—Make Your Handicap a Blessing!
1. I GOT A WONDERFUL REVELATION ABOUT SOMETHING JUST THIS MORNING, WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR IT? It was because of a very sad letter, about 6-1/2 pages, from Uriah & Sharai & their son Zion, the deaf boy, who is now 11, the one we wrote the two or three famous Letters about, "Are You Deaf?", "Afflicted Parents," etc. (Nos.1040‚ 1112) We got a very pitiful letter from the father saying they've gone to the mission field, they've done everything they possibly can & tried to obey the Letters & obey the Lord, etc., & in spite of everything the boy's still deaf.
2. IN FACT, THEY WERE SO DISCOURAGED THEY WERE THINKING ABOUT SENDING HIM BACK INTO THE CESSPOOL OF INIQUITY OF THE UNITED STATES TO ATTEND SOME SECULAR GODLESS SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF! The father himself said he was a little shocked when the idea came to him, but the more he thought about it, the more he thought that maybe that was best for Zion & their other children & the Lord's work, where Zion could be with other deaf children & get a financial allotment for his support from the State—in other words, be supported by the State in such a school—& then wouldn't be such a burden on the parents in the mission field where they're trying to be missionaries.
3. THEY APPARENTLY HAVE BEEN SO ASHAMED OF HIM, thinking he's a bad testimony to their failure, they have even been keeping him home from meetings & fellowship with others. Isn't that pitiful?—Terrible! Meanwhile the father has been spending most of his time teaching the boy & ministering to him‚ even staying home with him‚ etc., while the mother & the other children would go out to minister & witness, etc.
4. NO WONDER HE'S DISSATISFIED IF THEY WON'T LET HIM FELLOWSHIP & WON'T TAKE HIM ALONG & TREAT HIM LIKE OTHERS! No wonder he's a little rebellious & has become a little dissatisfied. When you are so self-centered & selfish that you think only of yourself & your own problems & your own trials & testings & tribulations & handicaps & you become introverted, that'll kill you! It's horrible!
5. (MARIA: I THINK WE'VE GOT TO GIVE THEM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT & TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHY THEY WERE WILLING TO CONSIDER SENDING HIM BACK TO THE STATES. They were desperate to get an answer from the Lord‚ & they were looking to the Word they already had‚ & it does seem like the situation you described in "Incurable" (see No.1113) did in many respects apply. He has been very difficult to handle & has resulted in their having to neglect their other five children.)
6. I'LL ADMIT IT WAS A VERY DEPRESSING & PUZZLING LETTER & REALLY DISCOURAGING. They'd done everything I told them to do, what God expected them to do. The husband & wife both know sign language, the father is fluent in sign language, & the children probably know some sign language, but they feel like the boy interferes with their ministry. They'd like to go to Meaningful Meetings, they'd like to minister & be missionaries, but he interferes & misbehaves.
7. SO I PRAYED—I HAVE TO ASK GOD FOR ANSWERS FOR TOUGH CASES LIKE THAT—& IT CAME TO ME JUST LIKE A PICTURE, JUST AS CLEAR AS ANYTHING! I could see them in one of those schools for deaf children there on the field‚ ministering & teaching them through Posters! Think what a wonderful wonderful Message of encouragement they could give that nobody else can give! They could have the Posters lined up & tell them about the different ones & explain it to them in sign language‚ etc., even have their children sing for them! Even if they can't hear them, some of them have partial hearing, a little hearing, or they can feel the vibrations.
8. MY GOODNESS‚ BEETHOVEN WAS STONE DEAF, COULDN'T HEAR A SOUND, & YET HE WROTE SYMPHONIES! Think of it! We published a little item about Beethoven somewhere. (See FN Encyclopedia, pg.929.) It said something about, "If you knew that your child was born of a syphilitic mother & was going to be diseased & handicapped & a weakling & he was going to be stone deaf"—& all these terrible things about this baby—"don't you think if you knew that ahead of time you would agree to an abortion to save him from such a life of affliction & handicap & trial & to save you from having to take care of such a child? Wouldn't you feel like getting rid of that child?" And then this very wise person who wrote it said, "If your answer was yes, you would have killed Beethoven!"—How about that!
9. HE WAS STONE DEAF, BUT THINK OF THE MINISTRY GOD GAVE HIM TO THRILL THE WORLD WITH HIS MARVELLOUS MUSIC, some of the most beautiful music ever written that he couldn't even hear! He wasn't deaf all his life, but he became stone deaf. He heard long enough that he learned music, & he learned how to write music so well that even after he became deaf he could hear it in his head, so to speak‚ & in his heart, his soul, his mind no doubt, & was inspired of the Lord to write it anyhow, even if he couldn't hear it. That's what you call vision—inspiration!
10. URIAH & SHARAI, DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND HOW GOD HAS GIFTED YOU! It's such a rare gift to be able to be fluent in sign language!—And here you've had all of our training & all of our teaching & you know the Message & the doctrine & you've got all those Posters that the deaf kids can see & you can explain to them. Wouldn't that be a thrill!
11. LOOK WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU! ALL THIS TIME YOU'VE BEEN IN TRAINING! (Tongues:) "Thank You Lord for these things that Thou hast revealed unto their Father & given unto Thy Servant David!" Hallelujah! TYJ! PTL! The Lord is so faithful! God has had you in these years of teaching & training & learning that skill‚ now it's time for you to put it to work & minister to the deaf! You could have meetings for them in their schools & orphanages & homes & places like that! What a marvellous ministry God can give you! What a rare gift!
12. NOW YOU NEED TO BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT OTHERS! Get your minds off of yourselves & what a burden your son is & start ministering to others! You of all people can understand their problem, & can even minister to their parents! Many of the parents of these deaf children are perfectly normal people. Just think what an empathy you can have with parents of other deaf children & how you can minister to them & comfort them with the same comfort wherewith you yourselves are comforted! (2Cor.1:4) What a ministry you can have, not only to the deaf children, but to their parents, & understand each other & love each other!
13. HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN MINISTER TO THE DEAF? HOW MANY PEOPLE KNOW SIGN LANGUAGE? I have seen a few, I've even seen a few on television where they give the news in sign language or where they have a Gospel preacher & someone is there giving his message in sign language. Fred Jordan on our television program used to always have somebody there interpreting in sign language while he was preaching. He had a big ministry to the deaf & also a big ministry to the blind! One of Fred's major editors that worked with him was totally blind & published a little Braille newspaper for the blind.
14. JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS HANDICAPPED GOD DOESN'T JUST THROW'M ON THE SCRAP HEAP! Think of some of the greatest Saints of God who ever lived who have had severe handicaps‚ not only Beethoven, but what others come to mind right away? (Fam: The Apostle Paul.) The Apostle Paul apparently had dim eyesight. (Fam: Fanny Crosby, the blind hymn writer!)—Yes, & I'm surprised you haven't mentioned one who was both deaf & dumb—& blind! (Fam: Helen Keller!)
15. HELEN KELLER BECAME A GREAT MINISTER OF ENCOURAGEMENT & EXAMPLE TO THOSE WHO WERE BOTH DEAF, DUMB & BLIND! She could not hear nor see, & for years she couldn't even speak. Because she couldn't hear she hadn't learned to talk, think of that! But it took a sweet Christian nurse on whom God put the burden of real love & concern for her to figure some way of trying to teach her to talk, & she learned not only to talk‚ but to write! She could even enjoy music by putting her hand on the piano & feeling the vibrations.
16. SHE BECAME A VERY GREAT WRITER & WORLD-FAMOUS! She never ever got to hear‚ the Lord let her remain deaf all her life until she was an old lady & died, still deaf! But she did learn to speak, although she couldn't even hear her own voice except its vibration in her head. And she learned to write & read Braille & had a tremendous ministry to encourage millions of deaf & dumb & blind throughout the World that they didn't have to be useless, they didn't have to be discouraged & just give up just because they had such severe handicaps.
DAD'S HANDICAPPED ARM—And How the Lord Compensates!
17. SO JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A HANDICAP DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU CAN'T SERVE THE LORD! I was actually handicapped & I still have a crippled arm. My left hand is not very useful. It always was very difficult in typing because my little finger laid on its side & I had to hit the keys that you had to hit with your little finger on the side of my finger & it would get very sore, but I learned to type anyhow. I can put my right hand palm up, palm down & it can rotate not only 180 degrees, but almost 360 degrees!—But it's a great effort to get my left hand even over that far & I can only rotate it about 90 degrees & it hurts when I do it. Take a look at the difference between these two arms. This big bulge here is where it was broken, for when they reset it, they didn't get the bones to jive.
18. THEY SET IT IN THIS LITTLE DOWNTOWN DOCTOR'S OFFICE. The doctor said to my father, "You grab his arm here & I'll grab his hand & we'll see if we can set it."—And with no anaesthetic, no X-ray‚ nothing‚ they both just pulled & just let the bone come back together & set! Can you imagine? I nearly passed out!—And they didn't get it right! It was kind of half-off & half-on, that's why it will hardly rotate. I broke one of the bones in my arm. Your arm has two bones so that you can do things like this, rotate your arm around, but I can only do mine about a quarter turn!
19. BUT AS A RESULT MY RIGHT ARM & HAND BECAME EXTREMELY STRONG & VERY DEXTEROUS! I have much greater dexterity with my right hand than my left. My left hand can do very little. It was in a sling for a long time.—In those days they just put on two wooden splints, a flat piece of wood on this side & a flat piece of wood on that side, & then wrapped bandages all around just to keep it fairly stiff. You weren't supposed to move it‚ so that the bones could grow back together. If you kept moving it the bones might slip off or slide around. And it hurt, I'll tell you, when they set it, & that dull ache was there for a long time till finally it healed up.
20. AS LONG AS I DON'T TWIST IT TOO MUCH IT DOESN'T HURT, but if I twist it too much or get a grip on something very hard in an awkward position, it will begin to hurt & ache.—Such as when I'm holding one of you girls with my left arm around you trying to squeeze you tight while my right hand is busy! It's not always easy. I don't know whether you've noticed or not, but I have difficulty getting my hand around your back or your neck or your shoulder & reaching your bosom with that hand because it's very difficult for it to bend. My right hand even bends further this way‚ but that's as far as I can bend my left hand.—See? It won't bend any further. I don't know what happened, but something went haywire with even the ligaments & joints so that it's just stiffened that way.
21. SO I'M LITERALLY A CRIPPLE, I HAVE A CRIPPLED ARM & HAND, BUT AS A RESULT MY RIGHT HAND BECAME EXTREMELY STRONG! I told you the story of how I used to go to the little general store on the corner across the street from the high school where the football team would all line up at the grip machine. You squeezed it with your hand as hard as you could & there was a little indicator like the arrow on a weighing machine which would show how strong your grip was, up to such-&-such a number.
22. ALL THESE BIG FOOTBALLERS WOULD GET UP & SQUEEZE THIS MACHINE, & all of us little shrimps, we were nothing, we couldn't do anything, so nobody let us even try because they were showing off. You put a penny in it—the store manager was making money—& you went up & squeezed. I was just a high school sophomore, second year of high school, & I thought, "I'm curious, & even if it's embarrassing, I'm going to go up & see!" And I squeezed that thing & the needle shot way up above anything that any of them had ever done, & they gasped! You could only do it with one hand‚ you weren't allowed to do it with two. They were dumbfounded that my grip was stronger than theirs!
23. I THINK SOME OF YOU GIRLS KNOW ABOUT THAT! They say, "Isn't your hand getting tired?" I say‚ "No, it never gets tired!" I've gone on for hours working on some girls. One poor girl‚ my goodness‚ I think she was absolutely hopelessly frigid, or at least I thought she was, & it took me two hours before she could go! Some of you here even have a little problem along that line. Well, I don't know whether you've read the latest Letter about that yet or not: "For God's sake, if you can't go—don't!"—Don't keep trying! (See "Be a Eunuch!", No.1923)
24. BE LIKE THE OLD MAID WHO CAME OUT ONE DAY ALL HAPPY & SMILES & CHEERFUL & THEY SAID, "WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED TO YOU? You've been going around like a sad sack & looking pitiful & all discouraged because you couldn't find a husband!" She said, "I quit struggling!" In other words, she quit trying to find a husband & just decided to enjoy life! Of course some people just think they can't, but they can if they'll try & ask the Lord to help them. But if you really can't, if that's not your talent, that's not your thing, if that's not your particular "bag" as the hippies used to call it, then find some other bag & try something else that you can be successful at & that you are talented & gifted at!
25. THESE HAVE SUCH A RARE TALENT OF BEING FLUENT IN SIGN LANGUAGE, think what a blessing that could be, what a ministry they could have! I mean, how few people in the World even have that gift & that skill?—And how many fewer people in the World are preaching the Gospel with it!—And how rare, almost we used to say as hen's teeth‚ are people in our Family like that!—I think these are the only ones that are fluent in sign language, the only ones I've heard of.—And who have our Message & our Posters for them to look at & explain, such a wonderful Message about Heaven & how if the deaf don't get healed here, they're going to have hearing There & a lot more! What a ministry they could have!
HANDLING THE HANDICAPPED!
26. I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY HE WASN'T HEALED EITHER, I couldn't understand their problem either & I sympathised with them. I wrote one Letter about one couple who had a very handicapped retarded child, I think the child was almost demon–possessed, & finally they did what I advised some to do. (See No.1002:105 & 1113:32-35.) He was a terrible disturbance, he really was worse than handicapped. Whenever they tried to minister, etc.‚ he would cause disturbances, like the Devil hated their ministry & was using him to distract & demoralise & keep them from ministering.
27. WELL, THEY PRAYED & PRAYED & THEY NEVER GOT RELIEF, HE NEVER SEEMED TO GET RELIEF. I don't know if they ever really tried to exorcise him, to cast out the devil or not. But I said if you just can't get the victory with a child like that, perhaps it's better to give him to the grandparents or someone who can devote their time to the child & take care of him & wants to‚ or can send him to a school for the retarded & mentally disabled, put him in such a place where they have others like them—there are many such places because there are many such children, sad to say—& then you can be free to devote yourself full time to the Lord's ministry.
28. AND THEY FINALLY DID THAT & THEY'RE ON THE MISSION FIELD NOW, I think in Thailand, & having a fruitful ministry for the Lord with their other children. They had four other perfectly normal, wonderful, beautiful children. I never did understand why the Lord let them have that child‚ except I believe it was that child that really humbled them & really brought them close to the Lord & made them seek the Lord & want to live for the Lord. God often uses that.
29. BUT THIS LAST WAS SUCH AN ANSWER I GOT!—I never dreamed of such a thing about Zion & his parents. I just prayed‚ "Lord, what in the World is wrong, why don't You heal that boy?" And just as clear as anything a picture came to me, "Now's the time‚ you've been prepared, now you can go out & do it!"
30. I BET IF YOU'D GET STARTED YOU'D REALLY BE IN DEMAND! The Lord would bless you, you know that, & would support you. I'd be willing to offer a contribution for your support as a special ministry that really needs help & support! I'd be willing to help you if you would have a real sacrificial ministry like that to the deaf! That's a ministry worth supporting, praise the Lord! That's one way to find out about Zion‚ to see if he can get a burden for doing it.
31. MAYBE YOU NEED TO CAST A DEMON OUT WHICH COULD BE CAUSING THE DEAFNESS & THE WHOLE WORKS, A BAD SPIRIT! Well, we could give him one last chance, that either he snaps out of it or you have a little exorcism & get it out of him & launch into a ministry where he's not so introverted & selfish & just worried about his own problem, but really launch out into a ministry for others. (Maria: Because then, he'd have to be a good sample. He couldn't be bad there!) And if that didn't do it, well then, all right, send him away!
32. I JUST DREADED READING THAT LETTER, it's about 6-&-1/2 pages & I just thought, "Oh my!" I finally said‚ "Well‚ I've got to read it some time, I might as well do it now." I still didn't have the answer to tell them. But as I read it, it just came clear as a picture! So that's the answer, & whether the boy yields to it or not or whether they can get him exorcised or not, that's neither here nor there, the picture is true! (Maria: Yes, it was for the parents' ministry mostly.) Yes, for the parents & the rest of their family. If he is not going to get rid of that spirit & yield to the Lord's Will, then this will give him his last chance & then they can let him go.
33. THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT SENDING HIM BACK TO THE STATES, putting him in a school for the deaf there & the Government pays the bill & all that stuff. They've got help for people like that, & it would get the burden off of their hands & actually would be a financial help. But when you think about sending him back to the System pit‚ poor boy, I bet he'd change his mind by the time he got back there & wish he was back with his family!
34. MAYBE IT'S WHAT HE NEEDS TO TEACH HIM! That's sometimes the way people have to learn, being faced with the alternative, like that time with Paul Rader. There were four brothers, they all became preachers, & their father was a farmer. The father was pretty tough‚ he was pretty rigid & firm with the rules, he really brought them up right. But one of the boys, I think it was Luke, came home from college one day, & sitting at the family dinner table he pulled out a big cigar, which was absolutely forbidden in that home! His father told him a couple of times that it was not allowed there & he said, "Oh, Dad, you're an old fogey‚ old fuddy duddy‚ people aren't so strict anymore" blah, blah! Finally the Dad got up from the table, walked over to him, yanked the cigar out of his mouth & threw it out the window, & the boy got so mad he got up & stomped out, packed his suitcase & left home & said he was never going to come home again, he was so mad! But a few weeks later, after being out in the pit awhile, he came back with his tail between his legs & said, "Dad, I'm sorry, you're not so bad after all!"
HANDICAPS—SO YOU CAN SYMPATHISE WITH OTHERS
35. SO YOU HAVE SUCH A RARE SKILL, THINK HOW YOU CAN USE IT! Think of what an advantage this handicap is to you‚ to be able to minister to others that have the same! That's the advantage of a handicap, & I think perhaps a lot of people need that. I'm sure that God must have allowed some people to have handicaps so that they would have a heart & a mind & a soul & a burden & a love for others who have the same disability & the same handicap‚ & so that they would try to help them & minister to them, "For we comfort others with the same comfort with which we ourselves are comforted." (2Co.1:4)
36. DON'T YOU SYMPATHISE MORE WITH SOMEBODY WHO HAS THE SAME PROBLEM? Can't you understand them better than somebody who's never experienced it? Other people may be kind to you, other people may sympathise, other people may try to understand & love you & help you, but you know that nobody can ever understand what you're going through except someone who has gone through the same thing himself, or is going through the same thing, or has the same kind of handicap, or a handicap. Then you can really sympathise.—Like Jesus did for us!
37. YOU OUGHT TO HAVE SUCH A HEART FOR DEAF CHILDREN & WANT TO MINISTER TO THEM! I understand you've had a burden for this ministry before, but you must have gotten discouraged about it. Evidently it wasn't the time yet. I know you went back to the U.S. for a long time & Zion was in deaf schools & all kinds of things where he learned the sign language & you learned it‚ & you teach him school & subjects & classes all the time‚ educating him. He's 11 years old, a subteen, getting up to junior high age, an intelligent boy, a smart boy, & can be a good boy, but he's been restless & a little rebellious & sometimes a little discouraged. He even said he wished sometimes the Lord would take him Home to Heaven so he could hear!
38. WELL, WITH NO OUTLET FOR HIS TALENT, NO MINISTRY, NOT REALISING HOW USEFUL HE COULD BE & only worrying about himself‚ introverted, always worrying about his own handicap, his own problem, no wonder he's discouraged! Don't you really get discouraged when you look at yourself? I know I have! I'm a mess! If I worried about my problems & what a mess I am & my failures & my sins & how bad I am, I'd really get discouraged! Sometimes Techi says, "Oh Grandpa, you're not that bad!"—Ha! You just don't know how bad I am & have been! But thank the Lord, thereby I can sympathise with other sinners like you & have a heart for you & love you! God had to make me so bad I even loved the hippies, who were considered the worst on Earth, the scum of the Earth, the scum of society—or rather the dregs of society. The scum is the froth that's on top, like high society!
39. MY MOTHER USED TO SAY ABOUT HIGH SOCIETY, "I'D RATHER BE THE DREGS OF SOCIETY like the bums & the harlots & the drunks & whatnot, there's at least some substance to the dregs, but there's nothing to the froth on top!" The froth is just foam full of air! You know how when you beat up the eggnog or the milkshake & you start to drink it & it's nothing but bubbles? It's just air, air with a little thin bubble of moisture around it. But finally you get through all that foam & you get down to the real thing! And when you hit the bottom, then you've got hunks of chocolate or hunks of really solid stuff!
40. MOTHER WAS BORN IN HIGH SOCIETY & LIVED IN IT MOST OF HER LIFE, ESPECIALLY IN HER YOUTH. Her father was rich, a millionaire‚ & she finally got fed up with it & wanted to kill herself! But she remembered her father saying, "Don't throw your life away, give it away for some good cause." So though she wasn't even saved, she decided to try to serve others & give her talent to serving others. And the others she went out to save were what they called in those days "wayward girls", "fallen girls", prostitutes, white slaves, whores, drunks & dope addicts! But she used to say, "At least there's some kind of reality & substance to them & not just that empty froth of high society!"
41. SO AREN'T YOU GLAD THAT YOU'RE NOT AS SEVERELY HANDICAPPED AS SOMEBODY ELSE? All of us have some handicap‚ believe it or not! It's a little bit like the dear old Quaker who said to his wife, "Dear, I believe that it seems all the World is crazy but thee & me!—And sometimes I wonder about thee!" We all have a handicap of some kind‚ we're all handicapped with sin, shortcomings, weaknesses‚ failures & mistakes, all of us! That's why Jesus had to die for us, because we're handicapped with sin, all of us! But we all have a handicap that the Lord has allowed us to have, sin, first of all so we would know we needed Him, & then so we would also know that others need us. Amen?
42. AREN'T YOU GLAD YOU'RE HANDICAPPED SO YOU CAN SYMPATHISE WITH THE HANDICAPS OF OTHERS? Haven't you all had some sin, some drawback, something whereby you sympathised with other young people, even hippies & drug addicts, because you'd been through the same thing & you found the answer in Jesus? Aren't you glad the Lord let you go through that in order to know what it feels like & how it feels to be like that‚ how hopeless & discouraged you were, how empty you were & how seeking you were, how needy you were, to know how they feel & to have a love & sympathy for them to want to help & save them? Isn't that why you really joined the Family?—First of all as an answer to your needs‚ & then you began to see that the same answer that satisfied you was just what all the rest of them needed! Amen? PTL!
43. WELL, THERE GOES ANOTHER SERMON I DIDN'T PLAN TO GET INTO! I had my Bible open all this time. I open this Bible every time & start studying, put on my glasses‚ then I have to tell you something else. But I guess the Lord must have known you needed that & wanted you to hear that revelation from the Lord, that vision I got this morning.
44. MARIA TOLD ME, "YOU'VE GOT TO READ THIS LETTER!" When have I got time to read 6–1/2 pages? I do well sometimes to read your notes, & if they get too long, watch out, I get a little irritated! I'm so busy & I've got so much to read, please don't write me such long notes if you can help it unless it really is important! So when I saw this 6-1/2 page letter I just shook my head. She said, "No‚ you've gotta read it! After all, you've written Letters about this family already, you've got to give them the answer! He's still not healed, he's still a problem, they still don't know what to do. They've done everything you told them to do, they've sacrificed & left all, forsaken all & gone to the mission field & he's still not healed! They're discouraged & he's discouraged. You've gotta read it!"
45. SO I LOOKED AROUND ON MY DESK FOR ONE MORE THING TO DO‚ I STILL HAD ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE CLASS‚ & I SAW THIS LETTER. I'd been putting it off as long as I could because I knew it was going to be a pain to read it, nothing joyful about it, just agony to have to wade through all that!—And in a way the father was kind of murmuring & complaining. "Now Lord, look, I've done everything You told me to do, why don't You do Your part?"—That was a little bit of the attitude. But they were sincere & they really needed help, & they really wanted to know why & what to do!
46. AND WHEN I PRAYED DESPERATELY‚ THE PICTURE CAME SO CLEARLY: I COULD SEE THEM ON A PLATFORM EXPLAINING THE POSTERS TO THESE DEAF CHILDREN! Isn't that beautiful?—And their other children were there too, showing how they could minister & sing. Even if they can't hear them, they can see the happy expression on our children's faces! The joy, the light, the love & the happiness on their faces is a testimony in itself, even if the deaf can't hear or understand a word!—The fact that they can be happy even though they've got a deaf big brother, this shows that their families can be happy even though they've got a deaf child! What an example! What a wonderful encouraging sample of how to be happy though deaf, how to be happy though handicapped‚ & Who can make you happy, & with a vision of all the happiness ahead in Heaven!
47. THIS FAMILY CAN GO TO DEAF SCHOOLS & DEAF HOMES & DEAF ORPHANAGES! There are oodles of them everywhere! Just think of all those pitiful little children who are just waiting for them to come with the Answer, with the Gospel, the Good News of God's Love‚ that there's Someone in this World‚ in this life, in these Heavens that's the answer to all your problems, even though deaf!
48. WHAT A MINISTRY THEY CAN HAVE, & HERE THEY'VE HAD YEARS NOW TO PREPARE FOR IT! I'm sure they didn't know they were preparing for it, they don't know it yet, I just got the vision! I told Maria this morning, we've got to let them know immediately & tell'm what the Lord said & showed, that that's their job now! God has now given them years of training & experience in the Lord & His ministry.—Now they gotta use it!
49. WE'VE GOT CRIPPLES IN THE FAMILY WHO GO OUT & LITNESS IN A WHEEL CHAIR OR ON CRUTCHES! They can sometimes distribute more lit than some of the able-bodied ones!—Because people have more sympathy for them‚ they have more concern for them & they give them bigger gifts & are kinder to them because they can see they need help. We used to have a boy that stood on crutches on the street corner for hours passing out lit & he was tremendously successful!
50. WE'VE GOT A GIRL THAT'S RIGHT NOW MARRIED TO ONE OF OUR BOYS, & YET SHE'S A CRIPPLE! She's married to Juan & her name is Victoria, & they are the heads of a whole field!—So talented, so wise & so humble through their own handicaps! He was a homo, she's still a cripple, but look what the Lord has done with them! They can sympathise with both, & with others who have other problems. He humbled them & brought them to the Lord through their own sins & their own handicaps so that they might comfort others with the comfort wherewith they themselves are comforted! Praise God? TYL!
51. DON'T GO CRYING ON YOUR OWN SHOULDER & ON GOD'S SHOULDER & SOMEBODY ELSE'S SHOULDER ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP & lamenting about "my trial, my besetting sin, my thorn in the flesh‚" blah blah blah blah! Get your eyes off yourself & your mind off yourself & start passing onto others the answers that God has given you through your trial, the lessons He taught you through your handicap, the experiences you've had with a similar handicap & the victory you gained through Jesus & His Love!—Amen? He's the answer to everything, right? No matter what your handicap is, no matter how wicked a sinner you are or how bad you've been or how many mistakes you make or think you make!
52. THIS LITTLE GIRL ON OUR STAFF THINKS SHE MAKES A LOT MORE MISTAKES THAN SHE REALLY DOES‚ I NEVER SAW WHAT A LIAR THE DEVIL IS TO HER! Excuse me for making you my sample, Dear, but you're nice & close up front here where I can use you for a dandy bad example! He's always lying to her & telling her she's worse than she really is & makes more mistakes than she really does. What a liar! Why do you listen to him? Tell him to shut up! Slam the door in his face‚ cut his nose off! Tell him to go away & shut up, you're tired of listening to him! You've got Jesus & He's the answer to everything & that's all you need & He'll take care of it all—mistakes & the works! PTL?—And most of them are just imaginary anyhow. He's a liar!
53. IT CAME TO ME JUST AS CLEAR AS A PICTURE! I could just see them on a platform giving sign language to the deaf & explaining these Posters! Isn't that wonderful? Isn't that beautiful?—The whole Family! And the deaf boy, here he's a subteen, so other subteens are going to wake up & listen to him, listen to his fingers while he tells them what Jesus means to him! And the other children‚ though younger, they've probably learned some sign language to communicate with their brother, & even they can communicate with these smaller children.
54. THEY CAN SHOW THEM HOW HAPPY THEY ARE‚ THEY HAVE JESUS, & THEY CAN BE HAPPY TOO!—The deaf can have Jesus just as much as a person that can hear! He can make them just as happy as hearing people!—Right?—And tell them about the City where they're not going to be deaf any more! Praise God! Hallelujah! And if the Lord wants to, He can even heal'm, deliver'm! He healed the deaf, the dumb, the blind‚ the crippled‚ the lame, amen?—And no doubt the Lord wants to heal many of them. If they'll rebuke the Devil & take Jesus, I'm sure the Lord will deliver many of them.
55. THE ONLY THING I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WAS WHY THE LORD DIDN'T DELIVER THESE GOOD PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY TRYING TO BE MISSIONARIES & SERVE THE LORD‚ & THIS GOOD BOY WITH THIS HANDICAP. He wasn't born deaf, but he got sick when he was a baby with spinal meningitis, & it resulted in deafness. Well, they said the first verse I ever gave them was that this disease was not caused by either the sins of the parents or of the child, but that God might be glorified. Well, I didn't even remember giving them that verse, but I can see that it could really be true now that it wasn't their fault that the child became deaf. But later, if you read the Letters, it sounds to me like I thought it was their fault, or at least partly, that he hadn't been healed.
56. BUT NOW I SEE CLEARLY THAT EVEN THOUGH IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN PARTIALLY THEIR FAULT, & even though it has caused them to repent & be greatly humbled & desire to serve the Lord & has undoubtedly drawn them closer to God because of this trial, this handicap, nevertheless, now it can be for the glory of God & a great blessing & a ministry to others! I said, "Get your mind off yourselves, quit worrying about yourselves & your problem & make this thing an advantage instead of a handicap!"
57. NOW IT'S AN ADVANTAGE! THEY CAN DO THINGS & MINISTER TO PEOPLE YOU & I CAN'T EVEN REACH! How are you & I going to reach & minister & witness to deaf people? About all we can do is hand them literature, providing they can read. And a lot of these young people‚ children especially, haven't even learned to read because they're deaf. Many of them, because they're deaf, have not even learned to talk, because they can't hear. You learned to talk because you could hear somebody else teaching the words, they couldn't hear so they never even learned to talk, isn't that pitiful?—Children as big as you. Eventually they do teach them sign language & they learn to talk with their fingers. How about that?
58. I'VE ESPECIALLY NOTICED GROUPS OF DEAF PEOPLE IN RESTAURANTS, A WHOLE TABLE FULL OF DEAF PEOPLE, & THEIR FINGERS WOULD JUST BE FLYING! They're happy & laughing & smiling & talking as fast as us Jews do with our hands!—Happy though deaf! Well, how much happier they can be with Jesus!—And how much happier this family can be now with that deaf boy, if they get their minds off of him & off their problem & turn it into an advantage instead of a handicap! They've got a skill that not one of us here that I know of has. Is anybody here fluent in the sign language for the deaf? My Mother used to know a little bit, she could carry on a conversation with some deaf people. She learned that, she learned Cantonese, she learned a lot of things that I don't know, she could even read palms! She was quite a talented woman. But God always used those gifts with somebody, somewhere, sometime, as a witness & helped her to witness to others‚ believe it or not!
59. SO TURN YOUR HANDICAP INTO AN ADVANTAGE! Having dealt with it & conquered it & found the answer, God can turn around & use it for His glory! If He doesn't deliver you from it, then He must want you to use it for some reason‚ so that perhaps you can go out & comfort others with the same comfort with which you yourself are comforted, even though not delivered.
60. WHAT A BLESSING THEY CAN BE, WHAT A COMFORT THEY CAN BE, WHAT A MESSAGE THEY CAN CARRY ON THEIR FINGERS! PTL?—Their instrument of ten strings on which they can play music for the Lord! PTL!—And they can bring music & joy to the hearts of those poor deaf children & deaf people—& their parents! Even if the parents aren't deaf, as most of them aren't, what a comfort they can be to them! They can say, "Look at us! We're happy‚ we have Jesus, we forget about this handicap & we use it for God's glory to help others‚ encourage others, minister to others & comfort others!" PTL?
61. WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO DO IS GET YOUR MIND OFF YOURSELF! And if God has taught you some things through such disabilities & weaknesses & handicaps, or even sins or problems or trials, ask the Lord to give you the victory, & even if He won't completely deliver you, there must be a reason for it. You can go to that other guy & say, "Well look, I'm still not delivered from this thorn in the flesh, but it helps keep me humble & I can still serve the Lord." Paul's thorn in the flesh never kept him from serving the Lord. He fought a good fight, he finished the course, he kept the faith! (2Tim.4:7)
USE YOUR HANDICAP—DON'T EXCUSE IT!
62. WHEN MOTHER & I CAME ALONG PRAYING FOR THE SICK, we had lots of church Christians tell us, "I guess this is just my thorn in the flesh like Saint Paul! I guess if he could have a thorn in the flesh, I can too! It does hinder me in serving the Lord‚ but I guess I can't help it because the Lord lets me have it & He doesn't heal me." My Mother would stick her finger in their face & say‚ "Listen! Saint Paul never stopped serving Jesus just because he had a thorn in the flesh, it didn't keep him from serving the Lord! So don't give that kind of an excuse for not serving God!"
63. USE IT! TURN AROUND & USE YOUR HANDICAP AS AN ADVANTAGE, TO TEACH OTHERS! For years I had heart trouble, I still have a little test now & then, but I am stronger & healthier now than I've ever been in my whole life‚ & happier too! I nearly died, the Lord had to get me to the point where I was willing to say "Uncle" & give in & give up my ideas & ways of life & doing things. I was tired of being my Mother's flunky & chauffeur & bellboy & general errand boy & all the rest. I thought, "Maybe if I'd leave her, my Dad will come back & take care of her like he ought to, so I can go out & see what the World is like!" So I was tickled pink when the army got me!—But I wasn't in it more than one day when I knew that wasn't where I belonged!
64. BUT THE LORD LET ME GO THROUGH IT TO LEARN A LOT OF LESSONS THAT WERE GOOD FOR ME, & to nearly die so that I would finally be down so low & so near death that I was willing to say "Uncle"—Uncle Jesus, Uncle God! To "say uncle" means you give in, you give up to the Lord. I told God I was willing to serve Him no matter what, with my Mother or whatever, go anywhere, do anything, if He'd just give me back my life. I was ashamed, I was sorry, & if He'd give me back my life I'd use it for His glory from then on.—And I did!—And I still am!
65. WELL, I'VE PREACHED ENOUGH, PRAISE GOD? I GUESS THAT MUST BE THE SERMON YOU NEEDED TODAY, THE ADVANTAGE OF A HANDICAP! Aren't you glad you were all sinners? Let's face it, aren't you glad you're still all sinners so you can sympathise with other sinners & tell them how to be saved, the only way to be saved!—Not by trying not to be a sinner, not by trying to be good, not by going to church, not by looking self-righteous & holier–than-thou & so prim & good & clean, & you don't do this & you don't do that & you don't do something else, a religion consisting of don'ts!—But by telling them what to do & how to do it: Just take Jesus, that's all you have to do‚ & He'll do it all through you!—With your cooperation, of course. You just do what He tells you to do & He'll help you do it. PTL?—Even if you have a handicap!
66. HE CAN USE THAT HANDICAP TO HIS GLORY! If He doesn't heal you‚ then ask Him to use it! Don't be ashamed of it, tell other people about it! Say, "Well, I had herpes too, but God healed me."—Or, "I've still got herpes but I still love the Lord & I still love you & I still want to tell you about Jesus!" Thank God He's healed most of us, or you. I don't think I've ever had it as far as I know, thank the Lord!
67. JUST THINK WHAT A MARVELLOUS ADVANTAGE & SKILL IT IS TO BE ABLE TO SOW SEED WITH YOUR FINGERS IN SIGN LANGUAGE to the deaf who otherwise might never hear, & certainly would maybe never understand these beautiful pictures we're passing out unless you explain'm!—Especially if they're young children who never learned to read & can't read the backings, which you can explain to them! PTL! Wouldn't that be a wonderful ministry? Wouldn't you love to see Uriah & Sharai & Zion, their 11-year–old boy‚ & their other five kids go out to these homes for the deaf & schools for deaf children & show the Posters & tell'm about Jesus & show'm how much He loves'm because He sent them there with sign language to show'm? Praise God! What a ministry!
68. WELL, I DIDN'T INTEND TO PREACH ON THAT SUBJECT THIS MORNING OR TEACH ON IT OR ANYTHING, BUT I THINK MAYBE THAT WAS NEEDED. If you can't get rid of your handicap, then take advantage of it, use it for God's glory somehow. He must want you to have it for some reason, so use it! TTL! Amen? GBY!—And use your handicap for Jesus!—Love, D.