By Jiang Haiping
I was brought up by the seashore. Despite having rushed about for many years after graduation, I didn’t find a suitable job. Later I earned a living by fishing. In 2008, my wife believed in Almighty God, and she often asked me to read the words of Almighty God, but I turned it down time and again with the excuse of having no time. I only thought to operate my fishing boat well, fishing more and making more money so as to provide a good and comfortable life for my wife and daughter. Though I refused God’s salvation time after time, God didn’t give me up. At the moment of disaster, God pulled me up from the brink of death, thereby bringing me back to His family.
On January 26, 2010, the northwest wind was blowing with snowflakes whirling in the sky. The cold wind chilled people to the bone. My fishing boat was anchored in the fishing harbor to take a shelter from the wind. At past four in the afternoon, I received a call from the duty room of the harbor, saying that the mooring line of my boat was loosened, and that I needed to go check on it for fear that my boat might be blown away by the wind at night. I rushed towards the harbor as soon as I put down the phone. The snow lay thick on the ground and made it a vast expanse of whiteness all along the way, and I could hardly see the road. When I finally arrived at the seashore with difficulty, the man on duty had already gone home. There was nothing but the sound of waves and the endless whiteness by the sea. It was over one kilometer away from here to the village, and not a soul was to be seen at the moment. I hastened to jump onto my boat and fastened the mooring line securely. Just when I had had everything settled and got ready to leave, the tide began to fall. I stood on the boat and could see nothing on the shore but the high dam wall. I strained at the mooring line to make the boat close to the dam. Then, with the support of the boat under my feet, I jumped upward with all my might, but I didn’t get onto the dam, and the boat moved away from me at the same time. I realized the danger, and at the instant of falling into the water, I turned around and threw myself at the boat. My two hands caught hold of the gunwale, but my body fell into the water. I only wanted to climb onto the boat, for if I didn’t do that as soon as possible, I was very likely to fail to support myself and sank into the water. Three sides of the fishing harbor were high-built walls and one side led to the sea. If I sank into the water, the consequences would be disastrous. The desire for life urged me to try every means to climb onto the boat. However, although I had exerted all my strength, as I wore a lot of clothes and the cotton-padded clothes had got wet through, I still failed, and all the efforts were of no use. So I cried out toward the shore: “Anybody here? Come and pull me up!” I kept shouting, but nobody showed up. I thought: Nobody could possibly come here in such weather; I’d better try again. I rested for a while by holding the boat and then tried to jump onto the boat, yet I still failed after trying several times in succession. At the moment, my strength fell short of my wishes, but the desire for life prompted me to cling to the gunwale tightly with my two hands. I shouted again toward the shore, but still no one came to rescue me. The ground was all covered with snow and ice, and it was getting dark; no one could possibly come to the seashore. I raised my head and looked around. When the tide was up, the boat was on the same level with the dam, and I could get on or off the boat with a stride. However, now I felt like I was at the bottom of the sea, and the harbor, which was broad, seemed like the mouth of a well to me. Raising my head to look up at the sky, I only saw that the sky, about the size of the well’s mouth, was bright. I had already been unable to hold on at the time and lost all my strength. My body became heavier and heavier, and I had no strength to move any more, and my two arms hanging on the gunwale became limp and numb. I couldn’t support myself any longer. I shouted toward the shore once again. However, my voice was too faint in the howling sea wind and the crashing waves. Although I had exerted all my strength to shout, there was still not any response. I was in despair, and my hands which clung to the gunwale tightly had also run out of strength gradually. They couldn’t hold it any longer and began to loosen. I thought: Will I die in this way? I planned to operate my fishing boat well so my wife and daughter would live a happy life; yet, now death comes upon me in the blink of an eye, and I will never see them again. Thinking of this, I couldn’t help shedding tears. The hands that held the gunwale were sliding down little by little. By then, nearly one hour had passed, and I was too exhausted to hold on. I thought: I will surely die; what use is it to hold on for one more minute? Since I can’t support any longer, I just let go. Right at that moment when I was about to give up, I suddenly remembered Almighty God that my wife believed in. My wife and daughter often told me at ordinary times that I could call on Almighty God when encountering any difficulties, for everything is beneath the sovereignty of God and only God can save us. So I cried out with tears, “Almighty God! Please help me! Save me from the danger! …” My whole body was aching and limp at the moment, and I really couldn’t sustain anymore. Just when I was about to let go my hold, I looked around wistfully, and suddenly I caught sight of a figure moving on the dam. Could there really be someone coming to the seashore at this time in such weather?! I couldn’t believe my eyes. A gleam of hope for survival prompted me to cry out, “Anybody there? Come and pull me up!” There was really a person there. At a snap of the fingers, he jumped onto the boat like a shot, and pulled me hard up onto the boat. It was not until then did I realize that the tide was rising. The man dragged the mooring line to make the boat close to the dam, and we got on the dam. I kept thanking Almighty God in my heart. The man said to me, “Come to the duty room and warm yourself!” As I went into the duty room, I expressed my thanks to him. “Good fortune awaits the survivor of a great disaster,” he said. I knew from the conversation that he lived about ten kilometers away and came to work here this year. And he told me, “I had already prepared the dishes and the wine for the supper, but somehow I just didn’t want to drink alone. Then I thought of Old Zhao, who was on duty. So I came to him by torchlight. After arriving at the duty room, I found Old Zhao was not here. I thought he must be taking a walk along the dam. So I went to have a look, and then I heard your shouting.” After hearing this, I thought to myself, “Almighty God really has authority! He is truly presiding over everything. God is so almighty that He saved me in such a wondrous way!” After returning home, I told my wife and daughter what had happened to me, and they were all greatly moved and kept thanking God for saving our family by His great power.
From then on, I began to believe in Almighty God and attend meetings and read His words. Once I saw these words of God: “Like all things, man quietly and unknowingly receives the nourishment of the sweetness and rain and dew from God. Like all things, man unknowingly lives under the orchestration of God’s hand. 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” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Only after reading God’s words did I know that all matters and all things and all mankind live under the orchestration and arrangement of God’s hand, that all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God, and that man’s thoughts and ideas are held in God’s hand. When the disaster befell me and I was at the juncture of life and death, I was thrown into despair. But as my heart turned back to God and cried out to God for help, God orchestrated and arranged someone to rescue me from the brink of death just in time, which granted me an opportunity to live, an opportunity to know God. This allowed me to see that everything rests in God’s hand! Through this accident, I gained some true knowledge and understanding of God’s unique authority and almighty dominion, and also saw God’s wondrous deed. I was in the bitterly cold water for almost one hour, but I didn’t feel cold, and when I was pulled out of the water by the man, I didn’t feel stiff and numb with cold at all. That was really a miracle! I also read these words: “God laments the future of mankind, and grieves the fall of mankind. He feels sorrow for mankind’s slow march toward decline and the path of no return. Mankind has broken the heart of God and renounced Him to seek the evil one. None has ever given thought to the direction in which a mankind such as this will move. It is precisely for this reason that none sense the anger of God. None seek a way to please God or try to become closer to God. Moreover, none seek to comprehend the sorrow and pain of God. Even after hearing the voice of God, man continues on his path away from God, evading the grace and care of God, and shunning the truth of God, and he would rather sell himself to Satan, the enemy of God. … This is because only one creation and one salvation are within the plan of God. This is the first time and also the last. Therefore, none can comprehend the kind intention and fervent anticipation of God for mankind’s salvation. … all I wish is for man to understand that without the care, keeping, and provision of God, man cannot receive all that he was meant to receive, no matter how great the effort or struggle. Without the supply of life from God, man loses the sense of value in living and loses the sense of purpose in life” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading God’s words, I recalled that my wife had asked me to read Almighty God’s words time after time, but I turned a deaf ear and stubbornly rejected God’s salvation, and instead pursued to operate my fishing boat well so my family would live a happy life. Thinking back, when I fell into the water, there was nothing I could do before death. What’s the use of it even if I possessed vast wealth? The material things could not rescue me from death. If Almighty God hadn’t orchestrated and arranged for the man to save me from the verge of death, then I would have long perished, let alone lived a happy life. From God’s words I knew that if a person does not accept God’s work in the last days, refuses God’s reminders and exhortations, and instead persists in going against Him, he will lose God’s care and protection and will in the end live in a constant state of panic and fear amidst the disaster; only by accepting the work of Almighty God in the last days can man live a valuable and meaningful life. I would put my effort into reading God’s words and walk the right path of life—believing in God.