by Yang Dan
Being Seriously Ill, I Was Sentenced to Death by Doctors
In present-day society, if we have no money, we can earn; without a house, we can buy; without a job, we can find solutions. But when faced with the threat of death, nobody can resist.
In 2006, when I was struggling for my life, I suddenly had no strength all over. I always felt queasy and nauseous after eating something, suffered insomnia at night and became sallow and emaciated. Quickly, I lost weight from over 55kg to about 45kg, unable to do a little housework.
Afterward, I had a severe pain in the abdomen. In August, my illness was diagnosed as cirrhosis in a special hospital in a town. Later, my family took me to have a thorough examination in a big hospital in the capital city, and a doctor said to my husband: “You’d better prepare for the worst. Maybe, she has only three months to live.” After arriving home, I had a distending pain of the abdomen and even couldn’t drink the thin rice gruel. Once I ate or drank a bit, I would vomit. My abdomen was so swollen that I couldn’t bend down. So, my family asked a village doctor to give me an infusion to diminish inflammation and relieve pain. Several days later, I heard the doctor told my husband in the next room: “Don’t give her an injection any more. It will be a waste of money.” At his words, I seemed immediately to be sentenced to death, and misery and despair surrounded me, with tears streaming down my face. One day, my chest was distended and ached so severely that I vomited a little blood. At this time, seeing I was dying, my husband was anxious and at a loss.
Tortured by the disease, I suffered untold misery and hardship. In those hopeless days, I always hid myself in the quit secretly and toweled my tears at night. Thinking of death’s coming upon me anytime, I felt helpless and scared very much. My daughter is only 12. What if she loses mother? If I die, how sad my old mother and sisters will be! … However, what could I do? I live only to burden my family. I cried out in my heart: O God! Does my life end in this way? I’m only forty, and I’m unwilling to die now. Death is so terrible. What should I do?
In Despair, I Saw a Gleam of Hope
Seeing I wept secretly, my mother said to me with tears in her eyes, “I have told you before that man’s destiny is preordained by Heaven. You should come before God. Man’s life and death are in God’s hand. If God doesn’t allow you to die, you’ll live even if you have but one breath left. …” Hearing my mother’s sincere and affirmative words, I, sitting on the bed, could not restrain myself and cried out loudly, “Mom, is there a God really? How painful I am now! I don’t want to be a burden to you all, yet I’m afraid to leave you. …” With tears, my mother told me, “There is a true God! The heavens and earth and all things are all created by Him. You should truly believe in Him and give your life to Him. God says: ‘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’ (“The Sixth Utterance”). Hearing God’s words and my mother’s fellowship, I seemed to see a gleam of hope in despair and helplessness.
Several days later, my mother brought an MP3 player and had the hymns played for me. I heard the words in a hymn: “The Almighty has mercy on these who suffer deeply. At the same time, He’s fed up with these who are unconscious, ’cause He has to wait, has to wait too long for the answer from mankind, from mankind. He wants to seek your spirit and your heart. He wants to bring you food and water. He wants to wake you up. So that you are thirsty no more, hungry no more. And when you are feeling weary, and when you begin to feel the desolation, the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. … You further realize that the Almighty has been watching there. He has been waiting, waiting for your return all along, all along. He longs bitterly. He has been waiting, waiting for a response without an answer. His watching’s beyond price and is for the heart, for the heart and the spirit of mankind. This watching maybe will last forever, or maybe this watching has come to its end. But you ought to know, where is your heart, and where is your, your soul. Where are they?” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs).
This song grabbed my heart. I felt as if there was a God just by my side, who cared for me and waited for me to return before Him. He couldn’t bear to see me suffering the torture of the disease, and He kept waiting for me to go home all along. My mother told me that it was a hymn of God’s word, in which the lyrics were God’s words. After she left, I listened to this song again and again, attracted deeply by every word of it. Although I didn’t understand the true meaning of these words, yet I was moved to tears by them. God’s words enlightened me who was in darkness like a ray of light. Only God can be merciful toward and be concerned for mankind. I cried and said to God: “Oh, Almighty God! Thank You for Your mercy toward me, allowing me, a dying woman living in a sea of bitterness, to hear Your words luckily. I will follow You in my finite time.” Since then, I came to love learning hymns and quickly I learned dozens of them. Feeling incomparably sweet and joyful, I had no desolation, helplessness and worry any longer. Afterward, a sister often came for gatherings with me. She couldn’t ride a bike, so every time she needed to walk a long way, rain or shine. I sensed deeply God’s love for me, a critically ill person. Otherwise, who would like to pay attention to me?
I Suddenly Realized How Man’s Illnesses Came From
One day, I listened to one hymn of God’s word and understood the root of my misery. God says: “After Satan corrupted man, they have become ever more fallen, afflicted by increasingly severe illnesses, and suffered more and more deeply. They felt more and more intensely the emptiness and misery of the human world, how hard it is to survive in it, and they lost hope for it as time went on. All such sufferings were caused by Satan” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). It turned out that all the illnesses are caused by Satan. At the beginning, man created by God lived in the blessings of Him, without toil, worries, sadness, and tears, much less illnesses and death. It was Satan that corrupted man and made us mankind be far away from God’s care and protection, so we lived in Satan’s affliction. From then on, we began to suffer these bitterness. Without the revelation of God’s word, I will not understand the root of illness forever. I prayed to God silently in my heart: “O God! My illness is in your hand, and the suffering is brought on me by Satan, but my life is ruled by You. As long as I have one breath, if You don’t let me die, I won’t die. Whether to die or live, I will obey Your orchestrations and arrangements and won’t complain about You.” From then on, I read God’s word, learned hymns and prayed to God every day. Gradually, I did not feel so lonely and helpless, fear death, or always cry. Instead, I had some happiness and joy in my heart. I knew that these subtle changes in my deep heart resulted from God’s word. Without the work God had done on me, even if I had not been tortured to death by the disease, I would have died of bitterness under such an environment.
What Brought the Dying Back to Life?
Time passed day by day. I did not know when I could drink some thin rice gruel, and then eat some porridge and noodles. Meanwhile, my tumescent abdomen got alleviated so much that I could bend over, and I felt relaxed a lot all over, as if a load had been lifted off my body. One day, only my child and I were at home. In the field the cotton had flowered and bent down, so we went to pick it. Unexpectedly, I came home carrying two baskets of cotton. Seeing what I had done, my neighbor could hardly believe it. I knew that it was completely God’s deed. The doctor had said that I had only three months to live, but after several months had passed, I not only did not die but my illness took a favorable turn so quickly. This was really God’s almightiness and salvation! Just as God says, “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” (“The Sixth Utterance”). In my experience, I deeply felt the authority and power of God’s word, and furthermore I saw the true existence of God. What a true and living God! God says: “He holds sovereignty over all things and rules all living beings beneath the universe. He commands the four seasons, and it is He who calls forth wind, frost, snow, and rain. He gives mankind sunshine and brings the coming of night. It was He who laid out the heavens and earth, providing man with mountains, lakes and rivers and all the living things within them. His deed is everywhere, His power is everywhere, His wisdom is everywhere, and His authority is everywhere. Each of these laws and rules are the embodiment of His deed, and every one of them reveals His wisdom and authority. Who can exempt themselves from His sovereignty? And who can discharge themselves from His designs? All things exist beneath His gaze, and moreover, all things live beneath His sovereignty. His deed and His power leave mankind with no choice but to acknowledge the fact that He really does exist and holds sovereignty over all things” (“Man Can Only Amidst the Management of God”). God’s words with authority and power conquered my heart: All things in the universe are ruled by God. Although man doesn’t see the glorious countenance of God personally, we can realize the true existence of God by all things created by Him. At this time, I felt ashamed for my ignorance and arrogance before. I knelt before God, and prayed to Him: “The only one true God who created the heavens and earth and all things! I was a dying person. It is You who made me see the hope of survival and gave me the second life. Having experienced Your work, I taste that my fate is in Your hand and my life and death are even more orchestrated by You. O God! I’m willing to commit my life to You. No matter whether I get well or sick, I will absolutely obey Your sovereignty and arrangement. Even if I die, I won’t complain about You. Because in my lifetime, it is worth of dying to experience Your work, read so many precious words of life you express, which supply the need of man’s life, and taste the authority and power of Your words.”
However, a wonder occurred again. In less than one year, I lived a normal life. Two years later, I went to the hospital for an examination. When the doctor heard that I had gotten the liver cancer, he could hardly believe it. After the examination, he found in my liver there was indeed a small scar after scabs seemed to have just fallen off. Now there was nothing wrong with it. The doctors all said it was a wonder. I had never thought of my recovery and it was the wonderful deed of God.
I will commit the way of my future life in God’s hand and let Him lead and guide me. I couldn’t help singing this hymn of experience: “When counting God’s grace, I shed floods of tears; Before opening my mouth, I choke with sobs. When I’m faint with hunger, You bring delicacies to nourish me. O God! O God! O God! O God! When I’m trembling with cold, You give Your warmth to me. … When I’m lonely and hesitant, With kind words You comfort me. When I’m eaten up with diseases, You make panaceas for me. … Thousands of words I bear in my heart. I’m longing to see You, my heart going with You. God’s grace is as weighty as mountains, and cannot be bought or repaid with life. O God! O God! O God! O God! Your grace is as countless as waters, and cannot be fathomed or described with words” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs).
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