God Doesn't Control My Faith...I Do
by Bill Martin

It was a shock. They were expecting a healthy baby but this little girl was born with a major health problem. In fact this little girl was crippled and had to wear braces on her legs.

She lived though in a family with strong and real faith. What was a shock to many was simply a hurdle to overcome with God's help. This little girl wanted to run and play with her brothers and sisters. She wanted to be normal. Her parents would keep reminding her, God would make it happen if she believed.

And so in secret this little girl would toss the braces aside and walk. She walked a little at first then for longer periods. Her brothers and sisters helped.

Then on her twelfth birthday, during a visit to the doctors the little girl walked for her parents and the doctors without the aid of the leg braces. They were all astonished. Her next goal was to play basketball. The coach thought her sister was a better player to make the team but their father insisted both play. The little girl told the coach that if he gave her extra time each day she would become great.

The little girl believed what her parents had first told her that with God anything is possible.

The basketball team went on to win the state basketball championships. One of the referees was impressed with the girl's talent. He just happened to be the coach of the world famous Tiger Belles track club.

At the age of 16 this girl became one of the best runners in the U.S.A.. Wilma Rudolph went on to win a gold medal in the Olympics.

The little girl who was born crippled, who just wanted to be a normal child, worked her faith.

I've learned that faith isn't some mystical thing. It is the nuts and bolts of how I live each day. I have also learned that faith in a person can be shattered. We all know that friendships fail, marriages fail, and we even fail.

Faith in Christ though is much different. In Hebrews 13:8 it says "Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes, and forever."

If you have just a little knowledge of God then you will have little knowledge of faith. It means then, if you have great knowledge of God you will have great faith. Richard Exley writes in his book Strength for the Storm, "if you fail to practice the presence of God during the trouble-free days of your life you will be hard-pressed to sense His nearness at the height of the storm.

I'm a very emotional person. It's as much a problem as anything. I have a hard time sifting through the clutter of my life to hear God's word. I have to really concentrate sometimes.

I love my glamorous television life. This past Saturday I spent several hours fixing the toilet. I don't like fixing things at this stage in my life. The 45-minute job the box said it would take took me two and a half-hours. I used words I didn't even know existed and then I prayed. I got on my hands and knees and prayed for forgiveness. I also stopped to listen to God.

Neil Anderson writes in his book, Victory over the Darkness, " If you want to increase your significance, focus your energies on significant activities: those, which will remain for eternity."

Paul writes in Col. 2:6 "So just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness."

I am thankful for my faith. I am learning, through stories like Wilma Rudolph, even through fixing a toilet, God doesn't control my faith? I do.

Bill Martin is a multiple winner of Emmy and Associated Press Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was also inducted into the Ohio Television/Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.