“Mom, I want to do the operation this year.”
“Yeah, it’s time. We’ve put it off too many years. Then when you go home let’s do it.”
“Yeah, mom, so let’s settle everything and then go back home. Talk to you soon.”
A storm of thoughts raced through Wenjie’s mind as she hung up the phone. She thought back to 2010, when a checkup at the hospital confirmed that her daughter had pancreatic cyst. The doctor said the surgery she needed was of a different sort. If not done well, it could cause leakage of the pancreatic fluid that would corrode her other internal organs. Considering the risk, her daughter opted for a conservative traditional Chinese medicine treatment, but in the past three years, rather than disappearing, the cyst had doubled in size from 6 cm to 12 cm. With no more time to delay, the surgery had to be done now to prevent the unthinkable.
Wenjie’s Unspeakable Suffering in the Face of a Lethal Sickness
That noon, Wenjie wanted to know the prognosis for her daughter’s surgery as soon as possible, so she went to the hospital for a consultation. The doctor said, “Your daughter’s condition is very serious. For this operation, not just our hospital lacks the skill, you won’t find it anywhere in the city. The success rate is only 20%. 80% of those who survive this surgery don’t live longer than a year.…” Wenjie was stunned at the doctor’s words. She didn’t expect the surgery to be so difficult, or that the risk would be so big.
Once she left the hospital, Wenjie felt light-headed and oppressed: How could this be? What, if anything, can we do now? After putting off her daughter’s operation for three years, if they didn’t do the surgery, her daughter’s life would still be in danger. Doing the surgery, on the other hand, was risky, and it was hard to say if her daughter would survive. Wenjie wanted to cry, but there were no tears. All she could feel was terror.
After her daughter returned, the family rushed to the downtown hospital. The doctor picked up the anatomy diagram and explained, “This is a very risky surgery. We’ll have to remove the stomach, duodenum, gallbladder, and pancreas, and any tissue connected to the gallbladder must be removed.…” Wenjie felt her throat constricting. Could her daughter survive with so many organs removed? If the surgeon’s hand slipped, the consequences could be unimaginable. The more Wenjie thought about it, the more panicked she felt. The doctor said, “Your daughter’s treatment has already been delayed for three years. If we really perform the operation, her body may react unpredictably. We really can’t be sure that the operation will be successful. The difficulty is very high.…” Wenjie’s mind blanked as she heard the doctor’s words. She felt like she was on the verge of mental collapse.
God’s Words Are the Bright Light Guiding Her Through the Dark Night
As she looked at her daughter’s sickly-pale face, Wenjie knew she couldn’t cry, because her daughter must be suffering even more than herself, and she needed comfort. Wenjie remembered that she was a Christian, and that in all things she should rely on God and pray to God, and allow God to be her support. Only God could give her confidence and strength she would need to continue experiencing this environment.
So, Wenjie cried out time and again in her heart to God, “God! My daughter’s condition is very grave, and I don’t know what to do. I’m so afraid, but there’s nothing I can do about it. God, please lead me …” After, Wenjie suddenly remembered that God said, “[K]now that I am Almighty God that rules the universe and all things! For Me, there are no problems that cannot be resolved, and much less is there anything that cannot be accomplished or any word that cannot be uttered.” The enlightenment she found in God’s words made Wenjie’s weak heart much stronger. She knew that with God as her support, she could feel safe and secure. She also understood that God created all things on earth and in heaven, that God presides over the fates of all beings in the universe, and that all things are part of God’s orchestrations. The brought Lazarus back to life, made the lame walk, made the blind see, and healed the lepers. Aren’t all these things manifestations of God’s omnipotence? Doctors can only treat people, they don’t master human life. People’s lives and deaths are presided over by God. God is people’s only hope and aid for mankind. Through the enlightenment of God’s words, Wenjie’s panic gradually subsided into calm, and she felt greatly consoled. She knew that her daughter and son-in-law also believed in God, so she ought to fellowship with them more on God’s word. After everyone understood God’s authority, she thought, everyone would have the courage to face it.
When she got home, she prayed and read God’s word with her daughter and son-in-law. They understood that man’s life is granted by God, and that everything is in God’s hands. As the word of God states, “Of everything that occurs in the universe, there is nothing in which I do not have the final say. Is there anything that is not in My hands?” From God’s words, they understood that God’s authority and power are unfathomable to man, and that the fate of every soul in the universe is presided over by God. The sun that rises in the east and sets in the west, the towering mountain ranges, the boundless sea, the streams that flow in the mountains, the birds that fly in the air, the fish that swim in the water, etc., all things in the world proceed in orderly motion under God’s dominance. People’s families, study, work, marriages, the blessings and health they enjoy in their lifetimes, their futures and fates, their birth, aging, illness, death, and more are all things no person can control or change. Only God can author these things. All are preordained and arranged by God. Her daughter’s illness, life, death, and whether her daughter would survive were not up to her and her son-in-law, nor were they up to the doctor. They were entirely up to God! Her daughter’s illness was in God’s hands. So, no matter what the result, Wenjie and her family were willing to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and were willing to imitate Job’s attitude toward God’s orchestrations and arrangements, believing that her daughter’s life was granted by God and could be taken away by God. They wished to have sincere faith in God and had no wish to blame God, so the family was willing to entrust her daughter’s life to God and obey God’s orchestrations.
After they understood, the family of three had the confidence to face Wenjie’s daughter’s illness. Her daughter bravely said, “Mom, I was afraid before, but now that I’ve read so much of God’s word, I understand God’s authority, and recognize that my life is in God’s hands. I have God, so I’m not afraid of anything, and I’m ready to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements.” Her daughter’s courage gave Wenjie great comfort, and made her feel especially safe and calm.
A Miracle Produced in Faith
On the day of the operation, after the doctor finished all the preparations, he still wasn’t certain the operation would succeed due to the severity of her daughter’s illness, so he took the unprecedented step and allowed Wenjie’s family to see her one last time. But Wenjie was very calm at that moment, because she believed her daughter’s life was in God’s hands, and she wished to entrust her daughter to God. Her daughter said to her son-in-law, “God granted me my life, so if I die today, don’t blame God, we have to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements …” Her son-in-law nodded. When the nurse pushed her daughter into the operating room, Wenjie saw a smile on her face, and not a trace of panic, which made Wenjie feel much more secure. The family’s peace and calm shocked everyone who saw them in that moment …
The operation required ten hours. Wenjie sat on the hospital bench, waiting anxiously. After four hours, the nurse shouted an urgent call for Wenjie. Her heart thumped in her chest, “They’re calling me already, before the operation is over? Has there been an accident?” Her legs immediately went so weak she couldn’t stand, but she quickly prayed to God in her heart, “God! Please guide me, and give me the strength to face everything that might happen!” After she prayed, her legs immediately regained their strength, and she stood up and followed the nurse to the operating room door. She was utterly taken aback when the doctor told her, “The operation was a success! The operation was a success! Your daughter is out of danger. I never thought the operation would actually succeed …” When she saw the doctor’s excitement, she instantly felt elated. She couldn’t help but thank and praise God. God was truly omnipotent! Wenjie thought of God’s words, “Through His words, the Creator was not only able to gain all that He set out to gain, and achieve all that He set out to achieve, but could also control in His hands all that He had created, and rule all things that He had made under His authority, and, furthermore, all was systematic and regular. All things also proliferated, existed, and perished by His word and, moreover, by His authority they existed amidst the law that He had set forth, and none was exempt!” She understood: Yes, God used His words to create the world and to define rules for the world, and He uses His words to manage the whole world and lead mankind. For us to understand God’s authority, and for the entire family to have the confidence to face the operation and courageously experience this environment was all the result of God’s words. Wenjie was deeply impressed by the fact that God’s words are mankind’s only guiding light in difficult times, and that God was the One she could rely on most of all.
When the incisions were finally closed, it was already six in the evening. When her daughter was pushed out of the operating room, the first thing she said was, “Mom, God protected me. Don’t worry, I’m alright …” When she finished, she fell asleep. Seeing her daughter’s strength gave Wenjie great comfort. She knew at that moment that her daughter would live, because God’s life force was supporting her. Wenjie couldn’t help but think of God’s words, “When the waters swallow humans whole, I save them from those stagnant waters and give them a chance to live anew. When people lose their confidence to live, I pull them up from the brink of death, granting them the courage to go on so that they can use Me as a foundation for their existence.” It’s true, she thought. God always extends His hand to rescue us when we are on the brink of danger and allows us to escape, and only God can work to such an extent. That her daughter could come through this operation unharmed was entirely due to God’s care and protection. She thought back on her own misery and hopelessness, and how God’s word had given her so much comfort and made her brave enough to face her daughter’s surgery. At the moment her daughter’s life was to be decided, it was God’s life force that had led her daughter through, allowed her daughter to face death with dignity, and allowed her to escape the constraints of death. As she thought of these things, Wenjie again offered up thanks and praise to God in her heart …
Her daughter recovered quickly, and by the third day after the operation, her daughter could leave the bed, walk around, and wash herself. Two weeks later, her daughter was entirely self-sufficient, which shocked her nurses and fellow patients. They all praised her daughter for her fast recovery, or simply called it a miracle. Wenjie had thought that after such a huge operation, her daughter would be unable to care for herself for the rest of her life. Though she was surprised by the completeness of her daughter’s recovery, she knew this wasn’t something humans could accomplish. It was God’s powerful life force supporting her, the miracle of God creating life!
After she left the hospital, her daughter’s health improved day by day, and Wenjie finally stopped worrying.
Through God’s Guidance, Her Daughter Recovers
On the 44th day after the operation, Wenjie’s daughter suddenly told her, “In the last few days, my pancreatic drainage openings have had a strange smell.” Wenjie thought it could be infection, so she rushed her daughter to the hospital to have the wounds disinfected. The next morning, Wenjie was terrified when saw that the fluid in the drainage bags was no longer transparent as usual, but was now a muddy brown. Wenjie had heard that the most common cause of death from this type of operation was that the wounds didn’t heal, allowing pancreatic fluid to leak out and corrode the other organs. When this happened, patients usually didn’t survive beyond a year. Wenjie couldn’t help but start panicking again. Her heart thumped in her chest, and she felt a deep fear. But suddenly she remembered a lyric from a hymn she had sung in church, “God is my support; what is there to fear?” Yes, with God as her powerful support, what did she have to fear? From the moment her daughter became sick, God had been guiding them, and her daughter’s life was in God’s hands. The panic in Wenjie’s heart suddenly calmed. No matter what might happen, she was willing to bravely face it.
When they got to the hospital, after checking the situation, the doctor said, “Don’t worry about this. This is a good thing! This means the pancreatic incisions are healing. Usually it takes 3–6 months for them to completely heal. I’m surprised your daughter’s incisions are healing so quickly! It’s really a miracle! You won’t have to worry about any after-effects from the surgery. Your daughter’s condition is basically healed. Just come back for a checkup every 6 months.” Wenjie’s nervousness subsided after she heard the doctor’s words. Over and over she thanked God in her heart. Not long after the operation, her daughter returned to work. Seeing all this, Wenjie’s heart was filled with gratitude.
Several years have passed since then, and Wenjie’s daughter is still healthy and sound of body. When Wenjie recalls her daughter’s journey from illness to recovery, and how God protected them the entire way, she feels that God’s life force is supernatural and powerful, and that it can lead them to escape the fear of death, overcome the constraints of death, and lead her daughter through danger to safety. Thank God! All the glory belongs to God!