With siren howling, an ambulance raced over from the east along the pool. I walked quickly to my doorstep, and saw that my neighbor Ms. Zhang, who had got lung cancer, was being carried into the vehicle, followed by her wailing husband and child.
Watching this scene, I couldn’t help but recall how I had come through a serious illness less than a dozen years ago …
With Heart Valve Necrosis, at a Loss What to Do
On the night of December 30, 2008, I suddenly felt my whole body was weak and my feet were sore, which was accompanied by a cough. Later, my head began swimming and my breasts felt swollen so that I could hardly breathe. After an examination in the county hospital, the doctor said that my heart valves were necrotic and that I needed to be admitted to the hospital for treatment straight away.
The doctor’s words hit me like a bolt of lightning and left me at a loss. Later, I was treated in the hospital for half a month and spent lots of money, but my condition didn’t improve a jot.
Afterward, I went to the provincial hospital for another examination, and received the same result. And it showed that my two and a half heart valves had been necrotic and only half a valve was working. Then the doctor there said in a serious voice: “You need to undergo an operation immediately, which will cost at least 120,000 yuan. If you only take medicine, it’s hard to say if you’ll live longer than three months. However, if your necrotic heart valves are replaced with artificial ones, we cannot guarantee how long you will survive. Talk it over with your family.”
Hearing this made me extremely upset. I thought: “We don’t have this much money at all. I am a peasant and my husband doesn’t earn much money; we have to pay for our child’s education, and on top of that, the treatment in the county hospital has cost a lot of money. How are we supposed to pay for the operation?” Lying in the hospital bed, I felt desperate.
Later on, my husband worked away from home to earn more money to treat my condition. However, the money he made was just enough to buy the medicine, so we had to borrow money from our relatives and friends to pay the hospital bills. After my illness cost over 80,000 yuan altogether, my condition still got no better. Without more money for treatment, I had to get discharged and return home. After that, I sat on a chair every day with my feet higher than my head, so that my heart could receive adequate blood supply. When I slept at night, I dared not to lie down, because once I did so, I would have great difficulty breathing. Moreover, I was often totally powerless and I could only live on milk powder and some other supplements. I dropped from more than 70 kilos to less than 40 kilos. My family and the people around us all said that I didn’t have long.
When Death Draws Near, I Regret My Choice
One evening, I felt such an intense pain in the chest that I was barely breathing, feeling that I would suffocate at any time. At that time, I was feeling such pain and despair, and wanted to call out to God for help but I felt too ashamed to come before Him. I thought of how I had been obsessed by lust for money. I had farmed nearly two acres on my own, and worked hard day and night. Though I had been completely aware that God’s work of the last days is to conclude the age and is the last chance for man to, I had still been entrapped by money as if my heart had been waxed gross, putting money first while putting faith in God to the back of my mind. Regardless of how my brothers and sisters had repeatedly tried to persuade me to attend meetings, I had always said that I had no time. I had time now, but my health broke down. Looking back these things brought a deep sense of regret. So, I, propping up in bed, couldn’t help but pray to God through tears: “O God, I’m wrong. I’m so blind and rebellious. You’d helped me through the brothers and sisters time after time, but I still failed to take belief in You seriously. Only now, when I’m seriously ill and may die, do I see that life is much more valuable than money. God, I’m wrong. If I can survive, I’ll earnestly believe in You and read Your words, and will no longer be like before, putting my belief in You in the back of my head. …”
After my, I remembered a passage of God’s words that my brothers and sisters had often fellowshiped before: “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.” God’s words carry authority and power, and gave me faith. Even though the doctor had told me that I wouldn’t live long, it didn’t count because my life was granted by God and what my condition would be was also in God’s hands. If God didn’t allow me to die, I wouldn’t. No matter whether I died or lived, I was willing to entrust myself to God.
While I was contemplating this, half an hour later, I clearly felt the pain in my chest was relieved a lot, I could breathe easily, and I felt much better. I was very excited as I thought: “Could it be that God hasn’t forsaken me and has heard my prayers?” With this in mind, I was happy and sad at the same time. I felt sad for having owed God so much. Tears of remorse flowed down again.
The next morning, I slowly opened my eyes and felt much at ease without chest pains. It was the first time that I had slept well since I developed the illness. If I hadn’t experienced this myself, I simply wouldn’t have dared believe this fact. Crying, I lay prostrate on the bed, and offered up my thanks to God. I also felt a strong desire to tell my brothers and sisters about my experience and continue to lead the church life with them. However, I was conflicted, not knowing if they would accept me…. After much thought, I decided to go to them.
Enjoying God’s Love, I Return to God Again
I went to Sister Ren’s, and it so happened that my brothers and sisters were gathering there. They were all very glad to see me. I told them how I had reflected on myself during the illness and how my illness had improved. I then asked them: “I want to return to the church and attend meetings. Will the church accept me? Does God want me? …”
Brother Wang replied: “Sister, we people may depart from God, but God never casts aside those true believers in Him. After you became sick, you actively reflected and came to know yourself, as well as want to repent. This is what God hopes to see. God says: ‘When the waters swallow men whole, I save them from the stagnant waters and give them a chance to have life anew. When men lose their confidence to live, I pull them up from the brink of death, granting them the courage to live, that they take Me as the foundation of their existence. When men disobey Me, I cause them to know Me in their disobedience. In light of humanity’s old nature and in light of My mercy, rather than putting humans to death, I allow them to repent and make a fresh start.’ From God’s words, we can see that God’s love for us is selfless. No matter whether we are in danger or are weak, God is always by our sides and always there to help us. Even if we’ve rebelled against God, as long as we reflect on ourselves and truly repent, God won’t condemn us based on our transgressions, becauseis to save true believers to the greatest extent possible.”
After hearing God’s words and Brother Wang’s fellowship, I felt moved as well as indebted. I thought of how, although I believed in God, I had no place for God in my heart—for the sake of making money, I didn’tproperly and even didn’t attend gatherings, but God didn’t treat me on the basis of my transgressions. When I was struggling helplessly on the verge of death, instead of turning His back on me, God made me who was barely breathing breathe normally. It was God who saved me from death and gave me a new life, and gave me a chance to repent and start afresh to become a new person. I deeply experienced God’s almightiness, and that only God could save me and was my reliance. I was no longer willing to leave God.
Since then, I began to live a normal church life, and persisted in praying to God and reading His words every day. Gradually, I felt much more settled in my heart. After some time, my health was getting better by the day. In the past when I was sick, I couldn’t eat, and had to sit down for a rest after walking less than 10 meters; I was miserable. But now, my illness improved—I could eat and walk 5 kilometers at a stretch, and my state of mind improved significantly as well. I was grateful from within my heart for God’s pity on me. In order to repay God’s love for me, I performed the duties in the church I was able to.
Three months passed, almost unknowingly. Never could I have imagined that I would still be alive at the time. I knew this was because God’s life force was supporting me, and saw that my life and death were indeed in God’s hands. No matter how God would arrange things in the future, I would be willing to steadfastly follow Him and would never leave Him.
My Illness Recurs—Can I Make It Through
One day in 2013, when I had just returned home from spreading the, I was feeling pretty ropy—I felt so much tightness in my chest that I almost couldn’t breathe. I thought to myself: “Has my illness recurred? At the examination at the hospital that year, the doctor told me that only half a heart valve was working and that if I was not operated on timely, I could only live for another three months at best. However, these years, I’ve got better day by day through relying on and looking up to God. Now my heart disease returns; has the condition become more serious? Am I going to die? Why isn’t God protecting me?” At that moment, I felt worried, afraid and weak—these all welled up in my heart together. However, I then thought of how when I had been so ill that I had been on the verge of death, God had delivered me safely from my illness through my calling out to Him. How come I didn’t have faith in God then? I therefore prayed to God: “God, I’m very weak and in great pain now that my disease has returned. I have complaints about You. I know such a state is wrong. I have appreciated Your great power and Your love and protection for me. Though I don’t understand Your will now, I’m willing to entrust my sickness to Your hands and obey Your sovereignty and arrangements.”
After praying, I saw God’s words: “How many believe in Me only so that I might heal them? How many believe in Me only so that I might use My powers to drive unclean spirits from their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth? How many believe in Me just to spend this life in peace and to be safe and sound in the world to come? … Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain.”
I compared my state with God’s words—only then did I have a bit of an awakening. It turned out that my intention in believing in God was to gain the peace of the flesh rather than to pursue the truth to live out a human likeness and satisfy God. Controlled by this intention, I became passive and weak when my illness recurred, and even misunderstood and blamed God for not protecting me. By practicing faith this way, wasn’t I trying to bargain with God and using Him? How could I be approved by God? I was so lacking in reason! If it hadn’t been for God’s salvation, I would have died long ago. God had been protecting me so that I was still alive, but not only did I not show any gratitude but I instead complained against God—I really was devoid of humanity. I thought of my aunt who got the same illness as me; she spent a lot of money on treatments, but only lived for another two months after her operation. By contrast, I had no money for an operation, but I made it to today. Wasn’t this down to God’s care and protection? Thinking this, I was full of debt toward God.
Then I read another passage of God’s words: “When you have faith and you can touch His actions in your practical experience, God will appear to you, and He will enlighten and guide you from within. Without that faith, God will be unable to do that. If you have lost hope in God, how will you be able to experience His work? … What does faith refer to? Faith is the genuine belief and the sincere heart that humans should possess when they cannot see or touch something, when God’s work is not in line with human notions, when it is beyond human reach. This is the faith that I speak of.”
I understood from God’s words that in our belief in God, we should have true faith, especially in things that don’t conform with our conceptions. It occurred to me that after Lazarus was dead for four days, Martha said to thethat he must have stunk, but the Lord said: “Said I not to you, that, if you would believe, you should see the glory of God?” (John 11:40). Yes, God’s authority and great power supersede everything. The more we hold onto our faith in God in things that don’t conform with our conceptions, the more we can see God’s wondrous deeds. Now my heart disease recurred, and I should have true faith in God. However great faith I possessed determined how great God’s deeds I would witness. Under the guidance of God’s words, I felt a great strength inside me. Whether I lived or died, I would obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and not lose faith in God.
From then on, I prayed every day and completely handed my illness over to God. No matter what my condition, I would praise God’s righteousness. Little by little, I was no longer worried about my sickness, and every day I persevered with reading God’s words. Unknowingly, the discomfort in my body was relieved a lot and my health gradually returned again.
A Miracle Occurs, and I Give Thanks for God’s Grace
Afterward, I went to the hospital for another examination. Surprisingly, when the results came back, the doctor exclaimed in amazement: “It really is a miracle! Your heart valves have actually healed themselves. In all my years as a doctor, I’ve never seen such a miracle happen to any patient. What miraculous elixir have you taken or which skillful doctor has cured you?”
Hearing these words brought me an indescribable feeling of happiness, and I blurted out: “I’ve never taken any other medicine except what you have prescribed for me. I must thank God!”
The doctor said: “Do you have a religious belief?”
I answered proudly: “Yes, I believe in God. It is God who has saved me.”
The doctor said with emotion: “This disease is currently incurable. It seems that God really can create miracles. During my years as a doctor, I’ve seen many patients who spent lots of money in replacing their heart valves with artificial ones but didn’t live very long. But your necrotic heart valves should heal naturally. It’s beyond my comprehension.”
I clearly knew in my heart that it was God’s great power that healed me, and I thought of God’s words: “Man’s heart and spirit are held in the hand of God, everything of his life is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, whether living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear in accordance with God’s thoughts. Such is the way in which God presides over all things.” Yes, God’s authority is with us in all places. All things, living and not living, are all ruled and arranged by God. Never had I imagined that my two and a half necrotic heart valves would miraculously heal themselves without an operation. Only God had such almightiness. Words couldn’t express my gratitude toward God.
Now, I’m in my 60s. I’m physically sound, and can do some farm chores and housework. My neighbors were all amazed to see me like this, and said that anyone with such a serious illness would have died long ago. Whenever I heard this, I would feel a deep gratitude in my heart for God. It was God who gave me a second life.
» Read more on our God’s Protection page, or in the recommended articles below.