An Illness Happened
One evening in September, 2016, when I was busy doing housework, my son suddenly came home with his schoolbag. Seeing his spiritless look, I asked, “How come you return without having your evening study session?” He covered his face with his hands and said miserably, “I have a toothache.” In a hurry, I looked at his face carefully and found that his cheeks were badly swollen. I touched his forehead and felt it was hot. Then I saw that his gums were also badly swollen. I began to worry: My son has always had a toothache since he was very little. After he grew new teeth, he still often has a toothache. And this time his gums swelled more seriously than any time before. Can’t it be that something grows in his tooth root? Thinking that there were more and more strange illnesses now, I was very anxious and really wanted to immediately take my son to the county hospital for an examination. But it was too late to go there because we lived in a small town. So I decided to first take him to a clinic nearby. However, he didn’t want to go regardless. I had no way but to do as he wished.
At night, I was awakened by bursts of groans of my son. Seeing he cried with pain on the bed, I couldn’t fall asleep at all. And my heart was like being twisted by a knife. I only hoped the dawn would come soon so that I could take him to the hospital. Seeing he was suffering, I was more than a little upset, feeling as if time had been frozen. So I could only pray to God in my heart ceaselessly: “God! My son’s condition is so serious. I’m afraid that something would happen to him. God, I’m willing to yield my son to Your hands. May You protect my heart so that I can be quiet before You.” After my prayers, I thought of these God’s words: “Of everything that occurs in the universe, there is nothing that I do not have the final say in. What exists that is not in My hands?” (“The First Utterance”). God’s words enlightened me and made me understand that whether my son’s illness was serious or not was in God’s hands. What I should do was rely on God. Gradually, my worried heart calmed down. Then I read God’s words to my son and let him also learn to rely on God. And I also prayed to God together with him. Slowly, his pain was relieved. After a while, he fell asleep.
Knowing My Son’s Condition, I Lived in Anxiety
The next morning early, I hastily took my son to the county hospital for a check. After the test result was out, the doctor said to me seriously, “Your son’s molars in both sides have cysts. He has this illness at such a young age; this is a case our hospital has never met before. Now we don’t know whether the cysts are benign or malignant. Your son needs an operation right now, or his illness might grow worse. You have to be mentally prepared.”
Having listened to these words, I thought: My son is only 14, how can he have such an illness? Afraid that my son was misdiagnosed, I took him to another two large-scale hospitals for checks, but the results were the same. Then I began to get flurried in my heart and my hand that was taking the test result trembled, because I was afraid that my son was too young to undergo the operation, afraid that the cyst was malignant, and even afraid that the operation on my son would fail…. Seeing my hesitation, the doctor said, “Don’t hesitate anymore. Your son should be hospitalized for an operation as soon as possible. Come to my office after a while. I have something to say to you.”
After I arrived at the office, the doctor took out a list and said to me, “This paper has over ten clauses. You need to make them clear and then sign your name. One clause speaks of the anesthetic, including the general and the local. The local anesthesia has a smaller side-effect on memory than the general anesthesia, but I’m afraid that your kid is too young to bear the pain with the local anesthesia so that the operation can only be half done. Besides, we can’t guarantee the success of the operation, but we will do our best. We will operate on your son tomorrow morning.” The doctor’s words made my heart even more anxious: I only have this one child; my husband isn’t at home now and I have no one to discuss with. What if something happened to my son? In an instant, I lived in a flurry and felt enormous pressure.
Agitatedly, I went back to the ward. Then I suddenly heard some noise outside. An aunt who was in the same ward with my son said restlessly to the people in the ward, “Just now, an over 50-year-old man had a little operation. After being given anesthesia, he died on the operating table. There must be something wrong when he was given anesthesia. Now his family have come and are making trouble outside, and the policemen also have come. This county hospital is less and less reliable. They even cannot perform such a minor operation well. If this thing gets about, who dare to come here to see the doctor in future?” At the time, an over 50-year-old man said to me, “You just have this one kid. The doctor has said that your son’s illness is the first case they meet. You’d better take your son to a provincial hospital for an operation, lest something unexpected happen.” People in the ward then all advised me to take my son to another hospital. Hearing these words, I was even more worried, not knowing what to do.
In a Flurry, God’s Word Comforted Me
In a flurry, I hurriedly prayed to God: “God! Now there appeared the thing that someone died in the hospital because of anesthesia. I’m also afraid that the operation on my son would also fail. God! Please protect my heart so that I can be quiet before You.” After my prayers, I became calm slowly. Then I thought of God’s words: “The resurrection of Lazarus glorified God—this has a deep impact on every single one of God’s followers. It firmly fixes in every person who deeply understands this event the understanding, the vision that only God can command mankind’s life and death” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”). I thought: In the Age of Grace, Lazarus had been dead for four days, but thejust said one word and Lazarus was resurrected. From this can be seen that man’s birth and death are controlled by God. Then whether the operation on my son is successful or not, isn’t it also in God’s hands? At this time, my anxiety was relieved a little. After a while, I suddenly received a message from my cousin (an anesthetist in a large hospital in another city) through Wechat. She asked me about my son’s condition. Then she told me: There is no phenomenon of hereditary allergy to anesthetic in our family. What’s more, when general anesthetic is given for an operation, it will be passed out in the urine after six hours and will not influence the kid’s memory. Having heard my cousin’s words, I was very clear in my heart that it was God who comforted me through my cousin and let me not worry.
The next morning, my son said to me: “Mom, I’m agitated and afraid of pain. I don’t want to have the operation.” Seeing my son felt afraid and thinking that he was only 14 but had to suffer that serious illness, I felt awful. But I fought back my tears and comforted him, “Don’t be afraid. Since we all, we should rely on Him. Your illness is in God’s hands. We should rely on God with confidence. There is nothing to be afraid of. God’s word says: ‘Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God.’ ‘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’ (‘The Sixth Utterance’).” My mother (a believer in God) also encouraged my son not to be afraid, and told him to call on God more in the heart. Hearing God’s words and our words of comfort, he was less afraid and said that he was willing to have the operation. Seeing my son had courage and confidence to face the operation, I knew that this was the result reached through God’s words. So I thanked God in my heart ceaselessly.
When my son entered the operating room, he turned around and gave me a look. I saw a panic in his eyes. Thinking that he would be suffering from the operation, I felt great pain in my heart. And my tears welled up in my eyes spontaneously. But I believed that everything is in God’s hands, so I became tranquil quickly in my heart. My mother and aunt (a believer in God) held my hands and whispered in my ear, “We should pray to God more in our hearts. With God as our rear guard, we have reliance. Don’t worry.” Due to God’s guidance and protection, we three were very calm. However, since my son entered the operating room, my mother-in-law who didn’t believe in God had cried all the time. Seeing she was sad, I comforted her that whether the operation was successful or not was in God’s hands and told her not to worry. After my words, she was quiet a little.
During the four-hour operation, my mother, aunt and I had been sitting in the passage outside the operating room, praying to God in our hearts ceaselessly. At last, we saw my son come out of the operating room. The doctor said to me, “The operation was very successful. The cysts have been removed and the test result shows that it is benign.” I kept thanking God in my heart with tears in my eyes. It was God’s protection that the operation could be so successful.
Having experienced the matter about my son’s illness, I truly realized that God is at our side anytime and anywhere, being our ever-present reliance and help. As long as we rely on God and look up to God sincerely, God will lead and help us to go through all difficulties. I thought of my cousin’s 2-year-old daughter. Recently, she had a cough caused by a cold. The doctor said that the child had coughed for a long time and suggested the kid hurriedly stay in the hospital for observation for fear that her cough might cause pneumonia. This scared my cousin so much that she couldn’t eat or sleep in several days. Not until the result showed that the child was okay did her heart calm down. By contrast, I’m able to come before God and have reliance in my heart because of believing in God. Though I also had anxiety and helplessness when encountering my son’s illness, I could have courage and confidence to face it, because when I pray to God, God’s word will give me faith and strength. I really thank God for leading and protecting us!