Healing In His Time

Written by Alex Fortson 

I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong”‭‭ (2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:5-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬). 

For those of you who know me well, you may know what I have been dealing with behind closed doors for many years; however, for those who do not know, then I will speak of my weakness. In 2016 I was diagnosed with a severe case of ulcerative colitis. I will spare you the details of what this sickness consists of, but Google will answer any questions you may have. Daily I prayed for healing and restoration of my body, but it seemed as though it would never come until one incredible night I was touched by God in a youth camp service. In 2019, at youth camp, I was healed of this disease and was able to feel like myself for the first time in over 3 years. The Lord defeated the Goliath in my life and I was so thankful and grateful, but little did I know that Goliath had a brother. Unfortunately in 2021, the day I got married, actually, the ulcerative colitis raised its ugly head again and I found myself on the high of being a newly wedded couple and on a low of being sick again. This would then start the long process of searching for remission, but sadly even to this day have not found it over a year later. I found myself in discouragement and heartbreak, asking God why I had to deal with this sickness again after I just received healing from it. What I did not understand was that God would receive more glory from me being sick than he would from me being healed. This was a hard pill to swallow. 

As I connect with Paul in this scripture in 2 Corinthians, I understand the pleading for healing but also understand now why God did not remove the thorn. Ever since I became sick again I had to receive regular infusions, which I was not very happy about, one reason being I had to drive down 280 all the way to Homewood for a 30 minute infusion. That alone brought a sense of road rage to my spirit if you know what I mean. But through prayer and reading, God convicted me of course and said “I need you to go to the infusion center and make the most of your visits.” So that’s exactly what I did. I told the Lord, “If you're gonna make me do this again then you better send me some people to pray for,” and that’s exactly what he did. I prayed for every nurse in the room every trip. But there was this one nurse in particular that I prayed for her father as he was going through severe cancer. After weeks of praying the nurse gave me an update that brought me to tears. Her father had been healed and the scans could find no trace of cancer. All of these years of being sick were now worth it, and if my sickness will reach one more person then so be it. 

Until now I have never spoken openly of this testimony in my life. I have kept what some would call a game face up for others to see, but inside I felt exhausted and sick. Why? I am not sure. Maybe I didn’t want people to feel bad for me or to think that there was anything wrong with me. But as I read these words of Paul, the Lord spoke to me and told me to speak of my weakness. Yes, I pray for my healing and yes, I believe that I am healed, but what if I never receive healing on this side of heaven? I look to the word of the Lord, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." You see, my prayer is no longer just for the Lord to heal me, but it is to heal me only if it benefits the Kingdom in a greater way than myself. My sickness is temporary, and if it allows me to impact one more person for the Kingdom, then Lord let your will be done. This is healing in His timing.

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