By Wu Min
Midday one day, Xiaomin’s husband had some drinks out after helping someone, and then got in bed for a nap after returning home. Seeing that he looked unwell, Xiaomin poured a glass of water for him. Her husband took a sip and went back to sleep. She felt certain that he had had a lot to drink and figured he’d be fine after sleeping for a little while, so she left to go to work.
Xiaomin was scared stiff by the scene before her eyes when she returned home in that afternoon. Her husband, Laowu, was facing up on the bed—his face was purple, he was foaming at the mouth and nostrils, and his head lolled to the side. Utterly horrified, she quickly grabbed a roll of paper towels to clean him up while shouting at him, “Laowu, what’s wrong? Can you hear me? Say something! Laowu! Laowu! …” No matter how she yelled, her husband remained unconscious and unresponsive.
It occurred to her that there was a pharmacy close by, so she rushed over to find a doctor. Once she got there and the doctor heard about Laowu’s condition, he immediately went to the house with Xiaomin. Seeing his symptoms, the doctor said, “This isn’t good; get him to the hospital as soon as possible for emergency treatment!” After the ambulance arrived and the doctor had loaded Laowu into the ambulance, Xiaomin thought with a sinking heart: “I don’t know if my husband can get through this. If he doesn’t make it, how can I go on living?”
At the hospital, people were rushing to and fro and there was a hubbub of voices. She was extremely nervous and anxious, and could clearly feel that her heart was beating faster. A doctor, sighing over and over, said to Xiaomin, “Your husband’s condition is very serious; we honestly may not be able to save him. You should prepare yourself.” Hearing this left her extremely upset. If her husband were to pass away like that, the entire burden of their home would fall on her alone. How would she be able to bear that? How could she live like that? At this thought, her heart ached tremendously …
The number of onlookers grew and grew, and someone said, “It’s gotten this bad already. Even if everything goes well, he’ll still be a vegetable.” These words were like a knife to Xiaomin’s heart. Just as she was experiencing this helplessness and suffering, it occurred to her that she is a person of faith, so she silently prayed to God, “Oh, God! My husband is unconscious right now, and he is very seriously ill. This is a life and death situation. I’m really upset and I don’t know how I should undergo this. May You lead me. Amen!” After praying, a passage of God’s words sprung up in her mind: “Almighty God, the Head of all things, wields His kingly power from His throne. He rules over the universe and all things and He is guiding us on the whole earth. We shall often be close to Him, and come before Him in quietness; never shall we miss a single moment, and there are things to learn at all times. The environment around us as well as the people, matters and objects, all are permitted by His throne. Do not have a complaining heart…. When sickness happens it is due to God’s love, and His good intentions are surely behind it.” From God’s words, Xiaomin realized that God created the world and mankind, and that God is in charge of everything. He rules and arranges the stars in the cosmos; the mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans; the birds and the beasts; people’s families, marriages, and work as well as their future paths, and life, aging, sickness, and death. He also rules and arranges the good things and the bad things that happen day in and day out. No matter what type of environment God furnishes, His will is within it. We are short-sighted, and we often cannot see into things, but if we only set aside our own perceptions and have no resentment in our hearts, if we stick with it to the end, we will definitely see God’s deeds. We will understand God’s will in setting up that environment, and as a result, we’ll comprehend God’s love. Xiaomin knew that her husband becoming ill contained God’s benevolence within it and that she should rely on God to get through this. At this point, her heart found some peace.
After the doctor finished imaging for Laowu, he told Xiaomin, “His lungs are completely obstructed; there is no hope of survival….” Seeing that his lower half was entirely purple, and he went on to say, “You need to be mentally prepared. Your husband could die at any moment.” Hearing this as she stood in the hospital hallway, she slumped weakly against the wall and prayed to God over and over, asking God to give her faith and lead her in the face of these circumstances. She then recalled the story of Job. When Job’s fields of livestock were stolen by robbers, his children were wiped out, and even his own body was covered with sores, Job recognized that his possessions, his children, and his own life had all come from God. Originally, he had nothing at all. Throughout all of that, Job maintained a heart that feared God and shunned evil; he had a true faith in God. He did not blame God, but said the words, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). When this occurred to Xiaomin she felt much calmer. She was willing to fear God and shun evil as Job had and to obey God’s rule no matter what happened next with her husband. She was willing to put her husband’s life and death in God’s hands, and to allow God to arrange everything.
After that, the family made a unified decision to transfer him to another hospital—even if there was only a glimmer of hope, they would not give up on having him treated.
The next day, Xiaomin’s son drove to the city hospital. After the doctor there looked at the images, he shook his head and said, “His lungs are completely obstructed. There’s no need to transfer him over. There’s no hope of survival.” With nothing left to do, he drove back to tell Xiaomin that the hospital would not accept Laowu. Hearing this, her heart sank yet again. She felt that her husband was getting closer and closer to death. After quietly saying a prayer, her heart knew some peace and she was willing to rely on God in facing whatever was to happen next. At that time their son, daughter-in-law, and other family members were all begging the doctors to do everything they could to save Laowu, but they could only stick so many tubes into him to help drain the waste from his lungs and then keep him under observation in the intensive care unit.
On the morning of the third day, when their daughter-in-law and Xiaomin went into the intensive care unit together, their daughter-in-law cried and said, “Dad, I’m Xiaohui. Do you recognize me? I came back to see you…,” but Laowu was dead to the world. Xiaomin saw all of the tubes inserted all over her husband’s body and his hands swollen up like balloons, completely still. Just then the doctor handed her a notification of critical illness. All of that was unbearable to her and at that moment she felt how very fragile life is. She continued calling upon God, and these words of God came to mind: “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.” She realized that we have absolutely no control over when we are born, where we are born, who our parents are, or what we look like. We particularly cannot foresee and have no control over how long we live, and when or how we die. People are created by God, and only God can rule over and arrange these things. Not a single person can change the laws of life and death: This is absolute. She thought of when her husband was born, his family, his work, their marriage, and even everything happening now; he had experienced all those things in his life. If his life was really at its end, that is something from which no one can recover. If God determined that he would continue to live, that is also something that no one can change. With this in mind, Xiaomin knew that no person could determine whether her husband would live or die today. The doctor didn’t have the final say—only God could determine what would happen with her husband next. Everything is subject to God’s rule and arrangement. Once she understood this, she had even more faith to hand her husband over to God, leaving her heart a bit calmer and freer.
Later, Laowu’s brother-in-law went to the intensive care unit to see him. Just as he was walking in, he saw that Laowu was able to turn his head. So he walked over in front of him, and hurriedly exclaimed “Brother.” Laowu turned his head and said, “Oh, it’s you. What’s wrong with me? What am I doing here?”
Seeing this, his brother-in-law was both shocked and joyful. He ran out, and, breathing hard, he told Xiaomin and the rest of the family, “He, he, he woke up! He woke up!” Xiaomin simply could not believe her own ears; her husband had actually woken up! She knew that it was the power of God that had protected her husband, and her heart was full of gratitude toward God. All the patients and the doctors in the hospital were absolutely floored at the sight. The doctor promptly carried out a variety of examinations and had more imaging done. The test results actually showed that there was no longer any obstruction in the lungs, and his health was entirely normal. The doctor’s eyes grew wide—he didn’t dare believe that it was true.
On the afternoon of the third day, Laowu was transferred to the general care ward. Xiaomin knew that this was all the wonderful work of God—her face covered in tears, she gave thanks for God’s omnipotence over and over. After that her husband returned entirely to normal, and the hospital just kept him on anti-inflammatories. He was discharged a little over ten days later. When they went back for a check-up, Laowu was completely normal. The hospital director exclaimed over and over, “To be honest, your situation is extremely rare. It really is a miracle! Your husband’s chances of survival probably were less than one in a thousand—it truly is a miracle! A miracle!” Hearing this, Xiaomin knew that this was entirely God’s great power. It was God giving him a new lease on life. Xiaomin praised and thanked God again within her heart.
Through this experience, Xiaomin saw that a person’s life and death are truly within God’s control. God can turn something into nothing, and nothing into something. His power is unimaginable to us. She thought back to when her husband was critically ill, when the doctors were all powerless to do anything and they told her to prepare her husband’s final arrangements, but God miraculously caused her husband to come back to life. There is truly no man who can surpass God’s authority. Xiaomin quietly resolved that she would spend the rest of her life from that point forward to perform her duty and repay God’s love.