When Charles Billingsley looked ahead to this spring, he was planning for the release of his new album, spending time with his family & balancing his service as a worship leader and adjunct professor. He never imagined he’d instead be spending the days before Easter in a hospital room battling a fierce case of COVID 19.
“Nobody can come see you. You just kind of are there. And I began to pray for healing. I started to ask Jesus to heal me, and I kept thinking – man. How cool would that be? What a story! God heals me from COVID 19, and I just walk out of here. ‘Man! I’m good to to go! See you later.’ But that’s not what happened at all.”
As the night seemed to go on endlessly, Charles confronted the reality of what he was feeling.
“I was laying there and praying intensely for this healing to come that night, right then. And the longer the night wore on, the more I was realizing He wasn’t going to heal me. And I got upset. I really did. I got frustrated and discouraged and distraught, and – honestly – I got angry.”
“I kept thinking, ‘I’m doing everything Your scripture says to do. And I’m believing You’ll heal me, and You’re not healing me.’ And I don’t know where it came from, but suddenly it’s like the Lord just brought this vision to my mind. It was the Thursday night before Easter, and sadly, I just could see in my mind’s eye Jesus standing before Caiaphas. And being beaten within an inch of his life. His beard being pulled out. Being cursed at. Spat upon. And then the beatings the next day. And then of course suffering on the cross.”
It was a moment Charles says he’ll never forget as long as he lives.
“And suddenly I felt so small and so insignificant, and I thought, man. Here I am. Here I am complaining about all this. And I forgot what Jesus went through for me. But before all that started to happen in the life of Christ, He went to a garden called Gethsemane, and prayed intentionally for God to take all that stuff away from Him so he wouldn’t have to go through all the torture, and all the pain. And God said no, and then Jesus made this prayer – and this is the thing I didn’t pray – Jesus said, ‘Not My will, but Yours be done.'”
“And I failed to pray that that night, because I simply wanted to be done. And I had to learn something about faith that I learned many years ago, but I forgot. Faith is not seeing God heal me, and then me as a result believing more deeply in Him. No. No. Faith is the evidence of things unseen. So what God wanted from me was not to have Him heal me so I would believe more deeply. What God wanted from me was for me to believe more deeply, and then He would heal me. And I realize now – as I look back – that He had another ten or twelve days of heart surgery to do on me before I was ready to be healed. And, in His way, and in His time He did heal me.”
Charles Billingsley is the celebrated recording artist, worship leader, pastor & author whose latest project just released this spring, called I Was Made for This.On the Road with Charles Billingsley