Keeping Fast Hold of God’s Right Hand
◼ Jezreel in Mexico was born with a rare skin disorder called congenital lamellar ichthyosis. It resulted in scaling and callousing of the skin on much of his body. “This gives me a repulsive appearance,” explains Jezreel, “but the disorder is not contagious.”
From the time Jezreel was little, he received treatment in various hospitals. At the age of two, he was put in a sterile environment in an isolation unit to avoid infections. However, nothing improved his skin condition. He was given psychiatric treatment to deal with his feelings of rejection.
People who believe that Jezreel’s disease may be contagious often avoid him. This was particularly difficult for him to deal with when he was a child and wanted to play with other children. He recalls, “They would make fun of me and call me hurtful names like Mummy and Extraterrestrial.”
On the other hand, suffering from this visible disorder has given Jezreel opportunities to talk to others about his Bible-based hope. People often approach him and ask if he was burned. When he says no, they ask him what is responsible for his appearance. He explains his skin disorder and tells them that presently there is no known cure.
He then adds, “I have the best hope in the world because Jehovah God promises that those who obey his laws will live in a new world that is free of sickness and pain.” (Revelation 21:3, 4) Discussing his condition in this way has allowed Jezreel to start Bible studies with people, and he has had the joy of seeing a number of them become fellow worshippers of God.
“I am grateful that I was born into a Christian family,” Jezreel says, “and that as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I have close friends. None of them reject me because of my appearance. I was baptized at the age of 17, and in the 14 years since then, I have had many privileges of serving our Creator.”
Jezreel keeps in mind Jehovah’s encouraging words found at Isaiah 41:10, 13, which read: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. . . . I will really keep fast hold of you with my right hand of righteousness. For I, Jehovah your God, am grasping your right hand, the One saying to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I myself will help you.’”
Keeping fast hold of Jehovah’s right hand has helped Jezreel overcome self-consciousness and cope with the problems associated with this disease. Along with millions of others, he awaits the fulfillment of God’s grand promises.