It all started five months after my mom died. My family has had a very unfortunate history with autoimmune diseases. In 2002, my grandmother died of autoimmune liver cirrhosis, and in 2013 my mother also died due to autoimmune liver cirrhosis.
Then five months later after doing some testing, I found out that at 33 years old, I had the same disease that killed my mother and grandmother. Lab tests found that I had an abnormal liver enzyme level. It was the exact same enzyme my mother always had trouble with, bilirubin. I also found out after eating certain foods I would experience fatigue, headaches, and sometimes terrible migraines. Further testing landed me with a list of 15 foods to which my body was having an autoimmune reaction. I radically changed my diet almost overnight. Due to the autoimmune disease I also had developed a terrible skin fungus that covered a third of my entire body. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night itching so badly it would make my skin bleed. This made sleeping difficult and at times I felt miserable.
On several occasions I had to take many months off from my work as an evangelist because of the deterioration in my health. Taking steroids for the rest of my life to suppress my immune system didn’t make any sense to my wife and me, so we were determined to attempt to heal my condition naturally. During this time, God introduced us to the most cutting-edge autoimmune treatment protocol I know of, which thanks to God completely put my autoimmune disease into remission.
Several of the treatments in the natural treatment program I was doing were time consuming, and some were very humbling. It was very challenging for me to not be working and supporting my household, and because I couldn’t commit to full-time evangelism I ended up doing a lot of housework while my wife continued her paying work. I did lots of dishes! At times I would be at the sink and deep in thought. I would ask, Father why do you have me here? I could be out there preaching a prophecy seminar right now. I could be training and equipping churches on how to do effective evangelism! It didn’t make sense at all. I would think, there are so many pew-warmers in the church and here I am ready and committed to go win souls, but I’m sidelined. Why? During this period, I started praying an hour a day. Slowly but surely God started to teach me invaluable lessons I may have not been able to learn otherwise.
One day, my wife and I visited friends who had a horse trainer training their horses. As I approached the trainer, he was on a smaller horse which he had tied to the fence with a short rope. Occasionally the horse would get agitated and try to pull off from the fence, but then after several seconds it would calm down. Then it would make another attempt to pull away and after several more seconds again calm down. I asked the trainer why the horse was tied up like that. He said that it was a younger horse that had a hard time listening and had too much of an independent spirit. For it to be safe, it had to learn to be submissive and listen to orders. The best way to accomplish this was to teach it to be content with just staying still, and that would bring it into submission. Wow, what an object lesson! Believe it or not, I didn’t even make the connection to my own personal situation until I was in prayer several mornings later. God showed me that I was like that horse.
On another occasion as I was crying out to God in prayer to heal me so that I could go out and work for Him, He impressed me with the thought, “Are you asking for Me to enter into your work or for you to enter into Mine?” It was true. The fact that I was at times so discontented with my situation proved that I was trying to take more ownership of God’s work than He was calling for. It is God’s work, and if He wants to put a player on the sidelines then that’s His decision. He knows how to best run His work. But what could be the reason for putting me on the sidelines? God directed my attention to Bible characters like Joseph, Moses, and David who had to wait for long periods of time in humble, obscure situations. As I pondered this, I felt as if God communicated to me, “Gabriel, I would rather fight with a sharp sword for three minutes than with a dull one for three hours.” It made sense. God’s agents must be totally surrendered in all situations, otherwise they will do more harm than good.
At another point in my journey I had more “God why” questions floating through my mind. During prayer one morning, the Lord impressed me with the thought that the answer to 95% of my “God why” questions was, “because of your sinful heart.” The answer to the other 5% was, “because of other people’s sinful hearts.” We all have questions like this … God, why can’t I be more financially well off? God, why can’t I be more successful? God, why can’t I get married? God, why can’t I have this or that? These desires can even be for good things, and God of course wants to give us good things. However, more and more the understanding has dawned on me that the periods of trial and delay are to ensure that we are not the kind of person who will have their spirituality destroyed by the very blessings we ask for. I have seen so many Christians receive from God those very things they begged for and after having received them become careless, ungrateful, and start right up complaining about something else they don’t have. The sinful heart frequently takes the blessings of God and turns them into curses by allowing them to cause us to love and depend on God less. It’s our sinful hearts that keep the very blessings we long and pray for away from us. I thought, Lord I don’t want to do that! I’ve come to realize that the best way to ensure you get through the waiting time is by learning to be content right where you are. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” Philippians 4:11. I realized the importance of asking, what is God trying to teach me rather than why is God keeping this from me.
What happened to my autoimmune disease? Praise God, after years of doing research, experimenting in trial and error, learning hard lessons along the way, and with the blessing of God and guidance of several natural-minded health professionals, my autoimmune disease is in full remission and my skin fungus has completely healed. My wife and I just finished an eBook with all the details of what we learned and how I was able to completely reverse my autoimmune disease. To take a look, visit reverseautoimmune.com.
If you are sick, discontented with your situation, or challenged in some way, remember that it’s sin and not God that has caused this. Yet God wants to take this bad situation and bring good out of it. Instead of saying “God why” start saying “God what.” God, what about me do I need to learn through this? God, what about me needs to change because of this? God, is there something about me that is making this situation necessary? Do all in your power to remedy the situation, but as you do so, also simply rest in the arms of Jesus trusting your lot to His eternal wisdom. Women may forget their suckling babies, but God will never forget you.
Gabriel Arruda is the Director and speaker for Freedom Health Ministries a ministry which combines gospel work, medical missionary work and church evangelism training. Gabriel has been traveling nationally and internationally sharing God’s last day message and training church laity for over 10 years. You can learn more about his ministry at https://revelationrevealedtoday.com/.