By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Helen Keller went from an untamed, wild, angry child to a bright, articulate, and highly intelligent adult. The affliction of blindness which permeated every area of her life and the lives of those around her proved nothing but destructive until a certain woman by the name of Miss Sullivan made her entrance.
Miss Sullivan made all the difference. Her method of training and instruction was vastly different than that of Helen’s parents; she commanded an unswerving discipline over her unchaste angry pupil by requesting a new environment for Helen to learn in. This new environment consisted of a small little place outside the influence of doting parents and accommodating factors that rewarded ill behavior. This new environment was simply called the cottage.
The cottage began as a combat zone. Helen furiously fought against her environment and her teacher; she physically and literally destroyed everything in her path, striking even Miss Sullivan, who remained adamant and consistent in her training. It paid off. Within two weeks the angry, wild child began to change and demonstrate signs of temperance and discipline. Helen Keller had begun the process of becoming a promising young woman of unlimited potential whose voice would eventually be heard around the world.
I note three significant growth factors in Helen’s life:
- The affliction of blindness.
- The teacher Miss Sullivan.
- The uncomfortable cottage.
Some of us have an untamed, wild, and destructive child living within. We are angry and forced to live within the confines of an affliction or trial that God has ordained and imposed upon our lives. We throw tantrums and reward ourselves with fleshly cookies and doting friends who encourage ill behavior.
God has a different plan.
He gives us a teacher named the Holy Spirit who has one primary objective; to conform us to His Son’s image. With this in mind, He appoints us a new environment with a certain little cottage where He begins to teach us something about ourselves, and even greater, something about Himself. He listens to furniture being strewn about and the desire for old accommodations to be afforded and He provides none of the above …. and over time we emerge from the cottage of affliction with a precious new reality:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17