When the Lord returns, how can we recognize His voice and welcome Him?
By Li Run
Editor’s Note: As the saying goes, “Storms gather without warning and misfortune befalls men overnight.” Our life is full of variables and none of us can predict what will happen to us in the next moments—maybe a work crisis, maybe a domestic upheaval, or maybe a car accident. Faced with danger or difficulty, while we all hope to get out of the woods, we also know well that we are just one drop in the vast ocean of humanity, too weak to change anything. However, if God is with us, everything will be different …
One evening, I rode my scooter to go pick up my son from the kindergarten as usual. It was an east-west road and I was heading to the west. As I reached a construction site, a bus pulled alongside on my right and happened to block my view. Just then, a 17-ton bulldozer coming from the construction site on the right side of the road came crashing into me. Caught off guard, I simply didn’t have time to dodge it but could only shout at the driver in horror, “Stop! You’re gonna hit me!” Yet the roar of the bulldozer’s engine drowned my voice so that the driver couldn’t hear me at all. “I’m finished,” I thought. “I’m going to die.” In my panic, it suddenly occurred to me that I was a believer in God, so I immediately called out to God, “O God, save me!”
I was struck by the bulldozer with my scooter, and immediately everything went black before my eyes. Shocked and frightened, I struggled to open my eyes but couldn’t. In a daze, I felt there was a pair of hands holding my head and moving my body so that I could lie on the ground with head toward the west. Then I felt the wheel of the bulldozer running over my bottom, but it didn’t hurt at all. Not long after, I heard many people shouting around me, some asked the driver to quickly stop the bulldozer, some were talking about me. I feebly opened my eyes and lifted my head trying to move my body, and instantly a searing pain shot through my bottom. Not daring to make any further movement, I subconsciously looked around, only to find that my scooter had been dragged for over 100 meters by the bulldozer with its back squashed. The people crowded around me were talking all kinds of nonsense.
“She is definitely going to die.”
“She will either die or be crippled after being crushed by such a heavy bulldozer.”
Hearing this, I thought: “I’ve been crushed so badly—what am I going to do if I become paralyzed? In that case, there would be no one to take care of my children and my husband would have to quit his job—how could us get by then? …” I couldn’t help but feel worried, but it then occurred to me that I was a Christian. “Everything of me is under God’s control. God knows that I am involved in an accident,” I thought. “I should first submit to this situation.” I then looked at the ground and was surprised to find that there was no blood at all. This was when I realized that it was all because of God’s protection, and I believed even more strongly that my life and death were in God’s hands, and that whether I became paralyzed or not was also under God’s rule. This thought made my heart calm down and I was no longer worried or afraid.
Just then, my neighbor passed by and saw me, and she then called the ambulance and accompanied me to the hospital, where I underwent a thorough examination. The doctor said, “There are 7 comminuted fractures in your pelvis.” Hearing this, I immediately felt nervous: “My condition is this bad? Will I become paralyzed? If so, how would I live? I couldn’t even care for myself, not to mention taking care of my son….” I couldn’t dare to think more and immediately prayed to God, “O God, my faith is so small that I don’t know how to get through this. Please guide me to obey this situation.” After praying, I felt much calmer and then these words of God appeared in my mind: “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.”bolstered me with faith. “Yes!” I thought. “God is the Lord of creation and He is almighty. My life is controlled by God’s hands. No matter how badly I was hit, nothing bad will happen to me unless God permits it. I must have .” At this thought, my heart felt a little at ease.
After that, I was taken to the ward, and as the doctor was examining me, some of my relatives arrived. When they took off my pants, blood immediately poured out and saturated the sheet. My upper thighs were mutilated and bloody, and my left thigh had been crushed to a bloody pulp. Because I had lost too much blood, my body turned icy cold, and the doctor immediately asked my relatives to sign a notice of critical illness, saying that I would die if I didn’t receive a transfusion and treatment right away. But as my husband hadn’t made it back, none of my relatives dared to sign the notice. I also felt very scared and thought: “What will I do if I am going to die? My son is only five years old, and my daughter and husband are out of town now. If I really die, won’t my family be finished then? If nobody signs off for me and I don’t receive treatment now, I will just be here waiting for death.” As I thought about this, I again remembered God and immediately prayed: “O God, none of my relatives are willing to sign the notice, so am I supposed to just lie here and wait for death? What should I do? Please lead me and give me faith.” After the prayer, a thought popped into my mind: Sign the notice myself. As soon as I signed it, the doctor immediately asked the nurses to take me to the ICU, where my hands, feet and neck were all hooked up to an IV drip and I was given oxygen. The doctor then bandaged my wounds to stop the bleeding. At 11 p.m. that night, my husband finally arrived at the hospital. The doctor said to him with surprise: “The average volume of blood in a healthy adult is about five liters, yet your wife has lost nearly three liters. It really is a miracle that she is still alive.” “My wife is blessed,” said my husband excitedly. “She was born lucky.” When I heard this, I just kept thanking God in my heart because I knew it was all thanks to His protection for me. While in the ICU, I was constantly praying to God, and because of His protection, both my blood pressure and body temperature were normal during that time, and I remained fully conscious. Eight days later, I was transferred onto a normal ward.
Half a month later, I underwent an operation to suture up my wounds and it went very smoothly. However, when the anesthetic wore off, there was incredible pain in my incisions. I bit my lip to alleviate the pain, so much so that sometimes it even began to bleed. The sight of this grieved my family and they all shed tears. At that time, I couldn’t help thinking: I have just accepted God’s new work for about two years, so why could such a disaster happen to me? This thought made me feel very weak within and I immediately prayed to God, “O God. I don’t know what Your will is behind this accident. Please enlighten and guide me and protect my heart so that I may keep calm before You and not misunderstand and blame You.” Afterward, I read a passage of God’s words on my MP5 player, which says, “While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or have negativity within them, or to lack clarity onor their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, like Job. Although Job was weak and cursed the day of his own birth, he did not deny that all things in human life were bestowed by Jehovah, and that Jehovah is also the One to take it all away. No matter how he was tested, he maintained this belief.” Under the guidance of God’s words, I thought of Job’s experience, in which he lost all his property and children and he himself had sore boils all over. But no matter how painful and weak he felt during that time, he never blamed God or denied , and even when his wife sneered at him, he could sternly rebuke her by saying, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). It can be seen that Job had true faith in God and that his faith was not based on the gains and losses of the fleshly interests. I, however, became filled with misunderstandings and blame toward God in the face of this accident. As the saying goes, “Storms gather without warning and misfortune befalls men overnight.” Everyone will encounter some unexpected things as well as setbacks and hardships throughout their lives, so it is perfectly normal for me to encounter these things. Besides, I could survive such a serious accident—wasn’t it because of God’s protection? Moreover, when I was in helplessness and fear, God kept using His words to give me strength and guide me through. Enjoying such great grace, I not only didn’t show any gratitude, but even blamed God. I really was lacking in conscience and reason! At this thought, I was filled with remorse and willing to emulate Job to stand witness for God in hardships.
The third day after the surgery, the doctor performed a traction to make my legs of the same length, during which time he inserted a long pin into one of my knees. It hurt so bad that I kept screaming. In suffering, I called out to God over and over again, and unexpectedly, my pain gradually eased. This allowed me to deeply appreciate God’s mercy and love for me. Although the pain of the flesh subjected me to great suffering, with God there by my side, my heart felt very peaceful and at ease.
Half a month later, the doctor made ready to perform another operation to insert steel plates and pins into my bones. When I thought of a neighbor who had crashed his scooter into a strip of grass and became crippled even after a surgery, I felt worried and wondered: “I had such a severe accident. Will my surgery be successful? Will anything bad happen during the operation?” I then told God about my situation, after which, these words of God occurred to me: “His authority and power are extraordinary, limitless, superlative to all, and stand above all, and, moreover, because His authority and what He has and is can create life, and produce miracles, and can create each and every spectacular and extraordinary minute and second, and at the same time, He is able to govern the life that He creates, and hold sovereignty over the miracles and each and every minute and second that He creates.” God’s words overflowed with authority and gave me faith and strength. “Yes!” I thought. “God controls all things in the universe, and His authority and power are extraordinary. Everything in my life is in God’s hands, and whether my surgery is successful or not is also under His rule.” As I thought of this, I no longer felt worried.
Before the operation, I underwent another examination. When the results came back, the doctor said in surprise to my husband, “That’s strange. The last test clearly showed that there were 7 fractures in her body, but now there are only 3. Besides, if the fragment of her pelvis had moved a few millimeters downward and hurt the anus, it would be really problematic and we would have to remove a portion of her bowel.” My husband was so excited and other people who knew my condition all felt it incredible. When I learned of this, I clearly knew in my heart that this was God’s great power and His wondrous protection for me. Just as God’s words say: “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 thought of how, since my accident, I’d been experiencing God’s wonderful deeds all the time. After I was hit by the bulldozer, it was God who made me lie on the ground with head toward the west, so that the bulldozer ran over my bottom. If it had crushed my head or belly, I would have died long ago. The bulldozer dragged my scooter alone for over 100 meters, and if I had been dragged with it, I would have died dismembered. If I had bled out right after the accident, I would have died from blood loss. If the fragment of my pelvis had hurt my anus, not only would I have to suffer the pain of the intestinal surgery, but I might also risk losing my life because of my serious injuries. That I could have escaped those dangerous situations was entirely due to God’s wondrous protection, and this was even more the manifestation of God’s authority. More unexpectedly, I had had 7 fractures in my body before, but after recovering for half a month, I now only had 3—even I myself felt it inconceivable. Through experiencing these things, I witnessed God’s deeds in a practical and real way and experienced that God’s authority and power could indeed work miracles. My second surgery lasted for six hours, during which time the doctor inserted 3 steel plates and 12 pins into my pelvis, and the operation turned out to be very successful.
Half a month later, the doctor said, “Your newly grown flesh is jagged, so we need to cut off the overgrown part and then suture it up.” Aside from the fear of pain, I also worried that the doctor would mishandle it and impair my nerves during the operation, for in that case I might become paralyzed and couldn’t walk—that would be troublesome! But when I thought of how, since I was admitted to the hospital, I had got through two major surgeries and one traction under God’s protection and care, and how my operations all turned out to be successful, the fear and worry in my heart disappeared, and I was willing to entrust this surgery to God. Just like this, I calmly underwent my third operation, after which the doctor said, “When you first came in, your condition was very serious—you had lost a lot of blood and your thighs had been crushed to a pulp. But you are still alive and have made such a good recovery. It really is a miracle.” Hearing the doctor say this, I knew deep down that it was all God’s wondrous deeds. If I hadn’t believed in God and hadn’t had His protection and care, I really can’t dare imagine what I would be like today.
Although my surgery was a success, my incisions were in terrible pain after the anesthetic wore off. I asked the doctor, “Why are my incisions in such great pain?” “Pain is a good thing,” the doctor replied. “It shows that you are recovering.” Hearing this, I kept thanking God in my heart. But because the pain in my incisions was so severe, I couldn’t fall asleep for many nights and even would feel it hard to breathe. At those times, my non-believing husband would hand me a note with some God’s words he had copied down and say, “You should read God’s words. It will help alleviate the pain.” I would immediately read and contemplate God’s words, praying over and over and drawing near to God. Gradually, the pain in my body grew less and I felt much more relieved all over. From my experiences, I truly appreciated the real significance of the phrase “God’s word is potent medicine!” And I also deeply felt that God was right by my side caring for and protecting me, just as His words say, “He is really and truly standing guard to your left and right, supplying your life, and controlling your destiny. He is not on the remote horizon, nor has He secreted Himself high up in the clouds. He is right by your side, presiding over your all, He is everything that you have, and He is the only thing you have.”
I was discharged from the hospital within a month after my third operation. Half a month later, my husband asked me to try walking with crutches. Awkward with the crutches, I then put them aside. To my surprise, I could walk by myself. My husband simply couldn’t believe what he was seeing and said in astonishment, “Other people who had minor car accidents needed crutches to walk, but you actually could walk by yourself. It’s so unbelievable.” At that time, I was so thrilled that tears poured from my eyes, and I said, deeply moved, “Thanks be to God! It’s all because I am a believer in God. This is God’s deeds!” In my heart, I kept giving thanks to God and prayed to Him, “O God, You are so almighty! I’ve stayed in bed for 90 days, and today when I first tried to get out of bed, I actually could walk by myself!”
Later, in a meeting, when I shared my experiences and gains in this accident with my sisters in the church, tears of gratitude fell ceaselessly from my eyes and they were also moved to tears and said, “Had it not been for God’s care and protection, you may have already died. You shouldearnestly from now on.” Excitedly, I replied, “Yes. When I was run over by the 17-ton bulldozer, people around all thought that I would either die or be crippled. However, not only did I escape death but I even don’t have any disabilities. It really was God’s great love and protection for me. Thank God for giving me a second life!” The sisters all nodded in agreement.
Now I have recovered pretty well and could carry 25 kilos of water without effort. Thanks be to God. Through this experience, I truly saw God’s wondrous deeds and appreciated the authority and power by which He rules all things. Without God’s care and protection, I wouldn’t be here today. It was God who saved me from the brink of death. I wish to pursue the truth and perform my duties faithfully to repay God’s love. Thanks be to God! May all the glory and authority be to God!