A Christian’s Experience of Life: Without God’s Protection, I Wouldn’t Have Survived
Every one of us maybe will release a sigh: “A storm may arise from a clear sky and bad luck can strike out of the blue.” No one can predict or control whether his path through life is bumpy or unimpeded. I once hovered dangerously close to death because of my disease but finally survived, and I very deeply felt my fear of death and desire for life. Until now I still often sigh: Without God’s protection, I wouldn’t have survived …
A sudden disease befalling, I relied on God to pass an unendurable night.
That night, an unbearable pain roused me out of a sound sleep. After opening my eyes, I saw that all outside was pitch black. I wanted to stretch out my hand for the watch at the head of my bed to check the time but the pain was so bad that I didn’t have any strength and couldn’t move at all. I tried to wake my children lying next to me but I was unable to issue any sound. In the heart-piercing pain, I was very afraid that I would die. So I tried to call the emergency number, but I couldn’t move or issue any sound; I couldn’t call at all. In helplessness, I thought, “I’m only in my thirties and haven’t reached a half-century of my life. Could it be that I’m going to say goodbye to the world in such a way? My daughter and son are so young still, how could I leave this world in this way?”
In this life-and-death crisis, I thought of God, and so I called on Him in my heart, “O God! What is going on with me? I feel a terrible pain in my stomach that I can’t bear it. God! How come such a disease befalls me when I fulfill my duty? I beg You to enlighten and guide me to understand Your will. May You lead me.” After I’d prayed, these words of God came to my mind: “Amid this extreme torment, Job did but curse the day of his birth. He did not complain about God, much less did he have any intention of opposing God. This is much easier said than done, for since ancient times until today, no one has ever experienced such temptations or suffered that which befell Job.” God’s words made me feel ashamed, and I thought, “Though we both believe in God, when Job lost all his livestock, sons and daughters, and was covered with sores from head to toe, in the midst of his pain and torment, he chose rather to curse himself than complain about God and still didn’t forget to praise Jehovah God. On the contrary, I complained against God in my heart because my flesh suffers and thought that, I have been fulfilling my duty, and so this disease shouldn’t befall me. Only now do I understand that in my faith, I’m just doing deals with God. I’m using my performing the duty as capital to demand that God must protect me from getting sick or from encountering any mishap. I am truly without reason.”
After coming to this realization, I shamefully came before God and prayed to Him, “God! I have been too deeply corrupted by Satan. In my belief in You there are impurities and transactions, and I always make demands of You. I am unable to have a God-fearing heart or the willingness to be obedient unto my death, like Job did. Now such a disease has befallen me, and though I can’t be like Job who said, sitting in the ashes, ‘And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah’ (Job 1:21), I wish to emulate Job and obey Your arrangements. Even if I do die today, I will believe that this is Your righteousness.”
Afterward, I felt more at peace and was not as afraid as I was in the beginning. I kept praying to God in my heart. Gradually, my stomach didn’t feel as painful, and I then saw that dawn was breaking; only then did I know that I had made it through until daybreak by relying on God. I gave thanks to God from the heart for His guidance and company.
How could we people fathom the miracle of life created by God?
At that time my husband was not at home; a sister happened to come to my house that day and then took me to the hospital. When we arrived, after asking about my illness, a doctor said that I may get a gastric perforation, and I was told to admit myself into hospital right away to first have an X-ray and a blood test. Later, when the results of my tests came back, a doctor said in amazement, “I can’t believe it! You got a gastric perforation last night but still can walk now!” He took the X-ray and said to another doctor, “I’ve been a doctor for so many years, but have never seen a person who can walk after getting a gastric perforation.” He asked me to lie on a hospital bed, and then pressed my stomach with his hand. It hurt so bad that tears slipped down my cheeks, and at this time he said, “It really is the gastric perforation. That’s right.”
Hearing the doctor say this, I felt very moved in my heart. The gastric perforation was so serious but I still could walk. It truly was God’s great power that protected me and alleviated my pain. God’s words say, “God’s authority and the fact of God’s sovereignty over human fate are independent of human will, and do not change in accordance with man’s preferences and choices. God’s authority is everywhere, at every hour, at every instant. Heaven and earth will pass away, but His authority will never pass away, for He is God Himself, He possesses unique authority, and His authority is not restricted or limited by people, events, or things, by space or by geography. At all times, God wields His authority, shows His might, continues His management work as He always has; at all times, He rules all things, provides for all things, orchestrates all things — just as He always has. No one can change this. It is fact; it has been the unchanging truth since time immemorial!” At that moment, I came to appreciate that, only God is possessed of the unique authority, holds sovereignty over all things, and administers humans’ lives and deaths. In the doctors’ eyes, it was impossible for a person who got a gastric perforation to walk like a normal person, but when I sincerely relied on God, He protected me and alleviated my pain, and so I did that. This was God’s wondrous deed. It was clear that the miracle created by God is not something that can be explained by medicine. Then I thought of how, when I fell ill in the beginning, I was full of misunderstanding and blame toward God, but I still could enjoy so much of God’s love. At that moment, I burst into tears …
Time was pressing. It had been over 20 hours since I got the gastric perforation; the doctor had already given me notice of critical condition, and he asked me to undergo surgery right away, and also said that my life would be in danger if I delayed treatment any longer. When I was wheeled in front of the door of the operating room, my husband came in a hurry and all of my family were crying. Seeing this put me in sadness and I felt that, they were all crying like this, and did this mean that I really would die?
At that time, I remembered a passage from God’s word, “The timing of a person’s death, and the place they will go after death — these are determined by God. He can make these decisions anytime and anywhere, unconstrained by humans, events, objects, space, or geography. If He wants to do it, He can do it, because all things and living beings are under His rule, and all things are born, live, and perish by His word and His authority.” Thinking of these words, I didn’t feel any fear anymore. I knew that God is in command of the spiritual world, and that my life and death were even more under God’s sovereignty and up to God. I thought, “It is already God’s exceptional exaltation of me that God granted me the breath of life and allows me to be able to live up to the present and to follow Him till today. No matter whether I live or die today, I will thank God.”
As I lay on the operating table, I prayed to God in my heart, “O God! Thank You for staying always by my side and guiding me. My life is in Your hands, and today whether I live or die is arranged by You. No matter what You do, I will be like Job, submit before You and not make any complaints against You. Even if I die this way, I will thank and praise You for Your righteous disposition. Amen!”
Under God’s protection, I survived.
As if I were in my sleep, I didn’t have any worry or concern and lay on the operating table quietly …
I did not know how much time passed before I opened my eyes and saw the white ceiling. I realized I was still alive, and it was God that protected me, allowing me to go on living. My emotional frame of mind was beyond words and all I could do was keep thanking God in my heart. While I was sick, it was God who was always by my side, granted me strength and faith, and gave me a second chance at life. I prayed to God through my tears, “God! I am so corrupt. When I fell ill, I misunderstood and blamed You, and hurt Your heart. I really don’t deserve to enjoy Your enormous grace, but You still had mercy on me, protected me, saved me from the brink of death, and allowed me to keep on living. I thank and praise You! In the future, I will repay Your love and loyally do my duty. Amen!”
The next morning at about 9 o’clock, I was out of danger and was transferred to a normal ward. Several doctors who performed the operation on me came to find out how I was. One of them said, “Your operation was a success, and you are so lucky. People who are in the same condition as you usually have their stomachs removed entirely, but you kept yours.” Then I saw a patient in the ward next to mine who had the same disease as me. He consulted doctors and looked into medication everywhere he could but in the end had his stomach removed entirely. After several years, his weight was reduced from over 50 to 35 kilos. In comparison, my operation was so successful and this was all God’s protection. Thinking of all this, my heart became full of gratitude and praise for God.
Now when I think back to my experiences over those days, I still can’t express my feelings. Without God’s company and protection, I would not be who I am today. In the past, I just acknowledged God’s authority with my words, but after experiencing this disease, I have recognized the tangible aspect of God’s authority, and that God’s actions truly are miraculous and there is no suitable language to express them. Moreover, I have also felt how real God’s love is. In adversity, as long as we truly depend on God and obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, we will see with our own eyes and personally experience God’s true existence and that God is right by our side and protects us. Thank God. May all glory be to God! Amen!
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