When the Lord returns, how can we recognize His voice and welcome Him?
The Abnormalities in My Body Strike Fear Into Me
In September of 2018, I caught a cough which lasted for over a month. I’d taken medicine and tried many folk prescriptions, but none of them worked. Later, I began to suffer chest pains, so much so that I had a hard time breathing while moving around. After undergoing an examination in the hospital, the doctor said there was fluid in my chest and a lump in my lung whose nature was not known, and he asked me to go to the provincial hospital for a further examination. The doctor’s serious expression and tone left me unsettled. At the thought of my sister and sister-in-law who both died of cancer, I couldn’t help but feel panicked: Could it be that I have cancer? But then I thought: I am a believer in God, so I should have God’s protection and couldn’t have a malignant tumor.
At 6 o’clock that afternoon, my son took me to the provincial hospital for a checkup, after which the doctor drew some fluid from my chest for a test. While examining me, the doctor (a Christian) said only God could cure my disease and asked me to pray to God. What the doctor said filled me with foreboding, and I suspected that I might have some serious disease, otherwise he wouldn’t say such things. Immediately, a feeling of desolation and sadness crept into my heart. I thought: I am only in my 50s and haven’t seen my son get married. What should I do if I really have a terminal illness? I then prayed to God: “O God, I have no idea how my condition is, and I am very scared. May You lead me!” After the prayer, my heart calmed down a lot. God is the Sovereign of all things, I thought. The life and death of everything in the whole universe are determined by God, and my life is even more controlled by God’s hands. How many years I can live is preordained by God. No matter whether the lump in my lung is benign or malignant, I won’t die unless God permits it. I must have. In the following days when I waited for the results of the examination, I kept praying to God, not daring to leave Him.
The Diagnosis of Cancer Seems to Me a Bolt From the Blue
One week later, the results came back and I was diagnosed with cancer. That moment was like a death sentence to me, and I felt like the sky was about to come crashing down and that everything before my eyes had lost their color. My daughter comforted me, saying there was medication to treat my disease, but I knew cancer was simply incurable. Even if there was a cure, we wouldn’t be able to afford it. Lying in my bed, I felt very tormented and constantly asked myself: How could I suffer this illness? Why didn’t God protect me? Over these years, my husband and I have been performing our duties in the church, forsaking and expending without making any complaints, so how come this dreadful disease came upon me? Is my life destined to be so short? As I thought about this, tears fell ceaselessly from my eyes. Seeing how depressed I was, my husband read to me a passage of: “When sickness happens it is due to God’s love, and His good intentions are surely behind it. Even when your body endures suffering, take no ideas from Satan. … Almighty God is an all-powerful physician! To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well. If you have but one breath, God will not let you die.” He then fellowshiped: “The illness befalling you seems like a bad thing upon first inspection, but it actually contains God’s kind intentions. Although we cannot understand it now, we should first submit. All things are controlled by God’s hands, and our life and death are even more determined by God. You must have faith in God and not fall for Satan’s schemes. Do not misunderstand or blame God.”
My husband’s fellowship gave me some comfort and I came to know that God had allowed this illness to befall me and that I should obey and not blame Him. Not long after, the doctor came and said he would prescribe me some medicine and asked us to go home. The doctor’s words made me feel instantly depressed and I thought: Other people who have cancer could expect to be cured by chemotherapy, but the doctor doesn’t even bother to give me that. I’m definitely beyond saving. Seeing my pained look, the doctor said to me, “We doctors are unable to cure your illness, but as long as you rely on and pray to God through faith, you will witness God’s deeds.” What he said reminded me—yes, my only hope now is God.
While in the train home, I couldn’t calm down no matter what. The thought of my unmarried son, filial daughter and caring husband left my heart heavy with sadness. As I was lamenting for the brevity and preciousness of life, my eyes gradually became wet with tears …
Afflicted With Three Types of Cancer, What Should I Do?
Two days after I got back home, I accidentally saw the diagnosis on my hospital discharge paper: Confirmed adenocarcinoma of lung, metastatic brain tumor and malignant lymphoma. Upon seeing these three deadly diseases, I thought I was finished for sure, and I felt weak all over and was unable to stand steadily. Seeing this, my husband hurried to support me and helped me sit on the bed, and he then read to me a passage of Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: “No matter what things happen to you, don’t evaluate them by their appearance. There are God’s good intentions behind them. If you have a true knowledge of God, you will have faith. God’s good intentions are present in all things. Someone may ask: ‘Is it good to have cancer?’ It depends on who gets the cancer. If it is someone who pursues the truth, then it is certainly a good thing. Why? Because this cancer can make him learn many lessons, increase his faith in God, and allow him to know God. Is this a good thing? (Yes.) Once this cancer has produced the desired effect, it will disappear and be taken away. Why did this cancer befall? Because it has a mission. Once it has completed its mission, it will be gone. Some people ask: ‘How was your cancer cured?’ ‘I don’t know. I just kept praying to God. I thought it was God’s punishment and curse, so I decided to submit. In the end, when I gained some knowledge of God and was able to obey, the cancer went into spontaneous remission. It really is a miracle.’ So all things that happen to God’s chosen people are wonders. Just experience them properly. Sometimes you may think: ‘I’m done. I will surely die!’ You are ready to die, but in the end, you are still alive, leading a happy life. It’s not up to you. Isn’t this God’s deeds?”
After listening to this passage of sermons, my heart gradually calmed down. It’s true, I thought. I am a Christian, so I shouldn’t view things I encounter based on their appearance, but should come before God to seek the truth and learn lessons. Since I fell ill, I’ve been living in the fear of death and a constant state of panic. Although my husband fellowshiped with me on, I didn’t enter into it and had no faith in God at all. I’ve spent every day worrying about my illness, living within the trickeries of Satan in unendurable pain. At that time, I thought of some brothers and sisters in the church who had had cancer before. They viewed things according to God’s word and, on the foundation of obedience to God’s sovereignty, relied on God through faith. After they had learned lessons, they saw God’s miraculous deeds and their illness got better. As I thought about this, I felt very upset and prayed to God: “O God, I’ve seen that my faith is too small, and that what I used to say about obeying You and having faith in You is nothing but empty words. When cancer befell me, I lost my faith and even misunderstood and blamed You. God, I am willing to repent to You and submit to this situation. Please help me and lead me to experience Your work.”
Later, my brothers and sisters in the church all wrote letters to me, in which they fellowshiped with me about God’s will and encouraged me to lean on God and experience His work through faith. Feeling God’s love and the warmth of God’s family, I found more faith to face my illness. Since then, I often said prayers of obedience to God and sought the lessons I ought to learn in this illness.
It Turns Out I Am Just Doing Deals With God in My Belief
One morning, I saw these words from God: “How many believe in Me only so that I might heal them? How many believe in Me only so that I might use My powers to drive unclean spirits from their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth? How many believe in Me just to spend this life in peace and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, I paid him no heed and felt abhorrence toward him; man departed from Me to instead seek the way of evil medicine and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then man disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain.”
I felt these words of God were just talking about me. I did notfor the sake of loving and satisfying God, but instead I believed in order to obtain blessings and welfare of the flesh—this was actually making bargains with God! When and grace were with me, I would feel happy and energized when performing my duties. But when illness befell me, I became negative and misunderstood God, and even attempted to use my suffering and expending as capital to reason with God, blaming God for failing to protect and care for me. I simply did not have an ounce of reason! God is the Creator of all things while I am His creation, so it is the law of heaven and earth that I should worship God and expend for Him without making any demands or seeking to gain anything from Him. Although I appeared as though I was doing my duty, I actually wanted to use my toiling, forsaking, and expending as things to exchange for the blessings of the kingdom of heaven. By believing in God this way, I, in essence, was making bargains with God and cheating Him, and this was what God loathed. If I did not turn back, I would definitely be detested, rejected and eliminated by God when His work concluded. I then thought of Job, who always feared God and shunned evil. When he went through the great trials in which his children met with disaster, his property was all taken away, and his whole body was covered in sores, he didn’t complain about God or reason with God. When his wife asked him to abandon God, he could even rebuke her and defend , saying, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” From this I saw that Job believed in God merely to worship God, and that there was no adulteration or extravagant demands in his faith. I really couldn’t compare with him!
Coming to this realization, I felt very upset and prayed to God through my tears, “O God, now I finally see that I am not someone who pursues the truth, and that my forsaking and expending in the past is all for the sake of gaining blessings and peace. When cancer befell me, I misunderstood and blamed You, and even enumerated my deeds to reason with You. I really am without reason! If You hadn’t exposed me in such a practical way, I never would have realized my mistaken pursuits but would continue down the wrong path. God, this illness is Your practical revelation of me, and even more Your salvation for me, and I’m willing to remedy my erroneous views on pursuit. Besides, I’ve also seen Your great love. When I was feeling worried and afraid, You told me to pray and lean on You through the doctor’s words; when I found out that I have late-stage cancer, You used my husband to fellowship with me on Your will and give me faith. I’ve seen that You’ve never left me but are always by my side. O God, I really am unworthy of this kind of grace from You. I wish to entrust my life to You and no longer take any thought for myself. Whether my illness can be cured or not, I will submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements and use every day I have to fulfill my duties as a created being.”
Submitting to God’s Arrangements and Seeing a Miracle
After I fixed my, my heart felt bright and my state of mind improved significantly. I could eat and move around, and moreover, because of the comfort of God’s words, I felt especially at peace and at ease, unlike other cancer patients who suffered physical pain and mental stress and lived a life that was worse than death. I knew all this was God’s grace for me. When I no longer worried about my cancer but began to perform my duties in the church every day, my condition unexpectedly improved little by little. What was even more unexpected was that the next time I went to the hospital for a checkup, the results showed that the malignant lymphoma had disappeared and that the lump in my lung had also shrunk. Even the doctors felt it incredible. I then thought of these words from God: “Man’s heart and spirit are held in the hand of God, everything of his life is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, whether living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear in accordance with God’s thoughts. Such is the way in which God presides over all things.” I truly saw that God’s great power was everywhere. Without undergoing any treatment, my cancer was healed—besides God, who else had such authority and power to achieve this? I then heard about a famous host of CCTV, who died from cancer after a period of treatment in the United States. He possessed enormous wealth and had the best treatment available in the world, yet none of these things could save his life. Meanwhile, I am just an ordinary Christian who hadn’t accepted any medical treatment, but my condition improved. I constantly gave thanks and praise to God in my heart, and my faith in God grew a great deal.
This time when I was afflicted with three types of cancer, although my physical body suffered some pain, I gained a practical knowledge of God’s faithfulness and loveliness and came to appreciate the authority and power of God’s words. Also, by experiencing all this, I came to know and remedied my wrong view that belief in God was solely to obtain blessings, and the impurities and motives in my belief in God were cleansed away.
Read more on our God’s Protection page, or in the recommended articles below.