Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassment (01/12/12)
TITLE: I Can Be Still And Know That He Is God
By Toni Babcock
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Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) is a rare neurological disorder that affects the vocal chords in two major forms; adductor, which slams the vocal chords together causing a harsh, forced, and broken tone of speech, and abductor, which inhibits the full closure of vocal chords creating a breathy, whispery tone. SD is sometimes accompanied with a vocal tremor of no known cause. SD can be treated but not entirely cured. Botox injections can improve Spasmodic Dysphonia, but must be repeated every 3 months or so. Surgery may help those who don’t respond well to Botox, but even after surgery the disorder can return. Stress worsens symptoms of SD, but the disorder is not psychological in origin. People who have accompanying vocal tremor can be more difficult to treat with success.
I have taken a rather philosophical approach to Spasmodic Dysphonia. I decided to live at peace with SD and accompanying vocal tremor, strengthened by the recognition that if I were able to speak with a perfect tongue I may not always speak so well. Those times when I choose to remain silent because of SD might be my “silence is golden” times. I can relate to David as he prayed “Set a watch oh Lord before my mouth, keep the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3 KJV). No better way to achieve that than to be stricken with a disabling voice disorder. In another psalm he wrote, “I was dumb, I opened not my mouth because Thou didst it” (Psalm 39:9 KJV).
I believe my SD is a part of God’s plan to accomplish His purpose in me because “…we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 KJV). The discipline God brings into my life through trial is meant for my profit, that I might be partaker of His holiness, (Hebrews 12:10). That being said, I need to embrace whatever discipline God uses to mold me into His likeness and not fight against His plan.
There were people in the Apostle Paul’s life who viewed his infirmities with contempt. They said his letters were weighty and powerful, but his physical appearance was weak and his speech contemptible, (II Corinthians 10:10). Maybe they thought Paul was a disappointing embarrassment for the cause of Christ. They wanted to glory in his flesh, but God didn’t give them that option. But what mattered most at the end of Paul’s life? Was it the opinion of others? Was it his attractive physical presence or his outstanding speaking prowess? Or was it the letters he left behind - the inspired things he wrote? I take great encouragement from the answer to that question. I can live with Spasmodic Dysphonia and allow God to deal with me as He will. I can be still and know that He is God.
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