One day in February 2018, Yi Zhi was caught in a devastating hurricane. The squall knocked the land about with fury, making her house collapse, and the roof blown off, yet she was safe and sound. Yi Zhi deeply knew that it 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 brothers and sisters her extraordinary experience of being protected by God in that great hurricane.
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 us humans’ existence. Through my recent experience, I have deeply realized that it is because of God’s care and protection that I can live up until now. Otherwise, I won’t be alive today.
At 4:30 a.m. on February 9, while I was attending a gathering online, a sudden hurricane made landfall in the zone I lived in. As the howling of the gusty hurricane came near, the electricity and the land lines were all dead in an instant, and my room immediately became pitch dark. I felt the whole house was shaking, especially the wall right opposite me. It was against the wind and shaking tremendously. I was very scared and thought: Will it fall in and crush me? Out of my survival instinct, I immediately wanted 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, 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 kept crying out my name in a broken voice. Fear nearly drove her to tears. I wanted to go and protect her. Just when I turned and ran to her, with a bang, the wall against the wind fell in behind me. Fortunately, I was not crushed. One roof beam also fell down with a loud crash, and I felt stunned seeing the scene: A thick beam crashing down lay across my room, with its one end on the desk I used for online gatherings, and the other end on my bedside cabinet. This happened to have formed a space, and my mother and I were exactly in it. In this wonderful way, we were protected by God. At this point my mother said, “Hurry up and!” Then I silently prayed, “God! Now the storm is blowing hard, and we’re much afraid that our house will collapse and crush us. But I know all these are held in Your hands. May You give us faith and strength, remove our fear within, 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 when the wall collapsed and the roof beam fell down, we were still safe and sound, without any injury, I deeply knew that God was saving us. It made us see God’s miraculous deeds once more.
These scenes were 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 are lifeless things but are also in God’s command and thoughts. This time when the hurricane hit, God’s wonderful arrangements 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. I hastened to open my bedroom door to see if we could find the way out. Through the light of a streetlamp, I dimly saw the gallery to the living room was full of broken wood, in a complete mess; half the iron sheet of the whole roof was curled up; the entire ceiling of the living room had fallen down, and one thick, heavy wood from it crossed the living room on a slant, completely blocking me from entering the living room. At this time, I suddenly thought of another two sisters in another room and so rushed there. As I opened their door, the sight of their being safe made me exceptionally excited and I couldn’t help but thank and praise God from my heart. I looked around their room and found the ceiling above the foot of their bed caved in while that above the head of their bed was intact. So amidst the room the whole ceiling made a space to protect the two sisters, just like a spread wing. More miraculously, Sister Wang usually slept alone in another room, but that night she suddenly wanted and went to sleep in Sister Li’s room. In Sister Wang’s room, the ceiling just caved in and crushed her bed. Her door was blocked and nearly couldn’t be opened. 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., it was still blowing and raining. Some people were yelling, “Everybody, hurry to leave for a safe location.” I became anxious again: We all want to get out of here but our path to escape is blocked by the thick wood slantwise across the living room and other broken wood. Through the gaps between the wood, I could see that outside, strident noises and dazzling sparks were ceaselessly created where the current met with water. This caused the atmosphere to grow tense. I thought to myself: This house is made of reinforced concrete and wood, and is very easy to catch fire once there is an electrical short. In that case, the fire will be out of control…. At that moment, I felt death was not far from me. I couldn’t help but become nervous and scared. The only thing I could do was call out to God unceasingly in my heart, yearning for God to save us from the disaster. In my praying, 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 Job’s encountering the disaster. Faced with the disaster, Job didn’t complain against God or deny God’s name, no matter whether he would live or die; instead, he could still praise God’s name and finally bore testimony to God. So, to stand testimony for God in this disaster—isn’t this God’s will? 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, “Oh, God! In this life-and-death crisis, what I manifest are mainly worry and fear, without any testimony of submission. Now I am willing to commit my everything to You. No matter whether I can survive or not, I shall praise Your righteousness, without any complaint.” After prayer, I felt much relaxed and released, 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 on a slant.
At this time, the wind and rain became stronger than before. We crossed a road and arrived at the safe place. When I saw back, the entire roof of our house was blown off with a blare, and then smashed down on the ground by the squall coming in the reverse direction. Nearby the crash of roof being lifted kept coming. The whole sky was dark and appalling and full of various flying objects. All infrastructures of electricity and communications were knocked out, the net was severed, and the supply of water and electricity was 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 stories high were uprooted, clumps of bananas lay on the ground, and too many houses and facilities were badly damaged. What a scene of total devastation! The whole building where we lived collapsed; the ground was full of fragments, nails, wood, and broken glass. Some separate houses were even razed to the ground. Wherever the hurricane arrived, all the lines were destroyed, all the houses were filled with water, and their roofs were flipped over; the whole island was dismal. Every survivor was frightened and the injured crowded the hospital of this island….
Even though our house collapsed, the four of us were unscathed. Later, God arranged for a Chinese couple to help us. They directly took us to their home to live, and bought some food for us. All these made me feel God’s care, mercy and protection for us. People around could hardly believe that we could survive this great disaster. They all sighed: “You guys are so lucky! Those who don’t die during the great disaster are bound for good fortune.” But I was clear that all of this is 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.”
Recalling one scene after another of this astonishing disaster, although surrounded by many dangers, we were safe, because God was by our side at all times and God did not abandon us 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 on me contains His love and mercy. I have also truly tasted 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 …
By Yi Zhi, United States
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