PLANO?Jennifer Rothschild does not want to be defined by her circumstances but by how God is using her circumstances to reveal his glory. Although blinded by a degenerative eye disease at age 15, Rothschild said that was not the defining moment of her life and that God continues to refine her.
Having gained prominence as a Christian women’s speaker and author, Rothschild became aware that she was known as the “blind speaker”?a moniker she did not protest as long as there was not a period at the end of that descriptive sentence. She told the women gathered for the annual SBTC Women’s Luncheon at the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention annual meeting Oct. 25 that learning to walk by faith and not by sight is no more applicable to her because of her blindness. Every woman who knows Jesus has been freed from the bonds of blindness and allowed to see what is beyond her circumstances, she said.
Years ago, when her family received the news of her diagnosis of complete blindness, Rothschild said it was a long, silent ride home. Upon entering the house, Rothschild said she went to the piano. Having not been able to read the sheet music for many months, Rothschild said she sat down and did something she had never done before?play a song by ear. The tune she played was the theme of her discourse with the women at the conference: “It Is Well with My Soul.”
“It does not have to be well with our circumstances in order to be well with my soul,” she said. God uses our circumstances to reform and refine us.
There were times when she did not understand why God?for his glory?did not heal her. She admitted to having a shortsighted understanding of the story of the blind man’s healing in John 9. Rothschild said she had always believed that the miraculous healing of the man was what brought glory to God. Verse 3 says, “? this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
But that very God who chooses to heal for purposes of revealing himself also “allows those very same circumstances to continue so his glory may be revealed in the midst of the difficult circumstances.”
And, sometimes, she added, God allows those circumstances to remain until his work is done. He chooses not to remove his children from their difficulties but see them through.
She told the women that God will choose to keep them on the potter’s wheel until he has completely molded them into the new creation he desires them to be. Quoting Joni Erickson Tada, Rothschild said, “Sometimes God allows what he hates in order to accomplish what he loves.” God hates to see his children suffer, she said, but he loves to see them rely on him completely and develop fortitude of faith amid troubles.
Quoting 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Rothschild said all of the sufferings of a Christian are temporary in comparison to life in eternity and the things people are blind to in this life will be revealed in eternity.