By Wang Lian
My Son Had a Full-Thickness Burn and the Situation Was Critical
It was one morning in August 2014, and the moment I entered home, my phone rang.
“Mom, something happened! The gasoline ignited and my younger brother was badly burned. I don’t know whether he can be healed.” My daughter’s anxious voice came from the other end of the phone.
This news hit me like thunder from a clear sky. I simply didn’t dare believe it was true.
“Now he needs a skin graft. The doctor asked us to quickly prepare 200 thousand yuan. Mom, hurry to think of a way to raise money as much as you can …”
After I heard this, my entire body became limp and weak, my hand holding the phone began to tremble and my head felt dazed. I thought to myself, “How badly burned is my son? Can he be healed? If he becomes disabled, how will he get along in the future?” For a while, I didn’t know what to do. A passage of God’s words suddenly sprung to mind then, “Where you will go every day, what you will do, who or what you will encounter, what you will say, what will happen to you—can any of this be predicted?”
“Yes,” I thought, “where we will go every day, what or who we will encounter—these are not controlled by us and we cannot predict them. Today that my son was burned is unavoidable and is something I cannot predict—it is all in the hands of God. As for whether or not my son will become disabled in the future, the result can’t be changed even if I worry about it. My son’s life is in God’s hands, so I should entrust him to God and submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements.” Only after I came to this understanding did my heart calm down.
How Did I Find the Enormous Cost of the Operation?
But then I thought, “Where can I go to borrow 200 thousand yuan to pay for my son’s operation? My family are all farmers, and up until now we haven’t made so much money. Furthermore, we haven’t repaid the money my son borrowed from others in the past in order to keep his business going. Now if I borrow money from people again, who will lend it to me? If we have no money to pay for my son’s treatment, what if something happens to him?” As soon as I thought of this, I felt so bad as if my heart was being clawed by a cat and I didn’t know how to face the difficulty.
Just when I felt anxious about the difficulty, I remembered the trials of Job. When all of Job’s property was taken away by robbers and his children were crushed to death, he didn’t complain about God but instead fell to the ground to worship God and praised God’s holy name. He believed that all of this was within God’s rule and that whether he was enjoying blessings or suffering misfortune, it was in God’s hands, so he was able to calmly face everything he encountered. Similarly, that my son was burned was God testing me. God was seeing what kind of attitude I had toward Him when my family met with disaster and God was also seeing whether I would complain about Him and whether I had true faith in Him. With this in mind, I secretly made the determination, that no matter whether I could get enough money I would not complain about God.
However, I was still not sure whether I could find so much money to pay for my son’s operation. I felt like the difficulty lying in front of me was a weight of a huge mountain so oppressive I could hardly breathe. Just then I thought of one of God’s phrases, “The heavens and earth and all things are established and made complete by the words of My mouth and with Me anything can be accomplished.” That is true. Nothing is impossible for God. If God allows me to get enough money, then I can certainly make it. Therefore, after praying to God about my difficulty, I went to find my relatives and friends to borrow money.
I first went to the house of my elder and younger brothers, but I only got over 10,000 yuan, so I couldn’t help but become anxious. I thought, “Even my own elder and younger brothers lent me such little money, how much will others lend to me?” When I became mired in this difficulty, I remembered that I must rely on God, so I once again prayed to God about my difficulty, “O God! Now I really can’t raise enough money. Facing with such a big difficulty, I don’t know what I should do. I know You are my pillar. I only wish to look to You and entrust You with my difficulty. I beg You to lead me!” After, unexpectedly, my younger brother called to ask our relatives to help me raise money. This made me very happy, and I hurried to my neighbors to borrow money. When my relatives, friends, and neighbors knew what had happened to my son, they all extended a helping hand. Some remitted money to me, and some personally came to my house to send money. In half a day, I raised more than 110,000 yuan. And some relatives and friends still kept sending me money.
Seeing this, I was very excited and I truly felt that God is faithful, that the thoughts and ideas of every single person are in God’s hands, and that it was God mobilizing all this to help me. Otherwise, in this age where everyone puts money above all, how could it be possible that so many people lent me money when they clearly knew that my family had neither money nor influence and that we were faced with this kind of plight? It was because in modern society even between relatives and friends, they are good to each other when there’s something in it for them otherwise they shun each other. Now my relatives, friends and neighbors all gave me the shirts off their backs, and this is entirely God’s great power. I kept offering up my thanks and praise to God.
I Made an Unusual Choice at a Critical Moment
After raising enough money, I rushed to the city hospital. When I arrived, my daughter told me, “My brother’s burned over 52 percent of his body, which means he has a full-thickness burn. He will need three to four skin graft operations. Each operation will cost more than 200, 000 yuan, so we need 700 to 800 thousand yuan altogether.” When I heard the vast medical expenses, I became weak once again and thought to myself, “Even if I had kept earning money and hadn’t spent any of it for my entire life, I couldn’t save so much money. Now I have borrowed money from all my relatives and friends but the money is still very far from the required amount. Where else can I go to borrow money?” I was so anxious that I kept pacing back and forth in the corridor.
At that moment I suddenly thought of how my nephew had told me that the hospitalization fee and medical expenses in this hospital were very high and that we would spend less in our local hospital, so I wanted my son to receive treatment there. But when I said this to my husband and daughter, both of them didn’t agree, saying, “He was severely burned. Even the doctors here are not sure they can cure him, let alone those in a small hospital!” Hearing them say this, I felt very conflicted and thought, “If we transfer my son to our local hospital, there will be risks. But if he continues to receive treatment here, we can’t raise that kind of money. After he undergoes the first operation, we will spend all of the money. By then he can no longer have the rest of his operations and thus will face the danger of losing his life.” At that moment, I was utterly upset and completely had no idea what to do. So I could only pray to God again, “O God! Now I have nowhere to go. I know it’s You who rule over everything. God! May You guide me on the road ahead and open a way out for me.”
After praying, I thought, “My son’s destiny is in God’s hands. What hardships he will experience in the future is under the control, arrangement, sovereignty and predestination of God—it is not decided by the doctors or us parents. If he is predestined to die in this way, then even if he receives treatment in the big hospital, his life can’t. If his time has not yet come, then he won’t die even if we transfer him to our local hospital. As for how his condition will develop, God has the final say. Furthermore, it will cost us less money to receive treatment in our local hospital. That way, we can afford the treatment, and my son can undergo all of his operations. However, if he continues to receive treatment here, paying the exorbitant operation fees will become a big problem in the future.” Thinking this, my heart steadied a little bit and I knew what I had to do.
Afterward, it was just so happened to be the visiting time. As soon as I entered into the ward I saw my son lying in a hospital bed. His arms were stretched; his trachea was cut; his head was badly swollen. Immediately, I felt pang after pang of sadness over this. I never expected that my son who was perfectly alright would be burned like this. How painful it can be? Thinking this, tears filled my eyes in an instant, but I choked them back fearing that my son would notice and become sad. At that time, I became at a loss once again, and thought to myself, “He was burned so seriously. Can he endure being transferred? If it really doesn’t work, he can only continue to receive treatment here. Let it be.”
Seeing that my son was injured so badly, I said softly to console him, “Son, don’t worry. Mom is here.” Hearing this, my son said in a weak voice, “Water.” I hurried to raise a bowl half full of fruit juice to let him drink, and he sucked it in one breath. Then he stammered, “Hui….” (“Hui” is a Chinese character meaning “return.”) I thought he was worried about his youngest son Huihui, and so I consoled him, “Don’t worry. Before I came here, I had gotten him settled in.” Unexpectedly, my son said another word, “Jia.” (“Jia” is a Chinese character meaning “home.”) Only then did I understand that my son wanted to return home. After hearing this, I simply didn’t dare believe my own ears. I didn’t expect that my son, with such severe injuries, would say that he wanted to return home, so I asked him in a hurry, “Your injuries are so severe. Can you go home?” He answered resolutely, “Yes.” I asked him again, “You were burned so seriously and you barely eat. Are you sure you can return?” He replied with certainty, “Yes.” After hearing my son say this in a weak but determined voice, I felt that this was God using him to remind me what choice I should make. My heart suddenly saw the light and my will to transfer my son became resolute.
Therefore I said to my son, “You barely eat or drink these days. Your body is so weak. If you want to go home you have to eat something. That way, you’re able to make it. Wait a moment. I’ll get some food for you. If you eat more, I’ll agree to take you home.” He replied with certainty, “Ok.” I then hurried out of the ward and told my husband that our son wanted us to transfer him to our local hospital, and I also asked my husband to buy some steamed dumplings. After he was back, I never thought that my son would eat eleven steamed dumplings. This was amazing! I clearly realized that this was God providing me with a way out and using my son to speak to me and to show me the way forward. God’s deeds are so vivid and real! I gave thanks for God’s guidance. At that moment, my will to bring my son back to our local hospital to receive treatment became even firmer.
But, at that time, my husband still didn’t agree to transfer my son, and so I prayed to God and entrusted my husband’s thoughts and ideas to Him. Unexpectedly, the next afternoon my husband went to find a car by which my son could be transferred, and he also contacted our local hospital and told them we would transfer my son right away; the attending physician said that he would accompany my son to our local hospital. Immediately, my heart was happy beyond compare, and I thanked God for His sovereignty and arrangements. The attending physician took care of my son along the way. It took us twelve hours on the road, and we didn’t stop until we arrived safely at our local specialist burn hospital at 4am the next morning.
My Son Had Seven Successful Skin Graft Operations
After these experiences, I really understood something of God’s almightiness and sovereignty, and this alleviated much of my concerns about my son when he received treatment in our local hospital.
Several days later, a doctor told us that they would perform the first skin grafting surgeries on my son and wanted us to sign a notice of critical illness. When I heard this, I couldn’t help worrying that, if the skills of the doctors at this hospital were not as good as that at the city hospital, there would be risks involved with the operation. But then when I thought of how our coming to this hospital was the guidance, orchestrations and arrangements of God, I became calm. Therefore I once again entrusted my son to God, and no matter whether his operation would be successful or not, I was willing to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements. Then, I signed the forms calmly.
My son’s first operation went very smoothly. Though after the operation his body was weak and he kept raving, he was safe and sound. That was enough for me and I silently offered up my thanks and praise to God.
When my son was going to undergo the second operation, he, lying in the hospital bed, said to me that he was afraid. Then I lay flat by his ear and said, “Don’t be afraid. What I believe in is Almighty God. God is with us and He will protect you.” Hearing this, he said, “I’m no longer afraid.” With that, he quietly closed his eyes and was pushed into the operating room.
Every time when I signed the forms before the operation, I faced it calmly and handed my son’s life over to God. And I also saw God’s miraculous deeds—each time after my son’s operation was over, the doctor said it had been very successful and that my son’s skin regrew well. Moreover, after every operation, my son needed to be cleaned and I did all of it alone. I, in my 60s, carried water upstairs and downstairs several times in a day, but it never felt tiring and even the doctors were surprised how I could be so energetic. I knew it was God who gave me faith and strength, otherwise it would be very hard for me to make it if I just relied on myself.
Soon enough, my son’s seven operations were completed and his skin had regrown. More than two months later, he could walk up and down in the corridor to do exercises; three months later, he was discharged from the hospital.
What I Have Learned From My Son’s Successful Operations
After my son left the hospital, he had a talk with me about this experience. He told me, “When I was on fire, my wife hosed me down with cold water due to lack of common sense about life. Normally, when one is on fire, he can’t be doused with cold water. Because once the heat from the fire enters into his heart, he will die. But luckily, I survived.” And he also said that he didn’t know how he had eaten the eleven steamed dumplings and that even he himself thought it was incredible. Hearing all of this, I became even more sure in my heart that it was God who gave my son a second life.
During this experience, I truly came to see how God enlightened and guided me, and opened up ways out for me when I encountered difficulties and then called out to Him and obeyed His sovereignty and arrangements. I was truly aware of God’s almightiness and sovereignty. In the blink of an eye, five years passed. At present, my son has recovered well and he can work normally. Besides, my family has pretty much managed to pay off all the debts of over 200, 000 yuan. I really thank God for saving my family; I’m also grateful to God for allowing me in my sixties to personally experience His wondrous rule, and this is a genuine blessing in my belief in God. Now I only wish to diligently do my duty as a creature, obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and follow God to the end!