"Sorrow knocked; faith answered and no one was there."

Many years ago, I saw this on a card and I bought it. I thought then that I knew what it meant. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I have any idea the impact those words would have on my life. I know now that those words were given to me, by the Lord, for me to grow. Since I first saw that card, I have grown so strong in my faith that, if I claim those words, they will become a reality. The greatest lesson that I have learned is - when "Sorrow" knocks at my door, I try so hard not to panic and not think the worst.

That has been my greatest human failing. I have always been a worrier. My husband always said, that if I didn't have anything to worry about, I would stay awake all night until I found something to worry about. I never denied it! God knew my greatest weakness. I claimed His promise that He would strengthen me - yes, He would help me. God has certainly honored my faith that He would help me overcome my greatest weakness. Friends and family could not - only God.

Now, with each bad experience that I have, I know from the past that only God can rescue me and make it right. Each incident makes my faith stronger. I still sometimes go back to the old me and I can hear Jesus saying to me, even screaming at me sometimes, "Believe in me. Believe in me." Not only when sorrow knocks at my door, or any door that I have been asked to pray for, the outcome is the same. God answers and says, "Don't worry; no problem." He says, "No problem." so quickly that I never have a second to worry. I have learned that God does not give us a spirit of fear but the power to let our faith in Him control our lives.

Sorrow really knocked at my door when I was 30 years old. At that time, I had three children - two boys and a nine-month-old little girl. I went to the doctor with problems I was having. He told me after his examination that I had cancer. Not only did I have cancer, but it was in its last stages. We had just moved to a new town and I knew only two people there well enough to tell them what the doctor had just told me. They had a small baby too, so the man went home with me. My husband was out of town, so my friend stayed with me until my husband came home. My friend let me cry, cry, cry. I couldn't stop. All I could think of was that I had three small children and that I was finally blessed with a little girl and they all needed me. I kept crying and saying, "It's not fair. It's not fair."

The doctor, after diagnosing my condition as cancer and before I left his office, had called a cancer specialist in Macon, GA and made an appointment for me for the next morning so they could start treatments. My two boys would be in school all day, so we took Jan, my nine-month-old daughter, with us to Macon. Even though it was only a one-hour drive to Macon, it seemed like an eternity. When I went into the exam room, I was shaking uncontrollably. The doctor was a young man with the sweetest smile, so gentle, so caring. That helped a lot.

After the exam, I heard the doctor laugh and he pulled me up into a sitting position on the table. He said, "Mrs. Hall, if I tell you that you don't have cancer, will you give me that beautiful little daughter of yours? If I tell you that you don't have cancer, will you promise me that, never again, will you let any doctor convince you that you do?" I started laughing and crying at the same time and said, "I promise. I promise."

As I sat on that table, the doctor that was talking to me suddenly became a vision of Jesus in his white coat and beautiful, loving smile. I have wished so many times that I knew the doctor's name so that I could thank him for changing my life in such a great way. Many years later, my faith was again tested in a big way.

When I lost the sight in my left eye, I went to Atlanta and, in one day, I saw three specialists. Each one did extensive tests and x-rays. When I went back to the doctor who was going to operate, he told me that they had found a mass at the back of my eye and he would have to operate immediately and they might be able to save my life. This doctor had always been so kind to me and he was worried. I felt so sorry for him for he was really upset. I told him, "Don't worry, doctor, everything is going to be alright." He looked at me for a long time and finally smiled and said, "You know, Mrs. Hall, I really believe it will."

I could not be afraid because all I could hear were the words of the doctor in Macon. "Promise me, Mrs. Hall, that you will never again let any doctor convince you that you have cancer." I could not break that promise that I made to God many years ago. So, the second time that "Sorrow knocked; faith answered" I was at peace. The report came back - no cancer!!!

I read once that God gives doctors permission to heal. He does not give them the gift of prophecy. So now, I try to put my faith in God and prayer.

Etheleen Hall©




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