Lin Xin was on her way home after running some errands and the crops which grew on either side of the road looked like an ocean of green in the sunlight. The wildflowers along the roadside danced in the breeze, but Lin Xin had no heart to admire the beautiful countryside scenery. She thought about how her son Binbin always seemed to have a headache lately and often vomited, and she had a feeling it wasn’t an ordinary illness. Her son was going to the provincial hospital today for a checkup, and she wondered what the result would be. Thinking this, Lin Xin quickened her pace and hurried home.
Her Son Is Gravely Ill and God’s Words Provide Comfort
Lin Xin rushed home and saw her family all looking downcast. She knew then that something wasn’t right, so she asked, “What were the results of Binbin’s checkup?” Her husband was absorbed in smoking a cigarette. He paused and said faintly, “The doctor says there is a tumor in Binbin’s head. It’s brain cancer …” When she heard this, Lin Xin began to panic, and she thought: “My son has brain cancer? How could that be? Cancer is incurable! My son is only 29. If something were to happen to him, how would the family cope?” Lin Xin didn’t dare think about it anymore, and she was at a loss as to how to face this situation. In her pain and helplessness, all she could do was pray silently in her heart to God: “O God! My son is gravely ill, and I feel so distraught. I’m so afraid that I’ll lose my son. O God! Please protect my heart so that I may be at peace before You, and I ask You to guide me so that I may find the courage to face what is happening.” After praying, Lin Xin thought of God’s words that say: “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” (“Chapter 6” of Utterances ofin the Beginning). God’s words gave Lin Xin strength and faith, and she thought to herself: “Yes, God is all-powerful, and He holds everything in His hands. My son’s fate is also in God’s hands and God will have the final say on whether he lives or dies. If God does not permit it, then my son won’t die so long as he has but one breath left.” Thinking this, Lin Xin once again said a to God: “O God! I believe that people’s lives and deaths are ruled in Your hands, and whether my son’s sickness is cured or not also rests in Your hands. I wish to entrust my son’s life and death to You, and I wish to submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements.” After praying, Lin Xin no longer felt as afraid as she had been, and her heart gradually became calm.
Her Son Is Critically Ill and Her Desire to Gain Blessings Is Utterly Unmasked
The next day, Lin Xin’s husband went with their son for another examination at the hospital. The doctor said that Binbin’s head tumor had expanded into a tumorous web and that it was now inoperable. The doctor said that Binbin would probably only live another two months. When Lin Xin heard this news, she suddenly felt dizzy and she felt as pained and distraught as though her heart had been cloven in two. She just couldn’t accept that her son, who was still so young, was suddenly to be leaving her and leaving this world behind. Lin Xin was overcome with pain and tears fell ceaselessly from her eyes. She couldn’t help but blame and misunderstand God, and she thought, “I, so why hasn’t God watched over and protected my son? Why has my son developed such a severe illness? What will I do if he dies…?” From then on, Lin Xin wept every day and she felt pained and weak. She was in no mood to read the words of God and, when she prayed, she had no words to say.
Just when Lin Xin had become so weak and dispirited, two sisters came to see her. They read God’s words to her and fellowshiped with her on. One of the sisters read: “Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking and never give up, and God shall shine His light on you. How faithful was Job? … If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God. Satan devises every way possible to send us its thoughts, we should always pray that the light of God will shine on us, and we must always rely on God to purify us from Satan’s poison. We shall always be practicing in our spirits to come close to God. We shall let God have dominion over our whole being” (“Chapter 6” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”). After she’d finished reading, the sister gave fellowship, saying, “Sister Lin, it’s normal for you to feel weak now that your son is sick. But you must know that, behind this situation that has now befallen you, a war is raging in the spiritual world and Satan is making a wager with God. Satan knows that you care most for your child, and so it uses your child’s sickness to tempt you, to make you lose faith in God and blame and misunderstand God so that, in the end, you grow apart from God and betray Him, and you return under Satan’s domain and carry on being corrupted and fooled by it. If we don’t look at things according to God’ words from the perspective of the spiritual world, and we don’t come before God to pray and seek, but instead live in misunderstanding and blame, then we will fall foul of Satan’s deceitful schemes and lose our testimony. Let’s consider the experiences of Job for a moment. When Satan’s temptations came upon him, Job lost his children, he lost mountains of sheep and cattle and he lost his family wealth and property. Even his whole body broke out in painful boils. What a tremendous trial this was! And yet Job did not speak sinfully, nor did he say anything that showed that he blamed or misunderstood God. Instead, he believed that everything that was happening to him was no accident, but that behind it all was God’s permission. What’s more, Job knew in his heart that his family wealth and property, and his children, had been bestowed on him by God and that, whether God gave or took away, he would obey God as a created being should. Therefore, although Job was in pain and distress, he was still capable of submitting to God’s orchestrations and arrangements and of extolling the name of Jehovah. In the end, his faith in God, as well as his obedience and reverence for God, allowed him to defeat Satan, stand witness for God and earn God’s praise. Consequently, when your child gets sick, it is a temptation of Satan as well as a trial of God, and you should go by God’s words to see clearly what is going on in the spiritual world. During trials, we must be able to seek God’s will, submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, see through Satan’s deceitful schemes and stand witness for God. Only then will we avoid falling into Satan’s temptations and avoid misunderstandings and blame for God arising within us.” After listening to the sister’s fellowship, Lin Xin understood God’s will, and she knew that she ought to emulate Job. No matter what her son’s condition, she would not blame God, but instead would submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements and stand witness for God.
The sister then read another passage of God’s words to Lin Xin: “How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? How many believe in Me only so I would use My powers to drive unclean spirits out of 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, and how many believe in Me just to spend this life in safety and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, yet I heeded him not and moreover felt abhorrence for him, man went far away from Me and sought the way of witch doctors and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then all disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain” (“What Do You Know of Faith?”). After listening to this passage of God’s words, Lin Xin felt so ashamed as she came to realize that she was exactly what God’s words were revealing. She believed in God and performed her duty in order to gain blessings and derive benefits from God, and so that God would protect her family and keep it safe, and keep everyone healthy and well. When God’s grace was with her family and all was peaceful and well, she would give thanks to God for His blessings, and she was willing to suffer a little and exhaust herself a little while she performed her duty. But as soon as something happened to her family and her son became critically ill, she misunderstood and blamed God, and lived in a state of negativity. Her previous enthusiasm disappeared entirely, and she was no longer in the mood to pray or read God’s words; she was even unwilling to perform her duty anymore. Only when the facts were laid bare before her eyes did Lin Xin see that she had believed in God with the intention to gain blessings, that she had been making a deal with God, and that she still had so many impurities within her. Lin Xin also came to realize that she was just a tiny created being and that belief in God and worship of God is Heaven’s law and earth’s principle—it is the obligation of all created beings. And yet she had always sought grace and blessings in return from God, and as soon as something unfortunate came her way, she had become negative, she had misunderstood God and had complained about God. By doing this, was she not rebelling against God and resisting God? She really was without conscience or reason and, with this kind of intention and view in her belief in God, how could she possibly win God’s praise? At that moment, Lin Xin couldn’t help but feel remorse for her past rebelliousness, and she said a silent prayer to God in her heart, asking God to guide her to correct her wrong views on belief in God so that she no longer made deals with God.
God’s Words Guide Her and She Learns to Be Obedient
Afterward, Lin Xin read the words of God that say: “Belief in God is so that you may obey God, love God, and perform the duty that should be performed by a creature of God. This is the aim of believing in God. You must achieve a knowledge of the loveliness of God, of how worthy God is of reverence, of how, in His creatures, God does the work of salvation and making them perfect—this is the minimum that you should possess in your belief in God. Belief in God is principally the switch from a life in the flesh to a life of loving God, from a life within naturalness to a life within the being of God, it is coming out from under the domain of Satan and living under the care and protection of God, it is being able to achieve obedience to God and not obedience to the flesh, it is allowing God to gain your entire heart, allowing God to make you perfect, and freeing yourself from the corrupt satanic disposition. Belief in God is principally so that the power and glory of God may be manifested in you, so that you may do God’s will, and accomplish God’s plan, and be able to bear testimony to God before Satan” (“All Is Achieved by the Word of God”). From God’s words, Lin Xin found the correct goal that people who believe in God should pursue: In one’s belief in God, one mustn’t seek to gain blessings, but should instead, in real environments and in the people, events and things one meets in life, seek to experience God’s work and know God’s deeds, appreciate God’s love and salvation for man and, through constantly experiencing God’s work and words, cast off one’s satanic corrupt dispositions. Then, one will become someone who is truly obedient to God and who truly loves God, one will perform the duty a created being should perform and, no matter what adversity or trials one comes across, one will always be able to follow God’s way and bear witness for God—this is the goal one must pursue in one’s belief in God. Lin Xin thought of Job and about how he didn’t believe in God in order to gain blessings or derive some profit, but instead he sought in life to know God’s deeds, and he sought to follow God’s way, to fear God and shun evil. When trials befell Job, therefore, he did not blame God or misunderstand God because he had lost his family wealth and his children, but instead he sought God’s will within the situation he was in, he submitted to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and he sought to bear witness for God. In the end, Job defeated Satan, he shamed Satan with the way in which he practically embodied his fear of God and his shunning of evil, and he became a free man who worshiped God and earned God’s praise. Once she had understood these things, Lin Xin made a resolution to emulate Job. Whether with her son’s illness or in ordinary, everyday life, she would let go of her incorrect intentions and desires and her extravagant demands, and she would seek God’s will more and seek to be someone who obeys and loves God in order to glorify God and bear testimony to Him.
Later, Lin Xin’s husband demanded that the doctor give their son a craniotomy, as they wanted their son toif there was even the slightest hope of success. As her husband demanded this again and again. the doctor finally acquiesced. The day their son underwent the operation, Lin Xin did not go to the hospital, and yet she still couldn’t keep calm. She was very worried about her son’s operation, and also hoped for a miracle to happen that would save him. Just then, Lin Xin realized that she was still making extravagant demands of God and that she wanted God to cure her son’s sickness; she still had no true obedience to God. And so, Lin Xin prayed to God and said, “O God! I say that I want to submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements, and yet I still make demands of You in my heart. I know this is wrong, so I ask that You protect my heart so that it may be calm and so that I may be entirely able to submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements.” Afterward, Lin Xin read these words of God: “Job made no demands of God. What he demanded of himself was to wait for, accept, face, and obey all of the arrangements that came from God; Job believed this to be his duty, and it was precisely what was wanted by God” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II”). Lin Xin saw that, when trials had befallen Job, he did not make any demands of God, for he believed that it was the obligation of a created being to await, accept and submit to all God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Job’s conscience, reason, and his upright and honest character met with God’s acceptance, and this was what Lin Xin ought to emulate. Lin Xin wished to emulate Job and submit to God’s orchestrations in all things. Lin Xin therefore knelt and offered up a sincere prayer to God: “O God! I wish to emulate Job and be someone who truly obeys and worships You. No matter how my son’s operation goes, I wish to accept it calmly and submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements.” After she had prayed, Lin Xin felt very composed and she felt a little more liberated.
She Becomes Truly Obedient and She Witnesses God’s Wondrous Deeds
It was after four that afternoon when her daughter-in-law called and said cheerfully, “Mom, Binbin’s operation was a great success. There’s no need to worry anymore.” When Lin Xin heard this fabulous news, she was instantly moved to tears. She thought of how the doctor had said that Binbin’s tumor could not be operated on and that he would only live for another two months at best. She was so surprised to hear that the operation had actually been a great success—it was inconceivable! Lin Xin knew very well that this was entirely down to God’s care and protection, and that it was a wondrous deed of God! She was filled with gratitude to God and she kept offering up her thanks and her praise to God in her heart: “O God! Your words led me every step of the way, and Your authority and great power have saved my son from the brink of death. O God! I thank You and praise You …”
After some time had gone by, the doctor recommended that Binbin undergo a complete examination. When the results returned, the doctor exclaimed in amazement, “His head has recovered really well. It’s just unbelievable!” Seeing her son get better day by day, Lin Xin gave thanks to God’s kindness in her heart, and she often bore testimony to God’s deeds before her son. When her son heard this, he nodded and agreed that God held sovereignty over all things.
She Looks Back Over Past Events and Comes to Have a Greater Sense of God’s Boundless Love
Time flew by and, in the blink of an eye, it was spring again. Lush plants made the earth look full of vibrant life and Lin Xin joyfully rode her scooter to go perform her duty in the church. Gazing at the vivid scene before her eyes, she felt incredibly relaxed. It had been a year since her son had had his operation and he had recovered so much that he was in better health than ever before—she really had witnessed God’s deeds! Through her son’s illness, Lin Xin had truly come to appreciate that it was not doctors who had the final say when it came to life and death, and science could not predict whether someone would live or die either. Neither could any amount of affection or money be exchanged for someone’s life. God is the Sovereign of all things, and the lives, deaths and fates of mankind are all held in God’s hands. At the junction between life and death, only God is man’s support and only God is man’s sole help. Just as God’s words say, “It is not humanity that holds the power of life and death, not some being in the natural world, but the Creator, whose authority is unique. Mankind’s life and death are not the product of some law of the natural world, but a consequence of the sovereignty of the Creator’s authority” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Through her son’s illness, Lin Xin came to have some true feelings and appreciation for God’s authority, for she had witnessed God’s wondrous deeds and seen God’s love and salvation for her. Through what had happened to her son, Lin Xin came to understand the wrong views she had harbored in her belief in God, that she had believed in God only to gain blessings and had made deals with God. Lin Xin had found the correct goal to pursue and she knew that, as a created being, she should seek to obey God, love God and worship God, and that, no matter what difficulty or adversity she came across, she must never blame God or misunderstand God. Instead, she knew that she should seek the truth and submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements and stand witness for God in order to satisfy His will, for only then would she earn God’s praise as Job had. As she thought back over that time, Lin Xin felt she really had gained such a lot from God and, even more so, she had experienced God’s boundless love.