The Lord has come secretly before disasters. How can we welcome Him?
By Shi Mei
By October 14, 2015, it had been snowing hard for days on end, leaving thick, white snow on the ground and on the roof of my house. In the morning when the snow stopped, I went to the courtyard to sweep away the snow on the garden shed. Unexpectedly, I slipped and fell on my back. Immediately, my lower back became numb. At that moment I thought: “This is terrible! Perhaps I’ve injured my lower back.” There was nobody at home and I could not move! I could only persistently cry to God for help. After praying, I endured the pain, stood up slowly, and phoned my husband. He returned home and took me to the hospital. After an examination, the doctor said, “You have three fractured vertebrae in your back and the lumbar nerve is also damaged. The nerve damage is irreparable and your vertebrae ought to be operated on as soon as possible. You may not be able to work after the operation.” Hearing this, my husband said to me, “You are too old to undergo surgery. You could be paralyzed.” On hearing this, I was very perturbed and at a loss what to do. Finally, my husband spent sixty yuan buying medicine for me then he took me home. After going home, I lay in bed and was not able to move. My children did not care about me, nor did my husband take care of me thoroughly. After getting me something to eat, my husband would go gambling. The manner of my husband and children made me sad and sorrowful, and I saw that there was no love in my family at all. I could only pray to God, “O God! I’m ill but my husband and children don’t take care of me. There is no love within my family. Only You love me the most, only You are my rock; I have no one to lean on in this illness. All I can do is have faith in You, God, may You guide me and help me.” After the prayer, God enlightened me: “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. Praise God in the midst of illness and enjoy God in the midst of your praise. Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking and never give up, and God shall shine His light to you. How faithful was Job? 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.” These words gave me faith and made me realize that God is almighty, that I could not lose my faith and just dwell in sickness, and that I needed to pray more to God and seek His will. From God’s enlightenment and guidance I felt that God is by my side and that He is my rock and my support. I no longer felt distressed, but only felt the warmth that came from having God with me.
Due to the illness, I was unable to attend meetings or sing hymns to praise God with the brothers and sisters. I especially missed the times when I gathered with them. So I prayed to God, “O God! What shall I do? I want to have meetings with the brothers and sisters. May You give me faith and power to triumph over the illness so that I can continue to perform my duties.” After I prayed many times like this, the church leader came to see me. Then I said to her, “Sister, I want to attend meetings and perform my duties. I cannot live without God. Although my lower back still aches, my heart will suffer even more pain if I have to be apart from the brothers and sisters and cannot live the church life.” So she arranged for me to lead small group meetings. During the meetings, I was unable to sit still because of my lumbago. I was afraid that the pain would affect my performance at the meeting, so I prayed to God, “O God! May You give me faith and power so that I can finish this meeting.” At every meeting I would urgently pray like this, and God would have mercy on me so that I could persevere until the meeting was over. Three months later, seeing that my lumbago was gone, my husband asked me to go to work in the fields. This made me bitterly disappointed. During the three months when I was ill he didn’t take care of me; when I got better thanks to God’s protection, he immediately asked me to go back to work. I was not fit to work in the fields, but he didn’t care at all. In order to make sure that I was able to work, he took me to the hospital for a check up. After seeing the X-ray plates, the doctor said, “We would have been able to reset your broken bones if you had had an operation within half a month after you got injured. But now more than three months have passed and the vertebrae have already become fixed in place. It’s impossible for you to fully recover. You can take some medicine to relieve pain, but you can’t work anymore.” I asked the doctor whether there were other treatments, and he replied, “You could have an injection once a year for three years in succession. Each injection costs 3,000 yuan.” My husband was unwilling to spend that 3,000 yuan, so he only bought some pain medicine for me and took me home.
Some time after, the atheistic CCP government started suppressing religious belief and so it was not safe for me to attend meetings in my village. So the sister arranged for me to lead another meeting outside my village. After the meetings, the sisters always offered to send me home by electric scooter, but it was too painful for me to sit on a scooter, so I chose to walk home. Due to the lumbago, I walked very slowly. Sometimes it was dark when I got home, which left me feeling somewhat negative. So I would pray to God, “O God! My back aches very much and I have difficulty walking. Sometimes I am negative and weak and want to be considerate to my physical body. How can I fulfill my duties well in this state? I am willing for You to guide me and protect my heart from the disturbance of Satan, so that I can fulfill my duties to repay Your love.” After the prayer, God enlightened me to remember His words: “It’s very simple now: Look upon Me with your heart and your spirit will immediately become strong, you will have a path to follow and I will guide your every step. My word shall be revealed to you at all times and in all places. No matter where or when, or how adverse the environment is, I will show you clearly and My heart shall be revealed to you if you look to Me with your heart; this way you will run down the road ahead and never lose your way.”gave me faith and allowed me to understand His wish to save me. From the outside, I endured some suffering because of fulfilling my duties, but actually I had received God’s protection thanks to this. When the non-believers injure their backs, they lay in bed and can’t move, and need someone to help with their eating, drinking, defecating, and urinating. Not only did they have to spend a lot of money, but they have to endure great suffering. In contrast, I didn’t have the care of my family members, but I received God’s care and keeping through attending meetings, reading God’s words, fulfilling my duties, and maintaining a normal . Under the encouragement of God’s love, in my spare time I regularly attended meetings and spread the gospel to those who had good humanity and were willing to . My lower back was on the mend day by day.
I thought about the several months when I was ill, when my family members didn’t care about me while God never abandoned me and His love accompanied me all the way. I felt that God’s love is immense, and my heart was deeply moved by it. So I offered up a grateful prayer to God, “O God! I thank and praise You! It’s You that took away the torment of my illness and led me to triumph over it. Only You are my rock and only You love me the most. I’m just a tiny created creature, but I have received Your enormous grace. I’m willing to do all that I can in the rest of my time to repay Your love.”
Now the pain in my back is gone, and I can walk more than five kilometers without a break. The doctor and my family members all said that it wouldn’t heal, and that even if I underwent an operation I would still be unable to work. However, under the guidance of God, I am able to fulfill my duties and can walk more than five kilometers without a break, which I would have never thought possible. This is totally God’s love! I have personally experienced God’s words: “God’s supremacy, greatness, holiness, tolerance, love, and so forth—all of these various aspects of God’s disposition and essence are put into effect every time He does His work, embodied in His will toward man, and also fulfilled and reflected on every person. Regardless of whether you have felt it before, God is caring for every person in every possible way, using His sincere heart, wisdom, and various methods to warm each person’s heart, and awaken each person’s spirit. This is an indisputable fact.” Through my experience, I have truly appreciated that everything about mankind is in God’s hands, and that a person’s life and death, blessings and curses are also within God’s grasp. I had such a bad fall that the lumbar nerve was impaired and I should have had an operation on three vertebrae in my spine. However, Almighty God led me out of the torment of the illness step by step and allowed me to taste His true love. When I was in pain and helplessness, it was God’s words that gave me faith, accompanied me through those painful and rough days, and it was God that healed me of my illness. I praise God from my heart! From now on, I will strengthen my faith to follow God. No matter what suffering or adversity I may encounter, I will never leave God, because God is our only salvation and support!
All the glory be to God!