Hovering Between Life and Death After a Medical Emergency
The evening of October 5, 2017, my youngest son Xunxun and his family came to my place for dinner, just like always, and afterward Xunxun went to the school to teach a class. A little after 8:00 p.m. my daughter-in-law called and said hastily, “Mom, Xunxun’s been taken to the hospital!” I was shocked, and rushed to ask: “He was totally fine when we had dinner just now. How could he suddenly be in the hospital?” Before I could finish she hurriedly hung up the phone.
I couldn’t help but feel panic rising in my heart. My son had just eaten more than a bowl of food and hadn’t mentioned feeling unwell—how could he suddenly be hospitalized? It occurred to me that he had had heart surgery before—could there be something wrong with his heart again? If it was a recurrence of his heart condition, that would really not be a good thing. I was burning with anxiety and wanted to go to the hospital to see him, but I didn’t even know which hospital he was in. What could I do? I thought and I thought, and then called my oldest son, plus my daughter and her husband—only then did I learn that they had already been to the hospital, but no one wanted to tell me about my son’s condition. The more I thought about it, the more anxious I became. Standing or sitting, I couldn’t get comfortable—I was at a loss. In my desperation, I thought of God and rushed to kneel down and pray: “Oh God! My son has been suddenly hospitalized and I’m so worried for his safety. I don’t know what Your will is, but I believe that You have allowed this to happen. I don’t know what I should do now. Please protect me and allow me to quiet my heart!” After praying, I thought of God’s words, “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature?” That’s it! God is the Lord of creation and every single person’s fate is within His grasp. We are created beings; not only can we not control our own fates, but we particularly cannot control others’ fates. Since my worry and anxiety was useless and my son’s life or death was in God’s hands, all I could do was put him in God’s hands. When I thought of that my heart settled considerably.
Two hours later when my youngest son’s wife came back home with my daughter’s son to get some things, I asked them about my son’s condition. Tears welled up in her eyes and she said to me comfortingly: “It’s nothing. You stay here at home; we’re there for him in the hospital!” She then hurriedly grabbed some of my son’s clothing and personal items, getting ready to drive back. I thought to myself: What really is wrong with my son that they are keeping me in the dark? I insisted that they take me with them. On the way, my daughter-in-law received a call from my oldest son, who was at the hospital. All I could hear was her saying anxiously: “Hm? Why is his heart beating that fast?” A bit later she said with a worried look on her face: “What? There’s no heartbeat now?” From her words I could tell that my son’s condition was probably very serious. If his heart wasn’t beating, at any time couldn’t he…. I didn’t dare think any further, nor did I dare ask my daughter-in-law any more questions. My heart was tied in knots and I was thinking: “My son is still so young, and his son is just five years old. If something were to happen to him, how would we get by? Considering all of this was deeply upsetting. I fought to hold back my tears and prayed to God in my heart nonstop, asking Him to watch over me so I could stand firm in such a situation and not sin with my words. We arrived at the hospital soon after.
God’s Words Display His Mightiness, My Son Is Revived
When I got to my son’s bedside, I saw that he was unconscious, his face was pale, he had an oxygen tube in his nose, and ECG electrode clips on his hands and feet. There were several doctors and professors surrounding the ECG machine tensely watching its display. They would occasionally shake their heads and show a look of consternation. Two of the leaders from his school were also off to one side having a discussion in low tones, and I vaguely heard them say: “It was so scary when he collapsed, it looked like he wasn’t even breathing….” Seeing the look of helplessness on the doctors’ face was very disconcerting for me, and then when I looked at my son in the hospital bed, utterly unaware of anything, an indescribable wave of panic welled up in my heart. I was afraid that my son might be gone in the blink of an eye—wouldn’t I be a parent burying her child? The more I thought about it the more pain I felt, so I rushed to make a silentto God: “Oh God! I don’t know whether my son is going to live or die—I’m really struggling. God! May You safeguard my heart, and no matter what happens, may You give me faith so that I can stand witness and not complain. I only wish for my son to be in Your hands, and to submit to Your arrangements.” During the prayer, I suddenly remembered that God said: “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?” God’s words bolstered my faith. It’s true! God does have the final say over life and death, and my son was also in His hands. All of my worries stemmed from not believing in God’s rule. I generally talk about how I’m okay with whatever situation God may set up and that it’s all His benevolent will, but when I saw my son so ill, all I could think of was fretting over his condition. I hadn’t quieted myself before God to seek His will. When I realized this, I called out to God continually within my heart.
I thought of a hymn of God’s words, “While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or have negativity within them, or to lack clarity onor their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, like Job. Although Job was weak and cursed the day of his own birth, he did not deny that all things in human life were bestowed by Jehovah, and that Jehovah is also the One to take it all away.”
Pondering God’s words, I thought of the great trials that Job went through in which his wealth and his children were all taken from him, but he never lost faith in God. He said, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). This was his testimony. But there I was afraid of losing my son and incredibly hurt when the doctors still hadn’t come to a conclusion—I just saw that their expressions seemed off. How could that be faith in God? I realized I had to follow the example of Job and be able to have genuine faith in God. No matter what the outcome of my son’s condition, I could not grumble about it. Encouraged by God’s words, I felt that I had gained strength and faith. I called out to God, and then carefully sat down by my son’s side and gently called his name a few times. Seeing him finally have some response, very slowly opening his eyes and looking at me, my heart rejoiced and rushed to ask him, deeply concerned, “Are you feeling a bit better?” He nodded, sighed, and then weakly pointed at his chest and said: “It hurts … in my chest.” He then lost consciousness again.
A little while later I heard a doctor say with surprise: “Come look at this! His heart rate and blood pressure have normalized! Everything is normal!” The whole family crowded around—everyone was very happy. Seeing His mercy and protection, I gave thanks to God over and over again in my heart. It was God’s words that gave me true faith, allowing me to understand God’s mightiness and authority in ruling over everything. I said excitedly: “Man’s fate is determined by the heavens. This is truly thanks to God!” The doctor in charge added to that: “That’s right. God really is the One to thank. It’s fortunate that the patient got here in time after his myocardial infarction. If it had been half an hour later, the outcome would have been terrible. A little bit ago his heart completely stopped—I never imagined that he would miraculously come back to life. However, his condition is not stable. He has to stay in the hospital for monitoring.” My son was then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit; only his wife stayed behind to take care of him, while the rest of us went home.
The moment I walked in the door I rushed to kneel down and offer up a prayer of thanks to God. I was full of gratitude. At my most helpless time God was always by my side leading me and spurring me on with His words, giving me faith and something to lean on. I felt that God’s love really is so great.
His Condition Fluctuates and God Once Again Shows His Wondrous Deeds
A week later, the doctor in charge told us: “Testing has revealed a sarcoma on the patient’s heart that will require two surgeries. The first is to excise the sarcoma, and then we need to implant a pacemaker. You need to get 200,000 yuan together right away—if this is delayed, his life could be in danger.” I felt very tense hearing that my son was still in mortal danger. In my anxiety, I once again prayed to God: “Oh God! I believe that You rule over everything. At this moment there’s nothing I can do—I can only rely on You. I put my son entirely into Your hands, and I am willing to rely on my faith and experience Your work.” My oldest son and my younger son’s wife went all over the place raising money and before long, they had come up with the required amount. When my son was examined again in preparation for surgery, the doctor said that his condition was complex plus he was very weak; he would need to be very carefully nursed back to health and then transferred to a large specialist hospital for surgery. He wrote some prescriptions and then had my son discharged to recuperate at home.
After a period of care my son’s health had improved somewhat. The day he went to the specialist hospital, his wife came back and told me that they had scheduled surgery for the next day at 11:00 a.m. That evening, I offered up another prayer to God: “Oh God! My son is undergoing surgery tomorrow. It’s a very risky procedure, but please give me faith and courage. I believe that whether it’s a success or a failure, my son’s surgery is in Your hands. I believe that everything You do is good. Whatever the outcome tomorrow is, I am willing to submit and I will not complain. I am willing to stand witness and satisfy You” After praying I no longer felt worried or afraid; I had faith and strength to face my son’s surgery the following day.
The next day, my son was wheeled into the operating room right on time while we, his family, were all outside anxiously waiting. While waiting, I turned God’s words over and over in my mind, thinking of God’s love, and before I knew it two hours had gone by. A doctor suddenly said my son’s name, calling for us. Flustered, we all rushed over to him, and he said with emotion: “We’ve never seen anything like this. Today this really has been a wonder! In our pre-surgical examination we found that there was nothing at all wrong with the patient. We couldn’t believe it so we did another careful examination, and that also showed that everything is normal. After discussing it, we decided that there’s no need for surgery. He’ll be fine if he just goes back home and gets lots of rest.” Hearing this, we were all stunned for a moment—it took us ages to come to our senses. I just saw my daughter-in-law happily clapping her hands and saying: “That’s wonderful! From now on, not only will Xunxun not have to suffer, but it will save us 200,000 yuan!” At that moment I was the only one who clearly realized that this was God’s mightiness, this was God’s love. In my excitement, the words “Thanks be to God!” came out of my mouth. I didn’t know how to express what I felt—all I could do was thank God over and over in my heart: “Oh God! You have given me faith and strength time after time through Your words, giving me the ability to stand firm through this situation. Now my son’s condition has miraculously disappeared. Your love for us is so great!”
After going back home, I kneeled down before God to offer up a prayer of gratitude. Afterward, I saw this passage of God’s word, “Life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, there is no way of life without God Himself, and so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life. … Man’s life originates from God, the existence of the heaven is because of God, and the existence of the earth stems from the power of God’s life. No object possessed of vitality can transcend the sovereignty of God, and no thing with vigor can break away from the ambit of God’s authority. In this way, regardless of who they are, everyone must submit under the dominion of God, everyone must live under God’s command, and no one can escape from His control.” God’s words tell us with absolute clarity that He is the source of all life, that all things on heaven and earth—both animate and inanimate—are not exempt from His rule. Only God is the foundation of our lives as humans, and all things are changed and renewed under His control and His rule. This is a manifestation of God’s authority. I thought of how my son had pulled through crisis after crisis since falling ill, and how time after time the doctors’ conclusions had not panned out. Through adversity it was God’s words that had given me faith time after time giving me something to lean on, allowing me to overcome weakness again and again. When I had faith in God I saw His wondrous deeds—my bedridden son, at his last gasp, miraculously regained his health.
I truly experienced that God rules over and controls everything through this experience. If it hadn’t been for the guidance of His words as well as His grace and protection, no matter how much money we had or how skilled the doctors were, that could not have saved my son. I give thanks to God that, through my son’s illness, I gained understanding of God’s rule and understood that our future and fate are entirely within His hands. From now on I wish to put everything into cooperating with God and fulfilling the duty that a created being ought to in order to repay God’s love!