By Yi Zhi, United States
One day in February 2018, Yi Zhi was caught in a devastating storm. The powerful winds hit land with fury, making her house collapse and blowing the roof off, yet she survived safe and sound. Yi Zhi knew deeply that this was because of God’s miraculous care and protection for her, so she was full of gratitude to God in her heart. Later on, during a gathering, she gladly shared with the brothers and sisters her extraordinary experience of being protected by God in that great storm.
Yi Zhi started sharing.
Sisters and brothers, God said: “Without My existence, mankind will only perish and undergo the scourge of calamities. No human being will ever again see the beauteous sun and moon or the green world; mankind shall encounter only the frigid night and the inexorable valley of the shadow of death. 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.” It’s true! God rules the fate of all things and living beings and He is the only foundation of humans’ existence. Through my recent experience, I have deeply realized that it is because of God’s care and protection that I can live until today. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be alive today.
At 4:30 a.m. on February 9, while I was attending a gathering online, a sudden storm made landfall in the area where I live. As the howling of the gusty storm came near, the electricity and phone lines all went dead in an instant, and my room immediately became pitch dark. I felt the whole house shaking, especially the wall right opposite me. It was facing the wind and was shaking tremendously. I was very scared and thought: “Will it fall in and crush me?” My survival instincts made me want to look for a safe place, but just when I was about to stand up I heard a loud thump, which scared me so much that I huddled up. At that moment, I felt the whole house was in danger of collapse, so I had no idea where to hide. Just then my mother, who was on the other side of my room, was startled out of her sleep, and cried out my name in a broken voice. Her fear nearly drove her to tears, and I wanted to go and protect her. Just when I turned and ran to her, with a bang the wall facing the wind fell in behind me. Fortunately, I was not crushed. One roof beam also fell down with a loud crash. I felt stunned by what I saw: The thick beam that had come crashing down lay across my room, with one end on the computer desk I used for online gatherings, and the other end on my bedside cabinet. It just so happened to have formed a space, and my mother and I were in it. This is the wonderful way we were protected by God. At this point my mother said, “Hurry up and pray to God!” Then I silently prayed, “God! Now the storm is blowing hard, and we’re very afraid that our house will collapse and crush us. But I know all this is held in Your hands. May You give us faith and strength, and remove our fear, so that we can obey Your sovereignty and arrangements, so that we will not complain no matter whether we survive or die.” After I prayed, my heart calmed down a little. Seeing that even though the wall had collapsed and a roof beam had fallen down we were still safe and sound, without any injury, I knew deeply that God was saving us. It made us see God’s miraculous deeds once more.
This event was terribly dangerous but didn’t hurt us. In the disaster, I saw that God was with us all the time, that God’s protection and care for us were so real. I could not help but thank and praise God from the bottom of my heart: God, You are really so almighty! At that time, a passage of God’s words occurred very clearly to me in my mind: “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.” From my experience, I saw that God’s words are so real and practical. The ceiling, wall and roof beam were lifeless things but were also under God’s control. When the storm hit, God’s wonderful arrangement allowed us to escape danger. I have truly experienced that only God has the authority to orchestrate everything, and that as long as we truly rely on God, no matter what terrible disasters befall there is nothing to be afraid of.
Under the guidance of God’s words, I calmed down a lot then I quickly opened my bedroom door to see if we could find a way out. By the light of a streetlamp, I dimly saw the hallway to the living room was full of broken wood and was a complete mess. Half the iron roof sheeting was curled up, the entire ceiling of the living room had fallen down, and one thick, heavy beam from it crossed the living room at a slant, completely blocking me from entering it. At this time, I suddenly thought of the two sisters from the church in another room and so rushed there. I opened their door, and the sight of them safe and sound made me overjoyed. I couldn’t help but thank and praise God from my heart. I looked around their room and found that the ceiling above the foot of their bed had caved in, while above the head of their bed it was intact. So the ceiling was just like a spread wing, creating a space in the middle of the room that protected the two sisters. More miraculously, Sister Wang usually slept alone in another room, but that night she suddenly decided to sleep in Sister Li’s room. In Sister Wang’s room, the ceiling caved in and crushed her bed and her door was blocked and virtually couldn’t be opened. Fortunately, Sister Wang’s thoughts were also orchestrated by God’s hands. Thank God! It was God who protected the two sisters from danger. This made me truly see God’s almightiness and sovereignty all the more.
About 5.a.m., when it was still blowing and raining, we heard some people yelling, “Everybody, hurry and leave for a safer location.” I became anxious again: We all wanted to get out of here but our escape route was blocked by the thick beam lying slantwise across the living room and other broken wood. Through the gaps between the wood, I could see that outside crackling noises and dazzling sparks were being continuously created where electric current from downed power lines met with water. This caused us all to grow tense. I thought to myself: “This house is made of reinforced concrete and wood, and it would be very easy for it to catch fire if there were an electrical short. And any fire would soon be out of control….” At that moment, I felt death was not far from me. I couldn’t help becoming nervous and scared. The only thing I could do was to call out to God unceasingly in my heart, yearning for God to save us from the disaster. In my, I thought of God’s words: “The disaster originates with Me and is of course orchestrated by Me.” At that time, I knew clearly this disaster was orchestrated by God, and that everything happening to me had God’s permission, just like when Job encountered various disasters. Faced with disaster, Job didn’t complain against God or deny God’s name, no matter whether he lived or died; instead, he was still able to praise God’s name and finally bore testimony to God. So, to stand testimony for God in this disaster—wasn’t this ? Thinking of this, I gave myself into God’s hands and resolved to submit to His orchestration and arrangement regardless of life or death.
After understanding God’s will, I was much calmer in my heart and I prayed to God silently, “O, God! In this life-and-death crisis, what I’m showing is mainly worry and fear, without any testimony of submission. Now I am willing to commit all I have to You. No matter whether I survive or not, I shall praise Your righteousness, without any complaint.” After saying the prayer, I felt much relaxed and released from pressure, and I had strength. Then we pulled together to quickly remove the little broken wood, and one-by-one we climbed out of the house from under the beam which crossed the living room at a slant.
Then the wind and rain became stronger than before. We crossed a road and arrived at a safe place. As I looked back, the entire roof of our house was blown off with a crash, and then smashed down on the ground by a gust of wind coming from the opposite direction. Nearby, the crashing sounds of roofs being lifted off kept coming our way. The whole sky was dark and terrifying and full of various flying objects. All electricity and communications infrastructure had been knocked out, so the Internet connection and the supply of water and electricity were also cut off.
At 7:00 a.m., the wind dropped a little. We decided to leave there immediately to find a safer place. A sister drove us to look for a place we could stay at. Along the way, we saw that trees about two storeys high had been uprooted, clumps of bananas lay on the ground, and so many houses and facilities had been badly damaged. What a scene of total devastation! The whole building where we lived had collapsed; the ground was full of broken tiles, nails, wood, and broken glass. Some detached houses had even been completely razed to the ground. Wherever the storm hit, the entire infrastructure was destroyed, all the houses were filled with water and had their roofs torn off. The whole island looked dismal, every survivor was in shock, and the injured crowded the island’s only hospital ….
Even though our house collapsed, the four of us were unscathed. Later, God arranged for a Chinese couple to help us. They took us to their home to live, and bought some food for us. All this made me feel God’s care, mercy and protection for us. People we know could hardly believe that we could survive this great disaster. They all sighed: “You guys are so lucky! Those who don’t die during a great disaster are bound to have good fortune.” But it was clear to me that all of this was God’s protection and care for us. Just as God’s words say: “He does many things for man and at great cost; … all that He does is in reality carried out on every single person. God’s love is real: Through the grace of God man avoids one disaster after another, whilst to man’s weakness, God shows His tolerance time after time.”
As I recall one scene after another of this astonishing disaster, it is apparent that although we were surrounded by danger, we were safe because God was by our side at all times and did not abandon us at any step of the way. It was owing to His guidance that we were able to escape from danger again and again and survive the disaster. I have truly experienced that each and every thing God has done for me contains His love and mercy. I have also truly experienced that God is our greatest reliance. As long as we genuinely believe in and rely on Him, there is no difficulty we cannot surpass. Thanks be to God! Now, I’ve finished sharing my testimony. May God bless us.
After listening to Yi Zhi’s experience, all the brothers and sisters were deeply moved by God’s love to tears of gratefulness. Then they started to talk excitedly about God’s immense love for themselves …