Just recently, I was listening intently to the story of a man who had a truly fascinating job. He was a sound expert. But he didn’t just spend his days in a small studio sorting through sound bites. He specialized in nature sounds so he spent his time romping through the forests and fields around North America capturing some of the wild’s most magnificent noises. From the tiny chirps of crickets to the boisterous bugle of an elk, Gordon Hempton was intent on recording it. But as the interview on this podcast continued, my ears suddenly perked up when I heard a surprising fact—Gordon was losing his hearing. When the interviewer asked him what this was like, he asked for a moment as his voice was breaking. For a man who was in love with sound, this new development was a cut to the heart. It took him a while to regain his composure and then he revealed another surprising fact—he was devastated, but also thankful, because this unforeseen dilemma had introduced him to a new coworker, a young man named Matt Mikkelsen. Gordon said that if he hadn’t begun losing his hearing, he would have most definitely continued working alone and would have never had the opportunity to meet and work with Matt. They had a kind of father-son relationship that would have never developed had Gordon maintained life as usual. The unexpected suffering had birthed an extraordinary blessing in disguise. As I sat pondering this story, I realized in a deeper way the truth of Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” I don’t know whether this wildlife sound expert was a Christian, but his story was a reminder for me about God’s supervision in our lives as Christ-followers. For us as disciples of Jesus, we can assuredly know that the chaotic, hodge-podge of life’s challenges can become blessings in God’s capable hands. Farther down the road, as we look back in retrospect, we can see how the messy contours of our past can actually turn into God’s master plan for our growth and ultimate salvation. Praise God for blessings in disguise!
Morgan, Chris, "The Quietest Place on Earth." Audio podcast. The Wild, KUOW. 18 June 2019. Web. 29 July 2019.