When the Lord returns, how can we recognize His voice and welcome Him?
By Jin Min
An Accident Befalling, I Called for God in Despair
My husband and I contracted more than 10 mu of Moso bamboo (Chinese name “mao chu,” meaning hairy bamboo) land. Because spring was the season of bamboo shoot, my husband and I would go to the mountain to dig for bamboo shoots at this time of the year. One day in March 2016, I wanted to see how the spring bamboo shoots throve and by the way dig for several of them to have a taste. At daybreak, I shouldered a hoe and went to the mountain. With difficulty, I found one. When I raised the hoe and was about to dig for it, suddenly, I saw blackness and collapsed.
Not knowing how much time passed, I regained a bit of feeling. In a daze, I felt a wave of chill in my chest. I thought that I was lying on the bed, so I reached for my quilt. But my hands were limp and weak as if they were pressed by something. In panic, I really wanted to call my husband but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t cry. At that moment, a vague feeling of fear was enveloping me: What should I do? Where am I? I am so cold. I want to stand up and cry but I all failed. Will I die without a sound just in this way? Just when I was scared, the scene ofresurrecting the dead drifted into my mind. Thus, I hurried to call to God for help constantly within my heart, “O God! I don’t know where I am and why I feel so cold. O God, please save me….”
Not knowing how long it had been, I opened my eyes. Only then did I see clearly that I was on the mountain. I tried hard to crawl back up, but no matter how hard I tried, I failed for my hands were weak. I lay on the ground again and had a rest, but I still couldn’t crawl back up. After I did this several times, I still couldn’t make any move. Moreover, I thought: This morning when I went out, I didn’t bring my phone. My family all didn’t know I am here. Moreover, here is the mountain I myself contracted, so other people seldom passed by here. Will I really die here today? … My will to live faded bit by bit. The more I scared that death would come upon me, the more I felt that my body was colder and colder as if death came ever closer to me. In helplessness, I thought of God again so I continued to pray in my heart …
Between Life and Death God Was Always by My Side
At that time, I remembered the following passage of, “Man can make all kinds of plans for his future, but no one can plan the manner and time of their birth and of their departure from the world. Though people do their best to avoid and resist the coming of death, yet still, unbeknownst to them, death silently draws near. No one knows when they will perish or how they will do so, much less where it will happen. Obviously, it is not humanity that holds the power of life and death, not some being in the natural world, but the Creator, whose authority is unique. Mankind’s life and death are not the product of some law of the natural world, but a consequence of the sovereignty of the Creator’s authority.” Pondering these words, my heart calmed down. I thought to myself: Yes! Man’s fate cannot be controlled by himself. Only the Creator can command mankind’s life and death. When everyone will perish and in what environment it will happen are all destined by God. Then, isn’t whether I will live or die today in God’s hands? In thinking of this, I prayed to God, “O God! You command everything and rule over all things. Whether I will live or die today is up to You. I’m willing to entrust myself to Your hands.” At that time, I unexpectedly found that I could make a weak sound. At the same time, I felt a kind of power was supporting me, which allowed me not to be afraid anymore and my mind to become clear. I knew clearly within these were God’s wonderful deeds.
After a while, I heard someone walking toward me. Right after that, I heard she said, “Hey! Strangely, how could there be a yellow coat there?” I could tell that that was my neighbor’s voice. So I was very moved inside: It was God that has heard my prayer and arranged for people to come to save me. I remembered God’s words, “I will mobilize all to serve Me, and moreover, I will reveal My power, so that every man can see that in the whole universe world not a single object is not in our hands….” Thinking of this, I hurried to cry, “It’s me! It’s me!” But my voice was too low to be heard by my neighbor.
At that time, I heard again my neighbor talked to herself in an anxious voice, “Here is the mountain contracted by Minmin. Is it she?” She called my name loudly. At that moment, as if I was given a kind of power, I cried loudly, “It’s me! It’s me!” She heard me and said surprisingly, “It’s really you. What’s wrong with you? How could you lie there?” Right after that, she hurriedly ran to me and anxiously yell for help.
After half an hour or so, my husband hastened to me, carried me on his back down the mountain and sent me to the township hospital. When my husband told the doctor my situation, the doctor said to him, “She may get a cerebral hemorrhage. Hurry to take her to a big hospital.” The second my husband heard the doctor’s words, he right away turned the car around and drove to a big hospital. On the road, pondering the words said by the doctor a moment ago, I couldn’t completely dare to believe it: I’m always in good health, how could I suffer a cerebral hemorrhage? If true, then am I definitely not going to die? I couldn’t help but be worried.
Arriving at the city hospital, I had an X-ray; then the doctor diagnosed my illness as cerebral hemorrhage and said that there was a tumor on my brain, which was as big as a bean grain and that there was no way to perform a brain surgery there, so we needed to hurriedly transfer to the provincial hospital. Hearing these words, I instantly thought that recently, a relative and a neighbor of mine both developed cerebral hemorrhage and they soon died after being sent to hospital. Now, I have also suffered from cerebral hemorrhage. Can I still be saved? I silently cried out to God in my heart, “O God! I don’t know if I’ll be able to go on living. Now I’m very weak and somewhat scared. O God! May You give me the confidence and power….”
My Life Being in Danger, God’s Love Closely Accompanied Me
It was already 5 p.m. when we arrived at the provincial hospital. Seeing I had waked up, the doctor quickly began to prepare an operation for me. That moment when I was wheeled into Anaesthesia Emergency Room, I worried very much within again: If my operation fails, will I die on the operating table? If I am still alive but I become paralyzed and unable to care for myself, then how will I survive the future? I didn’t dare to think anymore and could only pray to God silently, “O God! Now, I’m going to enter into the operating room. I’m afraid somewhat in my heart. May You give me confidence and power. Whether my operation will succeed or not, I am willing to entrust it to You….” After praying, my heart calmed down and then I was wheeled into the operating room by the nurses.
When I woke up, I felt great pain in my head, my two hands separately bound to the bedsteads and a tube in my mouth (for fear that the patients felt so much pain that they would commit suicide by biting off their tongues). The next noon at 11 a.m., it was the time for the family of the patients in the ICU to visit the sick. In a daze, I heard my husband’s voice, so I opened my eyes. Seeing I woke up, he said happily, “You have waked up! After the operation like yours, other people can’t wake up even two weeks later, but you waked up just after several hours. This is really a miracle!” Hearing his words, I knew clearly inside that all of these were God’s care and protection. I was filled with gratitude toward God in my heart.
After the effect of the narcotics ran out, my whole head hurt terribly as if it was aching fit to burst and even when I drank water, it also hurt unbearably. Later, seeing the patients, lying on the sick-bed beside me, all covered by a piece of white cloth, I felt as if I was in the dead-room. And then thinking of my father-in-law’s painful and helpless eyes and dead looks in the ICU, I became weak again, fearing that I couldn’t get out of the ICU alive like my father-in-law. At that time, I thought of another passage of God’s words, “I am your strong tower, I am your shelter, I am your backup, and moreover I am your Almighty One, and I am your everything! Everything is in My hands….” Right! God is the Creator and the life and death of human race in its entirety is controlled by God. How could I lose confidence in God again? Walking step by step from my faint to now, God was always leading and guiding me: Other people who developed cerebral hemorrhage died before they had time to be sent to hospital while I was still alive after having been sent to several hospitals. Weren’t these God’s marvelous deeds? Thinking of this, I came to have faith and my heart also calmed down gradually …
The third day, I had a high fever and my temperature reached over 104 degrees. The doctor took the tube out of my mouth and let me drink some water. She said to me in amazement, “Auntie, you are so strong! Your head hurt so much but you didn’t have any cry. You recover very quickly.” Hearing her words, I knew inside that it was not I was strong but God had lightened my pain and given me confidence and power so that I didn’t cry. Seeing I recovered so quickly and had passed the crisis after four days, the doctor transferred me to a general ward.
Another Condition Arising, I Used My Heart to Rely on God
After a month, I left hospital and went back home, but I often felt that something, like a soap bubble, was rocking in front of my eyes and that I couldn’t see things clearly. At first, I thought that it was because I didn’t recover completely after the operation, and so I didn’t take it to heart. However, more than a month had passed, but it didn’t get better. When my husband took me to the hospital for a check-up, the doctor said that there were blood clots in my eyes, that I needed an operation and that the success rate was not sure. Hearing the doctor’s words, I realized that what the words “The success rate was not sure” meant, so I was very nervous and afraid: If the operation fails, then won’t my eyes be ruined? How will I survive the future? Before, it took a large sum of money to perform my brain surgery. Now, I also need an operation on my eyes. How can I afford it? Therefore, afterward I consulted with the doctor to first prescribe some best medicine for me. I would take them and then saw if my illness could get better or not.
However, I had taken medicines for a month but it didn’t work at all. After I went to the hospital for an examination again, the doctor said that if I wanted my eyes to recover, I had to receive an operation. After going back home, I was so anxious that I was unable to eat or sleep, living in anxiety: Who can I borrow so much the cost of the operation from? Keeping turning this over in my mind, I came before God again and prayed to Him, “O God! I can’t see clearly. The doctor said that the only way is to perform an operation. I don’t know what I should do. May You enlighten and guide me….”
Guided by God’s Words, I Saw God’s Deeds
After praying, I suddenly thought of a passage of God’s word, “God created everything, and having created it, He has dominion over all things. In addition to having dominion over all things, He is in control of everything.” I felt my heart lightened: Yes! God rules over all things. Before when I suffered from cerebral hemorrhage, my situation was so dangerous but God had protected me and allowed me to live. Aren’t my eyes also in the hands of God? God’s words gave me confidence and power again. So I decided to refuse the operation and entrust my eyes to God. No matter what the results would be, I would submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement.
The next morning, when I got up, I wanted to go out for a walk and see the green plants on the mountain before my house. Unexpectedly, after I saw the green plants, my eyes felt so much better. Afterward, every day I would sit in the doorway and see the vegetables in the garden and the trees and flowers on the mountain. Moreover, I often quieted my heart before God, drew near to Him, prayed to Him, sang hymns to praise Him, longed for His love and pondered over His words I had read in the past. At that time, I felt that the words said by God and the myriad things created by Him were all very familiar and were all what we people needed and that everything created by God was really marvelous. Before I got ill, I concentrated all my efforts on making money, never had such a chance to know God’s sovereignty from every tree and bush around me, and also seldom came before God with pure in heart to pray to and associate with Him. Now, though my eyes were blurred, yet my heart came ever closer to God.
Hence, every day I insisted on doing so. After more than forty days, I finally could see leaves very clearly and see other things clearer and clearer. At that time, I also truly realized that God was using such a special way to treat my eyes. Because only He knew what I needed and only He had the kind of power to let me see light again. I uttered my heart-felt thanks and praises to God.
Survival of Ordeals, I Gained Fully
In the past, I believed in God in name, but I didn’t have any understanding of God’s sovereignty, thinking that I could make my family live a better life by relying on my own efforts. This experience had sank deeply into my memory like a brand. When I saw God’s words, “The heart and spirit of man are held in the hand of God, and all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things,” and “When men lose their confidence to live, I pull them up from the brink of death, granting them the courage to live, that they take Me as the foundation of their existence. When men disobey Me, I cause them to know Me in their disobedience. In light of humanity’s old nature and in light of My mercy, rather than putting humans to death, I allow them to repent and make a fresh start,” I truly experienced that God’s words are so real and that man’s life and death is indeed in God’s hands. Moreover, these words allowed me to see that God is our mankind’s greatest salvation and protection. Thinking back, when I collapsed from a cerebral hemorrhage on the hill, and stayed unconscious for over three hours, it was God who maneuvered my neighbor to come to save me at the juncture of life and death; when I was on the danger list, it was God who kept me through the difficulties; when my head hurt unbearably after the operation, it was God’s word that gave me power so that I could have confidence to get through it; when my eyes were incurable, God guided me to see the plants created by Him and allowed my eyes to be cured … It was God who allowed me to gain a second life amidst hopelessness. In my days from now on, I am willing to pursue the truth properly, know God in my experiences and fulfill my duty as a created being to repay God’s love for me. May all the glory be to the only true almighty God!
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