God’s stories in my life are numerous and amazing. At 17, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and told I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 25. Several years later, in my sophomore year of college, I surrendered my life to the Lord. This began a slow transformation of my life that has continued on for almost 4 decades.
At the Brigham Hospital in Boston, I decided to pursue the possibility of treatment, with the gold treatment being the current treatment for RA patients. X-rays and blood work showed the current degeneration in my wrists, knees, shoulders and spine. Since not everyone could tolerate this treatment, I was to begin testing for it the following week.
That week-end I lifted a typewriter and slipped a disc in my back. The doctors put me on bed rest which lasted for four months. Finally I landed in the hospital for two weeks and I went back to school with a TENS unit to help with the pain. One day during those months in bed I asked the Lord to show me if I would be in this kind of pain for the rest of my life so I could psych myself up to endure the pain.
Being a young Christian I did something that I would not recommend to any one else, but I opened my bible randomly, looked down and the only verse I saw was in Luke and it said,
“I am willing, be cleansed.”
I said, “OK Lord, I can read into that anything that I want to. But if you are really willing to cleanse my body, I need you to show me beyond a shadow of a doubt.” I closed my bible and opened it again, this time to Matthew and the only verse I saw said,
Time went on and my back only began to get worse. The pain never left and I was now denied taking showers and was only allowed up to use the bathroom. Soon, I was told that I would need to go to the hospital for complete immobility.
God’s promise renewed
Two days before I was to be admitted a friend showed up at my room and said God told her to show me a scripture she had read in her quiet time that morning. She did not know why but it was from Habakkuk. It said:
For the vision is yet for the appointed time…though it may tarry wait for it, it will certainly come, it will not delay.
Well, that hit me right between the eyes. I was praying that morning and telling God that I must have misheard Him because the healing wasn’t coming. Now, with renewed trust in His promise I went to the hospital for 2 weeks and then returned to school with a TENS unit and a commitment to wait for God’s vision to be fulfilled.The following year, after my back finally began to feel better, I returned to Brigham’s Hospital to continue with the testing for the gold treatment. But since it had been longer than six months since my last tests and new tests were needed to see if I still fit into the widow of opportunity for the gold treatment. If my RA had advanced too far I would no longer be eligible.
They retook the X-rays and blood work and called me in for a consult. The doctors said there was a problem with the tests done and they needed to do them all again. In all, they took X-rays and blood work three times that week and finally called me in to explain the situation. They were completely befuddled because all three sets of tests showed that there was no RA factor in my blood and where I had previously had bone degeneration, my bones were now sound and whole.
According to the new tests, I had no signs of RA at all, that it had never been there.
I had been expecting God to heal my slipped disc in my back, but He was talking about healing my arthritis. I shared this story with the doctor and he said as a medical man he could not accept my story but, as an honest doctor, he had no other reason for the miraculous changes in my body.
God had planned something much bigger than I ever had. And that is so like His character.