I was still a young man when I had one of my first dramatic personal encounters with the awesome supernatural power of God.
One night, in June of 1984, when I was a freshman at Auburn University, I was up late one night studying for Dr. Lishak's Biology 101 exam when I noticed that I could not see two letters in a long scientific word. I rubbed my eyes, but that didn't help. I still could not see the letters. I thought I was just tired, so I went to bed.
It turned out I wasn't just tired. From that night it only took two weeks until I lost the central vision core in my left eye, and the vision in my right eye was starting to fade too.
When I could no longer see anything out of my left eye, except peripherally, I figured I better see a doctor, so I walked to the infirmary at the university. I was shown into the exam room and waited while the doctor did whatever doctors do while you sit alone in those antiseptic-smelling rooms.
Finally, the doctor came in and when I told him about the problem with my eyes, he had me sit on the end of the examining table and read the eye chart on the wall. First, he covered my left eye. I could read the top couple of rows, the ones with the biggest letters. He then covered my right eye and all I could see was what seemed a type of black-grey mass blocking my vision. Forget seeing the eye chart. I could almost feel the obstruction, which looked like the dirty cotton out of an aquarium bubbler. I couldn't see anything from that eye, not even the doctor. I was able to catch some movement, but only in my peripheral vision. The central vision core in my left eye was a dark hole in my vision.
When I told the doctor that I couldn't see the chart at all, I sensed his alarm. He asked me how long I had been like that and I told him, "For about a week." That alarmed him even more. He explained to me how his own son had an eye condition where blood vessels had burst inside his eye and suddenly he'd gone blind.
The doctor told me to go home that day and not to drive. He referred me to a specialist, Dr. David Davidson, at the Eye Foundation Hospital at the UAB medical complex in Birmingham. I got some friends to drive me two and a half hours the next day to my family's home, and my parents immediately made an appointment with Dr. Davidson.
A few days later, my parents and I arrived at Dr. Davidson's office. I had a knot in my stomach as I signed in on the clipboard. I was nervous. I had a real problem. And I needed real power to fix that problem. Waiting to see the doctor must have been the longest 30 minutes of my life up to that time.
Just before I'd gone blind, I'd had a particularly intense time of prayer with the Lord. For the first time in nine years of prayer, He had begun to give me some clarity about what He wanted me to do with my life. I knew that I had to serve Him with all that was in me. He had put His mark upon my heart from the time I was 11 years old. Now He was finally letting me see the beginning of His pathway for me—the path I am still on. He had told me clearly that I was going to be tested, but not to give up, that an attack was coming and that I should draw up battle lines.
Problems are opportunities for faith. You don't really know if you have faith until there is a reason for faith.
To read more of Britt Hancock's story, click here to download a free chapter or order your own copy.
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