I am an 84-year-old Christian. In my personal experience, I truly appreciated God’s unique authority and His power by which God rules all things. When I suddenly fell sick with life hanging by a thread, it was God who pulled me up from the brink of death, allowing me to appreciate His love and salvation.
One day in August, 2014, I suddenly had a stomachache. I thought at first that I would get better if I went on the IV drips, so I didn’t pay much attention to it. I certainly wasn’t expecting that after several days’ fluid infusion, my stomachache didn’t get better but grew worse, so much so that I couldn’t eat and vomited frequently. I was very afraid. Seeing my unusual condition, my children hurriedly took me to the county hospital.
After a CT scan, the attending physician said to my children: “Judging from the scan, we can diagnose that your mother has rectal cancer. Considering her age, it is not suitable for her to have an operation lest she might not come through it. We suggest using conservative forms of treatment, during which she can’t eat anything, or her condition will be affected.” Hearing the news, my children didn’t know what to do. My daughter slumped into the chair, weeping uncontrollably. They didn’t tell me the test result but asked me to do according to what the doctor said: taking medicine and going on IV drips every day.
After 10 days’ treatment in the county hospital, I didn’t get better, but rather became swollen all over and vomited frequently; I couldn’t take a drink of water, and nor could I pass water or empty my bowels. In the end, I even couldn’t walk. I was very worried, so I asked my children: “What illness have I had on earth? And can I be cured?” They said: “Take it easy, mom. We’re all at your side. Don’t be afraid.” My daughter whispered in my ear: “Mom, let’smore. God has said: ‘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.’ So, don’t worry. God is with us.” God’s words gave me faith. “It was true. With God as my shield what on earth was there to be afraid of?” At this thought, I felt a bit calmer.
Seeing I was no better, my children decided to take me to the city hospital. After a CT scan in there, we are told that I was misdiagnosed as rectal cancer. The attending doctor said: “Actually your mother contracts hernia. But the treatment is delayed so long, which has led to the intestinal perforation; as the excreta has been left in her stomach for over twenty days, her lungs have been inflamed. She has missed the best time for an operation, and is in danger of death at any time. If she risks having an operation, she might not be able to come through it because of her old age and irregular heartbeat. Yet if she doesn’t undergo an operation, she only has to wait for death. So you’d better consult with each other and make a decision soon.” Listening to the doctor’s words, I was frightened: “I’m over 80 years old. What if the operation fails and I can’t come through it? But if I don’t have that operation, will I only have to wait for death?” At that moment, I was extremely helpless, feeling that I was drawing nearer to death. I had no way but to pray to God silently: “God, now I don’t know what I should do. I’m afraid of having an operation, but if I don’t have the operation, I only have to wait for death. God, my fate is in Your hands, and whether I’ll live or die is up to You. I’m willing to submit to Your sovereignty and arrangement.” Then I thought of God’s words: “Starting today, I will let all people begin to know Me—the only true God who created everything, who came among people and was rejected and slandered by them, who controls and arranges all of everything, the King who is in charge of the kingdom, the God Himself who manages the cosmos, even more so the God who controls the life and death of humans, who holds the key of Hades.” God is the only true God who controls the universe and all living beings, and anyone’s life and death are all ruled by Him. Whether I’ll be alive or dead doesn’t depend on man, but is predestined by God. Recall when thebrought Lazarus back from the dead, He said just one thing: “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43). Lazarus then came out from his tomb. From this it can be seen that the authority and power of God’s words are not constrained by space or geography, and that neither the material world nor the spiritual world can escape the guiding hand of God. Thinking of that, I was willing to deliver myself into God’s hands. Later, after consultation, my children decided to let me have the operation.
At that moment, my son whispered in my ear: “Mom, don’t be afraid. God says: ‘When Job was tested he stood witness, and in the end Jehovah was revealed to him. Only after he stood witness was he worthy of seeing the face of God. … If you are like Job, who in the midst of trials cursed his own flesh and did not complain against God, and was able to detest his own flesh without complaining or sinning through his words, that is standing witness.’ When Job was faced with trials, he could quiet himself to seek God’s will with a heart of reverence; he would rather curse the day of his birth than complain against God. In the end, he stood witness for God, defeated Satan, and earned God’s praise. Today, in the face of the illness, we should imitate Job and stand witness for God. We need to have, pray to and rely on Him more, and place our life and death in His hands, never complaining in our hearts.” My son’s fellowship increased my confidence, and we both nodded firmly.
When I woke up after the operation, I was already lying in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with many tubes in my body. The operation was very successful. I was full of gratitude to God and thanked Him constantly in my heart, because it was God’s marvelous deeds that I could survive. During the period of my staying in the ICU, several patients were dead because of the worsening of their illness or the complications after operation. I learned from their family that few people could get out alive from the ICU. But my condition got increasingly better every day. Three days later, the doctor suggested that I be transferred to a general ward for recuperation. Seeing that I was discharged from the ICU, other patients’ family were all surprised, saying to my children: “We all feel happy for you that your mother could be out of the ICU.” Hearing this, my children and I were all thanked God in our hearts, because we clearly knew that it was God that led me to pass the test of life and death.
One month flashed by. With my condition gradually getting better, all the tubes in me were taken off. The doctor said to my children: “You must take good care of your mother, helping her expectorate phlegm, or she has to be intubated. At such an old age she really can’t go through that.” After hearing the doctor’s words, my children looked after me with the greatest care. I recovered very well after the operation and even put on weight.
However, one evening, I suddenly felt dizzy and breathed rapidly. I was in doubt, thinking: “Could it be that I have had complications? When the complications set in, those patients suffered a lot and needed a second surgery. An old woman like me cannot bear such a thing. What should I do then?” So I prayed to God in my heart: “God, I feel very bad at this moment. I’m afraid of having another operation, fearing I can’t come through it. God, may You lead me and give me faith. I’m willing to submit to Your sovereignty and arrangement.” Seeing my condition, my children got the doctor right away. As soon as the doctor read the monitor, I was immediately wheeled into the emergency room. Afterward, the doctor said to my children: “Your mother’s heart has seriously weakened, like an aging machine. Though this time she has been rescued, she is still at risk of sudden death at any time.” When I was wheeled into the general ward, my children said quietly: “Mom, this time you have again escaped from danger, and we’ve passed another test. God is always at our side, watching over and protecting us. God’s words say: ‘When, one day, a great trial comes, others will fall down, but you will still be able to stand firm: Because of the price you have paid, God will protect you so you can stand firm and not fall down.’ Looking back on those experiences, we can see God’s wondrous protection. When you were in the county hospital, you were misdiagnosed and missed the best time for treatment, but you were out of danger after having the operation here; when you were in the ICU, other patients passed away owing to their complications, while you came through the operation and were soon wheeled into the general ward; and this time when you had a sudden heart attack, you were also rescued timely. You narrowly escaped death one time after another. Aren’t all of these God’s marvelous deeds? We all have seen God’s great power. Although the doctor said that you are still at risk, we believe that our fate is in God’s hands. What the doctor said is unable to influence our life or death. As long as we keep our loyalty and obedience to God, and truly submit to His sovereignty and arrangement, He will help us through adversity. These days we were all worried about you, but with the guidance of God’s words, we saw His authority and sovereignty, and had a true faith in Him. Now it can be seen that we can’t leave God’s words in the face of illness. Only by relying on God’s words can we stand witness. So, mom, no matter what happens, you don’t need to be afraid.” After hearing that, I nodded: “Yes, this time I was again saved from the verge of death and saw God’s love and mercy for me and appreciated His unique authority. I didn’t expect that, after going through these, I can still be alive at such an old age. If it were not for God’s care and protection, wouldn’t I have died like some patients?” Thinking of that, I thanked God very much.
After a period of time, my condition gradually turned better, and I could have some liquids. Soon I was discharged from the hospital. From then on, I recovered very well. In the next few years, my disease hasn’t recurred; I’m healthy and can do some housework. I know it’s all the wonderful deeds of God, and that it’s God who gives me a second life and has been protecting me until now. Thanks be to God. All the glory be to God.