this, in His hands. He’s got it. And I promise you, whatever that situation is that you are in that makes you feel like there is no hope, please remember this: there is always hope in the Hands that first created you.
Live James 1:12. He’ll take care of the rest.