By Jingxing, China
A Big Fire Suddenly Broke Out
An urgent cry of a steelworker suddenly came from outside when I was reading God’s words attentively in the room. Alarmed, I immediately looked up to the window, only to see the blazing fire reflected in the window opposite. I thought: The cotton stack in the yard must be on fire. I have to help put it out. So I jumped out of the bed into my slippers, picked up a bucket and opened the door. As soon as I went out, there came into sight two-meter-high flames licking at the cotton stack seven or eight meters on my left, and instantly tens of tons of the cotton got on fire just like the outbreak of a volcano. Because the steel roof blocked their way out, the flames were raging in all directions with billows of black smoke. Seeing these scenes dumbfounded me, and I stood there with the bucket in hand, totally at a loss. “Run!” The yell of a worker brought me to my senses. I wanted to go back to my room to take my money and my MP5 player and laptop used for reading God’s words, but there was already no time left for me. Chocked by the billowing smoke, my eyes kept running and I could hardly breathe. All I could do was rush toward the gate like crazy. After I reached the gate, I saw other workers calling the fire engine in panic. At the sight of the horrible billowing smoke, my legs went weak and my body trembled all over. I thought: “That’s so close. Had it not for God’s timely reminder through that worker, I could have never got out of my room and the consequence would have been unimaginable.” This thought sent another shudder down my spine.
God Is My Support
The fire grew more and more fierce and before long it was already less than four or five meters away from my room. “All my belongings are there—my laptop, MP5 player, TF cards, clothes, quilts, and also 3,000 yuan in cash…. If the room burns down, it will be a disastrous loss for me—I wouldn’t even be able to live on.” At this thought, my heart thumped heavily and my palms and forehead kept sweating. I repeatedly prayed to God in my heart: “O God! All things are in Your hands. The fire is fierce, but whether or not my room burns down is under Your sovereignty. I only wish to look to You and entrust it all to You. O God….”
In less than twenty minutes, I heard the crackling of the burning glass and tiles coming from the row of dormitories where I lived in, and the fire had spread to the roof and continued raging. At this sight, I knew my room wouldn’t be spared and a wave of sadness welled up in my heart. I thought: “I’m now still on the run to escape the CCP’s arrest and have very little contact with the church. If my laptop, MP5 player and TF cards all burn up, I’ll be unable to read God’s words. Wouldn’t it be like cutting off the supply of my bread of life? What should I do then? Moreover, how could I get by in the future without money?” The more I thought about this, the more worried I became. Suddenly these words of God occurred to me, “Of everything that occurs in the universe, there is nothing that I do not have the final say in. What exists that is not in My hands?” Yes, I thought. Though the fire today is totally beyond my expectation, still everything is ruled and orchestrated in God’s hands. Although I don’t understand God’s will at this time, I must learn to accept it all from God. Regardless of whether my room is destroyed or not, and whether all my belongings are lost or not, I believe everything is presided by God. Then I thought of Job’s trials—although in the trials all his property was taken from him, his children lost their lives and even he himself had sore boils all over, he could obey God’s sovereignty from his heart, and not only did he not make complaints, but he still offered thanks and praise to God. Job’s faith and obedience to God won him God’s approval and blessings and made him an example we should follow. At this thought, I came to understand: Whether I receive blessings or suffer misfortune is all in God’s hands. All I enjoy and own today is bestowed by God, so even if I lose all my belongings in the fire, I believe there are God’s good intentions behind it. God is my support and He will lead me through all the hardships. Actually I’m already very lucky. It was all thanks to God’s protection that I could escape safely and get out of danger. I should thank and praise God!
Reflections Provoked by the Fire
At that time there gathered a large crowd of people at the gate of the factory, who, however, could only stand there staring blankly at the raging fire, unable to do anything. Within about one hour, there came six fire engines in succession and they were all busy fighting the fire. After eight o’clock in the evening, it was getting colder and colder outside. Wearing only a sweater and a pair of slippers, I was shivering all over, so I went to a farmer’s house nearby to borrow a pair of shoes and then went to a sister’s home in the neighborhood for a night. However, when I thought of the horrible fire, I still felt a burst of fear and couldn’t help thinking of these words of God, “The disaster originates with Me and is of course orchestrated by Me. If you cannot appear as good in My eyes, then you will not escape suffering the disaster.” Pondering God’s words, I fell into deep thought: Yes. All disasters are controlled and orchestrated by God and only when we come before God to worship Him and listen to His words can we gain His protection in disasters. Just like it says in the Bible, “Because you have made Jehovah, which is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation; There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling” (Psalm 91:9–10). What happened today allowed me to deeply appreciate how small and fragile we humans are in the face of disasters, and that money and material things are all empty and valueless. When disasters befall, even if we are of great status and enormous wealth, they cannot protect us from disasters, much less can they save our lives. I thought of how my heart was gradually occupied by money during these months when I was working in the factory while hiding from the CCP police. Sometimes when I was busy with my work, I spared little time to read God’s words and draw close to Him. I didn’t feel anxious about not being able to perform my duties, taking no responsibility for my own life. Only in this sudden fire did I realize that I couldn’t take anything away when disasters befell and that no matter how much money I had, it was all to no avail. Only the truth and life are the eternal priceless treasures and are what I should pursue.
That night, my mind was in a whirl and I thought a great deal …
God’s Protection Works a Miracle
Early the next morning, I hurried back to the factory to check on how everything was, only to be shocked by the scene before my eyes: The entire yard was in a complete mess and the colored steel roof had collapsed. The row of dormitories where I lived and the workshops were all badly burned, with all the machines within destroyed, and the loss might be hundreds of thousand yuan. The door of the room right next to mine was charred and the glass in it burst, the once-white window frame was burned brown and everything in the room was burned to ashes. The door of my room, however, was only slightly smoked, and as I entered into it, I just couldn’t believe what was in front of me—everything appeared completely undamaged. I then had a careful check on my laptop, MP5 player, three thousand yuan in cash and everything else in the room, only to find them perfectly intact. I couldn’t help but exclaim: All of the rooms were seriously burned except the one I lived in—it really was a miracle! At that moment, there was a kind of inexpressible excitement in my heart and I knew this was all thanks to God’s great power and His wondrous protection. I couldn’t stop tears from falling down my cheeks and silently prayed to God, “O Almighty God, I give You my thanks and my praise! I’ve seen Your genuineness and wondrousness. O God! I don’t know what to say but could only give thanks and praise to You in my heart….”
God’s Deeds Are So Wonderful and Great
Later, I saw the following words from God: “His deed is everywhere, His power is everywhere, His wisdom is everywhere, and His authority is everywhere. Each of these laws and rules is the embodiment of His deed, and every one of them reveals His wisdom and authority. Who can exempt themselves from His sovereignty? And who can discharge themselves from His designs? All things exist beneath His gaze, and moreover, all things live beneath His sovereignty. His deed and His power leave mankind with no choice but to acknowledge the fact that He really does exist and holds sovereignty over all things. No other thing apart from Him can command the universe, much less can it ceaselessly provide for this mankind.” “When you have witnessed the ubiquity of the authority and power of God, you will see that God is present everywhere and at all times. The authority and power of God are unconstrained by time, geography, space, or any person, matter or thing. The breadth of God’s authority and power surpasses the imagination of man; it is unfathomable to man, unimaginable to man, and shall never be completely known by man.” It is truly the case. Looking back to my years of following God, although I’d experienced some of God’s work, I hadn’t fully comprehended the authority and power of God’s words. My understanding of God’s almightiness and rule was just doctrine and I lacked practical experiences and knowledge of them. This experience allowed me to gain some true understanding of God’s words. When I thought of how fierce the fire was and how everything in the factory was burned up while only my room remained intact, I even more saw that all things, whether dead or living, are controlled by the hand of God. It is God’s mighty hand that administers and rules all things; it is His authority and power that command all of them, and all events and all beings are under the orchestration of His hand. God’s wonderful deeds are unimaginable and unfathomable to any of us humans. This disaster was a warning God sent to me. From now on, I only wish to spend more time and energy to pursue the truth, no longer worry about or busy myself for money but be content with food on the table and clothes on my back, and strive to become someone who truly knows God in my lifetime. Thanks be to God!
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