Just like a saying: “Fire and water have no mercy,” we all look small and feel helpless in the face of disaster. However, Li Ai received God’s wonderful keeping and survived a big fire. Let’s share her witness.
By Li Ai
I am Li Ai, 77 years old. Though I am old and of poor caliber, God doesn’t reject me. After believing in God, I know our life comes from God, and only by following God and worshipping God can we live under His care and protection, and gain peace and happiness. Especially after a breath-taking experience in a fire, I deeply felt that God is my only reliance.
I remember that it was about 2 o’clock in one afternoon in April of 2011. Villagers all went to work on farm fields successively, and an unexpected fire broke out. At that time, some villagers saw a ball of fire falling from the heavens, dropping in a villager’s backyard, which was in the western tip of the village. Then a tremendous conflagration was breaking out, and soon it spread to the dooryard, while the gale was blowing from west to east that day. The conflagration spread from the first house to the second one very rapidly, and in less than an hour, the village was almost enveloped in flames. I saw the fire on the road kept surging forward rapidly, and the flames leapt higher than the roof. The raging fire turned the places it spread to into ruins.
At that time, some villagers, running home, risked their lives to drive the livestock out of the pens. Some carried the grain out; but most villagers couldn’t come into their houses. Cattle, sheep, donkeys, mules and other livestock in their backyards as well as the farm implements were burnt to ashes; things in their houses were burnt completely. That scene was too horrible to watch! In addition, the fire made the road impassable, and people couldn’t pass through at all. Seeing the blazing flames, I was in a blue funk, feeling that we were so small and fragile when faced with disasters. No matter how capable one was at that time, he could do nothing about it, but only leave the fire burning fiercely!
In a little while, the wind changed round, which blew from south to north suddenly. Within few minutes, I saw the raging fire rapidly spreading to my house, and it was only two houses away from mine. Suddenly, I remembered the books of God’s words in my home. I thought: These books are as important as my life for me! They can by no means be burnt by the fire. When I saw the fire continued blazing, my heart leapt into my throat, and I ran into the room to move them out hurriedly. My family also loaded the things we needed onto our car in a hurry, wanting to carry them away.
However, seeing the fire was fierce and burnt fast, and thinking not all the books of God’s words had been moved out in time, I burnt with anxiety. At the critical juncture, I called out to God for His help immediately: “Almighty God! May You help us! I know all things are in Your hands. Whether the fire will burn my house or not is decided by You. O God, I am willing to entrust You with these books, and may You keep them.” After my , a miracle happened in a short time. The wind didn’t blow toward my house and the fire was not as fierce as it was a moment ago. The flames were dying down, which only spread to two houses before ours. I really thanked God. From this, I felt God’s authority and His protection.
When the flames were about to be extinguished, the fire engine just arrived. In fact, when the fire just began to burn, someone called the fire brigade, but they never showed up. It was not until the whole village was nearly burnt up and the fire was not that fierce that they came to put out the fire. This made me see that it is useless to turn to man for help in the face of disasters. Because everyone is afraid of death, and moreover, most of the time, man can’t save others at all, and we can only depend on God—our only reliance. Faced with disasters, we can live only by relying on God because God is the Master of all things. God is just by our side. As long as we sincerely cry out to God, we can see His saving hands.
In the fire, only few villagers’ houses in the whole village were not burnt by the fire, and my house was one of them. Moreover, another sister didn’t lose anything except that some cornstalks in her backyard were burnt. I knew clearly that it was because of God’s care and protection for us that we could survive the fire. For God said, “The disaster originates with Me and is of course orchestrated by Me” (“You Ought to Prepare a Sufficiency of Good Deeds for Your Destination”). I couldn’t help but give praise in my heart unceasingly: “Thank God! Thank God! God is really too almighty and too marvelous!”
In the fire, I saw everything comes into being or disappears according to God’s thoughts. All are under God’s sovereignty and control, like the shift in the wind, how strong the fire was and so on. Just as God’s words say: “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” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). “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? … Is it not I who has personally made these arrangements?” (“The First Utterance”). God’s words are of great authority and power, which makes me see that all things and all events are controlled and ruled by God’s hands, and they all shift, change or disappear according to God’s thoughts. Just as how this fire broke out, how strong it was, which direction it spread to, and when it was extinguished are all ruled and orchestrated by God. Nobody can hinder or control it. Especially when I saw the fire was only two houses away from mine, I prayed to God earnestly, and then He changed the wind direction wonderfully. Then the wind no longer blew toward my house, and the fire died down, so the books of God’s words and I were safe and sound. That made me truly feel His faithfulness, and feel His care, protection and love to those believing in Him, as well as His wondrousness and almightiness. I couldn’t help but think of the matter that the and His disciples got caught in gale on the sea. When the wind was about to capsize their boat, the Lord Jesus rebuked the wind and waves, saying, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39). Then the wind stopped. Today, I personally saw the direction of the fire was also in God’s hand, which was God’s unique authority and power.
Though nobody was hurt in the fire, it brought serious economic loss to more than 70 families. Their houses, all savings and properties were burnt down by the fire. Some people just built new houses and bought new furniture. Before they lived in, their houses turned to ashes. The whole village was burnt. It turned into a mess and was changed out of all recognition. Moreover, some people fell into a trance because of being frightened. In the face of disasters, we are so small and so helpless. Our families can’t save us, nor can money. God is our only reliance, and the Lord of creation is He on whom the only existence of us rests! When faced with disasters, only by relying on God can we live and survive. Just as God says, “I am mankind’s only salvation. I am mankind’s only hope and, even more, I am He on whom the existence of all mankind rests. Without Me, mankind will immediately come to a complete standstill. Without Me, mankind will suffer catastrophe and be trodden down by all manner of ghosts, even though no one takes heed of Me. … In any case, I hope that you prepare a sufficiency of good deeds for your own destination. Then will I be satisfied; otherwise, none of you shall escape the disaster that befalls you” (“You Ought to Prepare a Sufficiency of Good Deeds for Your Destination”). God is our rear guard and shield, and even more our refuge and strong tower. Only by coming before God and worshiping Him can we escape the disasters, and gain God’s care and protection. Just as the Bible says, “A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you” (Psalms 91:7).
In the fire, I truly tasted God’s love to me, which is too great and too practical! I am willing to perform my duty well as a created being to repay God’s love in the rest of my life!