Granddaughter’s illness worried my wife and me.
One day in June of 2009, my six-year-old granddaughter Guoguo listlessly came home from school and then weakly lay down on the bed. Upon seeing this, I rushed to take her to a clinic to see a doctor. The doctor there said that my granddaughter had a low fever, and he prescribed some antipyretics to her. Then I took her home. However, after taking medicine for over a day, Guoguo was no better. So I took her to the clinic to receive drip infusions. When she was on a drip, her fever was gone, but she began to get a fever one or two hours after the infusions. Later, she could not eat, and even if she ate something, she would vomit it up. She was daily wasting away, and finally she even didn’t have the strength to speak. This went on for about ten days. Seeing her tortured so much by the illness, my wife and I felt really bad. Before she fell ill, she was lively and cheerful in front of us; however, now all of a sudden she became so ill. I felt extremely anxious and scared: If anything happens to my granddaughter, how can we face our son and daughter-in-law? Thinking of this left me panicked, so I continually prayed to God: “Oh, God! I am willing to entrust Guoguo to You. I beg You to cure her illness.” But One day, two days, three days passed, and Guoguo’s illness continued unchanged. In the end, we had no choice but to call our son and daughter-in-law back from another place.
I harbored resentment in my heart when our granddaughter was no better.
My son came back the second day after receiving our call, and took Guoguo to the county hospital. Not long after they got there, my son called me up and said: “Guoguo said just one word here, then her mouth began to stiffen, and then she can’t speak. The doctor advised me to take Guoguo to another hospital.” As soon as I heard what my son said, my head buzzed and my entire body became limp and weak like a deflated rubber ball. I thought to myself: “How is it that my granddaughter’s illness gets worse so quickly? Now it gets to the point that she can’t speak. If something happens to her …” When I thought about this, I felt hurt and saddened as if a knife had been twisted into my heart, and I could not stop the tears. During those few days, I could not eat or sleep well. Just as my wife and I were shook up about Guoguo’s illness, our son called me again and said, “Dad, after the examination, the doctor said Guoguo’s been attacked by brain fever, and at present, her condition is extremely serious. The doctors will give her only two courses of treatment. If she gets better, they’ll continue the treatment; if not, they’ll discontinue it. And they also emphasized that even if her illness was cured, she would become disabled. Now Guoguo’s mouth still stiffens, the left side of her body is unconscious, and she is half-paralyzed.” When I heard my son’s words, my tears flowed freely like beads from a broken string, and I felt great pain as if my heart was going to break. I thought: “She is only six. What if she …” I dared not keep thinking about it, and then I came before God again and prayed to Him in tears: “O Almighty God, people’s life and death are both in Your hands. Whether my granddaughter gets better or not isn’t up to the doctor. Everything is within Your rule and arrangements. I’m willing to entrust my granddaughter to You.” After praying, my heart full of pain and anxiety calmed down a little. After that, every day my wife and I awaited and expected that my granddaughter would get better. However, the reality was not like what I had imagined. Guoguo’s condition did not improve at all. Unconsciously, I developed a heart that complained about God, and thought: “Since we believed in God, my wife and I have been doing our duty and can also obey the arrangements of the church. Why do we encounter such a thing?” The more I thought about it, the more awful I felt, until my spirit became darker and darker and I was negative and weak to an extreme degree.
I felt liberated under the guidance of God’s words.
Just as I was suffering without direction, a brother came to my home and read a few passages of God’s words pertaining to my situation, “How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? How many believe in Me only so I would use My powers to drive unclean spirits out of their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth, and how many believe in Me just to spend this life in safety and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger.” Then the brother fellowshiped: “In these words, God has revealed our intentions and purposes in believing in Him: Some want their illness to be cured, some seek to obtain grace and blessings, some ask God to keep their family safe and healthy, and some seek shelter from disaster, some wish to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and so on. Our faith in God is too impure, so when the situation arranged by God doesn’t satisfy our desires, we lose faith in Him, become negative, begin to misunderstand and blame Him, and even move far away from Him. In this experience of your granddaughter suffering illness, don’t we have these wrong intentions in believing in God? Today, God arranges the situation that isn’t in line with our notions to reveal our wrong intentions so that we may come to know them and have them changed, isn’t this God cleansing our improper views of pursuit in belief? Isn’t this God purifying and saving us?”
Thinking over God’s words and the brother’s fellowship, I had some understanding, and said to him: “Since my granddaughter fell ill, I’ve appealed to God and looked upon Him constantly just to ask Him to cure her illness. So when seeing her be no better but even get worse, I issued complaints to God, thinking that God should keep our whole family safe and from sickness since my wife and Iand do our duty. Now that I think about it, isn’t what I’ve manifested the situation revealed by God’s words? My faith in God is just for blessings, and I’m making demands of God and making deals with Him. When God didn’t satisfy my irrational desires, I lived in a passive and weak state, and blamed and misunderstood God. Now I see that I am too selfish and despicable. How can my viewpoint of belief be possibly in accord with ? I’m not a true believer in God!”
The brother went on to say: “You can recognize your wrong intentions and views concerning the belief in God. It’s the effect of God’s words on you. To be honest, it’s indeed a trial for you and your wife that your granddaughter has contracted such a severe illness. So, what’s the will of God in it? How should we experience this circumstance? About these questions, let’s look at what God says.” So, I took the book of God’s words and read: “When you face sufferings you must be able to not consider the flesh and not complain against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or disappear. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design, and be more willing to curse your own flesh than to complain against Him. When you are faced with trials you must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping. Only this can be called true love and faith. … If you are like Job, who in the midst of trials cursed his own flesh and did not complain against God, and was able to detest his own flesh without complaining or sinning through his words, that is standing witness. When you undergo refinements to a certain degree and can still be like Job, utterly obedient in front of God and without other requirements of Him or your own notions, then God will appear to you.” “Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking and never give up, and God shall shine His light on 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.”
After reading God’s words, I understood: Turns out, God uses trials and refinements to perfect my faith in Him. Today, my granddaughter suffered illness. On the one hand, my wrong viewpoint of belief in God is revealed; on the other hand, God is watching my attitude and if I can obey His sovereignty and arrangements, and stand witness to Him in this trial. Just like when Job lost a mountain of sheep and cattle, his great fortune, and his sons and daughters, he didn’t complain about God but stood witness to God. In the end, God perfected Job’s faith and blessed him. Thinking of this, I was encouraged and was willing to emulate Job. No matter what circumstances I faced in the future, I would obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements without complaints. With this in mind, I said to the brother: “Thank God! From God’s words, I understand His will. God is perfecting my faith in Him through my granddaughter’s illness. I can’t be negative and regressive, and misunderstand God anymore. My only wish is to experience God’s work well in the midst of trials and refining.”
The brother said: “Yeah, behind trials and refinements are God’s good intentions. We should believe that God is almighty and that He is able to decide on people’s life and death. We need only rely on God to experience, and obey His sovereignty and arrangements. Eventually God will reveal His intentions to us.”
After understanding God’s will, I prayed obediently to God to repent: “O Almighty God, I’m wrong. I shouldn’t make irrational demands of You, much less misunderstand and complain about You because of my granddaughter’s illness. O God! All You do is good. I willingly entrust my granddaughter’s life and death to Your hands, and submit to Your rule and arrangements. Even if she really dies, I won’t complain.” After this, my burdened and pained heart was a lot more liberated.
The trial came again.
On the thirteenth night, my son called me again, and said feebly: “The doctors can’t do anything for Guoguo, and they advised me to get her discharged.” Hearing his words, my wife and I were choked with tears. When I thought that my granddaughter would leave us forever, I felt heartrending pain and somewhat weak inside. At that time, I realized that my condition was not right, and then we two repeatedly prayed to God, seeking His protection over us, so that we would not complain about Him. After our praying, I thought of 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.” From God’s words, I understood: God controls all things. Whether they are living or dead, they will change in accordance with God’s thoughts. Today, the heart and spirit of my granddaughter are also under the arrangements of God. Even if she dies, it is ordained by God. Though I now don’t fully understand, I can’t complain about God and be Satan’s laughingstock. I should give my granddaughter to God completely and submit His orchestrations and arrangements. With God backing me from behind, I had the courage to face and accept what would happen next.
The next day, my wife and I went to the city hospital to see Guoguo. No sooner had we entered into the ward than we saw her lying in a hospital bed. She was reduced to a skeleton with a sallow face. Seeing my unconscious granddaughter, I could not express how grieved I was, the tears blurring my vision. Just when I was suffering, I thought of Job. He was utterly miserable in the face of such big trials, but for his fear of God, he would rather curse his own flesh than sin through his words, and he could obey the orchestrations and arrangements of God. Then I thought about myself: Now I’ve read so many God’s words and understood God’s will. If I can’t stand testimony to God and shame Satan, I will be unworthy of believing in God. I must follow the example of Job in standing witness for God and not complaining. Thereupon, I prayed to God silently in my heart: “O Almighty God, it makes me hurt to see my dying granddaughter. However, I don’t want to misunderstand or blame You. I am willing to obey. I only beg You to protect my heart so that I can stand testimony to You in this trial.”
I saw God’s wonderful deeds when standing witness.
Afterward, my wife and I sat at the head of my granddaughter’s hospital bed looking at her quietly. About one hour later an unexpected thing happened: Guoguo slowly opened her eyes, and her gaze rested on the beverage in my son’s hand. So, my son put the straw in her mouth. To our surprise, she slowly opened her mouth and naturally sucked some beverages. Witnessing this scene, I was stunned, and I kept thanking God in my heart. Another hour passed, we put some watermelon and banana in Guoguo’s mouth, and she ate them bit by bit. More marvelously, she suddenly could speak at midnight, saying in a low voice: “Grandma, grandpa!” And her two arms could move; the unconscious left side of her body also could move. We could hardly believe what we saw. My granddaughter, whom the doctors had stopped treating, actually got better. It’s really God’s wonderful deed! At that moment, my wife and I were overjoyed beyond words and all we could do was continuously give our thanks and praise to God. It was God that gave my granddaughter a second life.
The next day, Guoguo could get out of bed and run around. The doctor amazedly said to me: “What a miracle! Yesterday the child was dying, but unexpectedly, after a day and a night she actually gets back on her feet. Having been a doctor for so many years, I’ve never seen a situation like this. The other day there was a girl who was attacked by brain fever and came to this hospital. Her condition wasn’t as serious as your granddaughter’s. After the treatment, she lost her sight, while Guoguo, whom we already gave up treating, has recovered miraculously. It passes me. How incredible!” Hearing the doctor say so, I knew it’s because of the great power of God that my granddaughter could come back to life. The lives of people are indeed in the hands of God, so are people’s life and death. Just as God’s words say: “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.” God’s words have been realized in my granddaughter, and this is also the manifestation of God’s authority and power.
I thanked God for His wonderful salvation that allowed me to see His hand in despair. Through this special experience, I had some discernment of my erroneous views in believing in God, and saw that my believing in God is not only to enjoy His grace and blessings, but more importantly, to experience His judgment, chastisement, trials and refining, to reverse my incorrect perspectives of faith, and to achieve a true faith in God. No matter what environments I encounter that are not in line with my notions, I should obey God and stand witness for Him without complaint or misunderstanding. Such a faith in God is in accordance with His will. At the same time, I had some actual knowledge and experiences of God’s almightiness and sovereignty; I saw God’s authority and power are everywhere, and that everyone’s life and death are dominated by God. Thus my faith in God has grown. No matter how great trials we face, God is our staunch support and even more so, is our only salvation. Thank God! In the following days, I wish to pursue the truth rightly and fulfill the duty of a created being to repay God’s love.
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