By Zhou Bin, China
Hyperthyroidism With Concomitant Myasthenia Gravis, Sick With No Cure in Sight
In 1998, while working in Guangdong Province, I developed hyperthyroidism as a result of stress related to my job. I was 29 years old at the time and my daughter was only 3 years old. Our family was not well off and so, to maintain a decent standard of living, I continued to work while receiving treatment. However, over the course of the next five years, my health never improved substantially.
In 2003, my doctor prescribed the radioactive drug Iodine-131, but upon taking it, I found that my immune system became increasingly weak. I could feel the strength gradually seeping from my body to the point where all I wanted to do after eating was go to sleep.
In 2006, I suddenly started experiencing pain in my left eye, my left eyelid drooped down over the eye and my vision became blurry. I was extremely upset and worried that I might completely lose my sight, but I also thought to myself that with all the advances in modern medicine, there must certainly be some renowned doctor out there who could treat my illness. With this in mind, I sought out a specialist at a highly reputed hospital. After looking over my medical exam results, the doctor told me, “You have hyperthyroidism with concomitant myasthenia gravis. This is a fairly rare disorder with no known cure. The best treatment available is long-term drug therapy to prevent any further exacerbation of the illness. If your condition is left untreated it could lead to paralysis.” I was dumbfounded and deeply anguished by the news. The doctor recommended that I should undergo eye surgery, which would cost 50,000 RMB (about 7,200 USD) and was not guaranteed to completely fix my eye. I certainly didn’t have that much money lying around and the surgery was not a guaranteed success, so, not knowing what to do, I gave my family a call. Upon hearing of the graveness of my illness, my parents and little sister urged me to come home immediately.
Rejecting, Holding Out Hope for a Scientific Cure
In June of 2007, I arrived back at my family’s home thinking that they must have found a good local doctor for me to see. I never dreamed that they had actually called me home to introduce me to the gospel and urge me to put my faith in God. My parents told me that all of creation is under God’s domain, God is the Arbiter of man’s life and death, in the presence of God anything is possible and only by putting one’s faith in and relying upon God can man achieve his greatest destiny. They told me to read God’s word whenever I had time. Their words, however, fell on deaf ears. I reasoned that we live in an era of advanced technology, where scientific breakthroughs are leading to more and more cures for rare and intractable diseases. As such, it made sense to continue to treat my illness with the help of medical science. As long as the slightest hope remained, I couldn’t and shouldn’t quit. Having made up my mind, I went from hospital to hospital searching for information on the latest treatments and protocols, but I always came back with the same answer: The only treatment is long-term control with western drugs.
Observing how I was seemingly wracked with anxiety from morning till night, my mother said to me, “Binbin, you’re gravely ill—you must put your faith in God now! God is the almighty Healer, He is our only support. Only by putting your faith in God will you find a way out of this predicament.” Not wanting my parents to worry themselves too much over me, I perfunctorily agreed to my mother’s request, but in my heart I still didn’t believe that putting my faith in God would cure my illness. I still thought that though I might not see results right away from taking medicine, as long as I persisted, someday I would surely make a complete recovery.
Turning to God: God’s Word Warmed My Frozen Heart
In January of the following year, my condition worsened significantly. Not only did my left eye not improve, my right eyelid also began to droop. Because both of my upper eyelids drooped down so far that only a small slit was left uncovered in both eyes leaving me practically blind, I didn’t dare leave the house alone and became extremely sensitive to light. I had been on medication for so long that I started to develop kidney issues—I experienced frequent urination and urgency. On top of all of that, my husband grew sick of me and began having an affair. I had hit absolute bottom, was utterly depressed and went around all day with a look of inconsolable sadness. I thought to myself, “At this young age, I’m already gravely ill and my husband is unfaithful, how will I bear the many years to come?” In the midst of utter hopelessness, I suddenly felt myself yearning for death, but thinking of my young daughter, I couldn’t bring myself to take my own life. All I could do was continue on with life and see where fate led me. From the bottom of my heart I implored, “Who can cure me of my illness?”
Seeing how I was in a near constant state of misery, my sister read me the following passage of God’s word: “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. … God’s word is potent medicine! Put to shame the devils and Satan! If we grasp God’s word we will have support and His word will quickly save our hearts! It dispels all things and sets all in peace.” Upon finishing the passage, my sister said to me, “Sister, you’ve sought treatment at all the biggest county, city and provincial hospitals, you’ve taken their medicine and yet you’re sicker than ever. Relying on science, doctors and medicine has proven fruitless and you’ve experienced much suffering. Sister, God is our only support and the only One that can deliver us from the suffering which Satan visits upon man. You should quiet your heart and put your faith in God. Pray to God and leave your illness to Him. God will help you.”
Listening to my little sister read God’s word, it was like she had thrown me a life preserver on the brink of drowning. I felt hope in my heart once again. As I learned, Almighty God is an all-powerful physician and God’s word was the greatest cure for my ills. I had always thought that medical science would change my fate, but after having gone to so many hospitals, taken so many drugs and used up the majority of my savings, not only had my condition not improved, I had nearly gone blind and my husband wouldn’t give me the time of day. I lived in utter agony. It appeared to me that my only way out was through faith in and reliance upon God. It was then that I accepted my sister’s invitation and put my faith in God.
Because I had droopy eyelids in both eyes and was unable to read God’s word, I could only listen to readings of God’s word and recordings of sermons as well as learn hymns. One day, I heard the following hymn of God’s word: “He is not willing to sacrifice or lose a single soul. People do not care about their own fates, therefore, who on this earth loves you the most? You don’t love yourself, you don’t know to cherish your own life, and you don’t know how precious it is. It is God who loves mankind the most. Only God loves mankind the most. People might still have not observed this, thinking that they love themselves. Actually, what love do people have for themselves? Only God’s love is true love; you will gradually experience what true love is. If God had not become flesh to work and guide man face to face, if He did not interact with man and live with man all the time, then truly understanding God’s love would not be an easy thing to do.” I was extremely moved by God’s love and tears streamed down my face. I reflected on the years since I had developed hyperthyroidism. It had been a harrowing, agonizing journey. To maintain a decent standard of living for my family, I had continued working while receiving treatment. As such, I hadn’t treasured my own life at all. When my left eyelid began to droop, my vision diminished and my family tried to spread the gospel to me, but I had laughed at their foolish belief in God over science. Later, when I lost sight in both eyes, was unable to move around on my own and my husband began having an affair, I lost the courage to keep on living and was wretched and lonely. At this time, God inspired my family to spread the gospel to me once more, to once again outstretch a loving hand. Thinking back on these events, I saw how God had been pitying and forgiving toward me. Despite the fact that I continually rejected God’s grace, He never quit trying to save me and to bring me in all my wretchedness and suffering before Him to receive His grace. I could feel the grand and unselfish nature of God’s love and thus made up my mind to truly put my faith in God.
Searching for Root Causes, No Longer Willing to Suffer Satan’s Torment
Once, at a meeting, I recounted my painful experience with illness in the past few years. My sister read the following passage of God’s word for me: “From when man first had social sciences, the mind of man was occupied by science and knowledge. Then science and knowledge became tools for the ruling of mankind, and there was no longer sufficient room for man to worship God, and no more favorable conditions for the worship of God. The position of God sunk ever lower in the heart of man. A world in man’s heart with no place for God is dark, empty without hope. And so arose many social scientists, historians, and politicians to express theories of social science, the theory of human evolution, and other theories that contravene the truth that God created man, to fill the heart and mind of man. And in this way, those who believe that God created everything become ever fewer, and those who believe in the theory of evolution become ever greater in number. More and more people treat records of the work of God and His words during the Old Testament age as myths and legends. In their hearts, people become indifferent to the dignity and greatness of God, to the tenet that God exists and holds dominion over all things. … Science, knowledge, freedom, democracy, leisure, comfort, these are but a temporary respite. Even with these things, man will inevitably sin and bemoan the injustices of society. These things cannot restrain man’s craving and desire to explore. Because man was made by God and the senseless sacrifices and explorations of man can only lead to more distress. Man will exist in a constant state of fear, will not know how to face the future of mankind, or how to face the path that lies ahead. Man will even come to fear science and knowledge, and fear even more the feeling of emptiness within him.”
Upon finishing, my sister communed with us, saying, “Satan has always used intellectual knowledge and science to corrupt man, filling man’s mind with ridiculous ideas such as, ‘Man evolved from apes,’ ‘All things evolved naturally,’ ‘There is no God at all,’ ‘Man can create a pleasant homeland with his own hands,’ ‘One’s destiny is in his own hand.’ These ideas cause us to lose our belief in the existence of God and the fact that God rules over the entire universe. Especially when we learn of major discoveries and advancements in astronautics or medicine, we are even further compelled to worship science and deny the fact that God created the universe and rules over all things. When we come down with all manner of illnesses, we don’t actively seek out God or rely upon God, but put full belief and reliance upon science and technology, thinking that given the highly advanced state of technology, it can certainly resolve all our problems. Even when suffering from grave illnesses, we don’t fear because we are assured of the advanced state of science. However, in fact, the ability of these specialists is limited. They probe and explore in the clinic and, every so often, God grants them some inspiration which allows them to make breakthroughs in the development of new medical technology or drugs. Yet, to this day, there are still many intractable diseases and rare illnesses which are incurable. No matter whether such illnesses are treated with surgery or medicine, all therapies come with risks and side effects and doctors can’t guarantee one hundred percent that all such treatments will lead to complete restoration of health. On the contrary, long term overuse of medication damages the internal organs leading to complications and a range of side effects. As is clear, science can’t save our lives. Our blind worship of science only causes us to deny God and His rule, distance ourselves from God’s care and protection, and descend into darkness, living without the least bit of hope. Actually, God is in control of our destiny. He has the last say on whether we are to live or die. Only by coming before God and worshiping Him will we be granted good fortune. By putting too much reliance on science, we essentially give ourselves over to Satan and will be tormented by continual fear and calamity. Thus, when healing from illness we need to have the right idea: We shouldn’t rely upon or worship science excessively. God is all-powerful and, in God’s presence, anything is possible. Your only hope of relief from suffering is through reliance upon God.”
Through God’s word and my sister’s communion, I realized the source of my suffering came from the atheist education I had received since childhood. I didn’t believe in the all-powerful nature of God, but rather came to hold greater and greater reverence for science. I always believed that medically gifted specialists, professors, science and technology would cure my hyperthyroidism. To the contrary, after having gone to countless hospitals, meeting with countless specialists, and taking medicine for years, not only had my condition failed to improve, my myasthenia gravis had actually worsened, causing me immense suffering. All of this was the result of my belief in science. What’s more, because I had such reverence for science, on the many occasions that my parents and little sister tried to spread the gospel to me, I stubbornly refused God’s saving grace. It was then that I realized that my blind ignorance was due to an incorrect view toward science and knowledge, which caused me to rebel against God, be unwilling to receive His salvation, and suffer torment and suffering inflicted by Satan. Having made this realization, I resolved to never again live by the ideologies and philosophies of Satan.
Stopping Medication Through God’s Marvelous Orchestration: God Guided Me to See the Light
Accordingly, I prayed to God every day and left my illness in His hands. A few months later when I was nearly out of medicine, I ran into the following predicament: On the one hand I knew the side effects from the medicine were very serious and would have lasting consequences for my health, but I worried that if I stopped taking the medication my symptoms might worsen. I prayed to God saying, “God! You are the all-powerful Healer, but my faith is weak and I fear that if I stop taking my medicine I’ll have to endure even greater suffering from this illness. I just don’t know, given my current state, if I should continue taking medicine. God! Please use the people, events and things around me to guide me on my way.” Amazingly, two weeks in a row I asked my daughter to take me to pick up my prescription on her day off, but on both occasions she suddenly had to cancel due to other engagements. As a result, I had to split my remaining medication into halves and quarters. On the third week, I again asked my daughter if she had time to take me to fill my medication. She just laughed and said, “Mom, don’t worry, you’re not going to go blind if you don’t take your medication.” Hearing my daughter say this, I was reminded that every person, event or thing we meet in our lives is infused with God’s will. In the past, whenever I asked my daughter to take me to fill my prescription, she would take me right away. This time, she was busy three weeks in a row—could this be God’s will at work? Perhaps this was God reminding me through my daughter that I didn’t need to take medicine?
In my search for an answer, I was reminded of a passage of God’s word: “Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. 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.” God’s word told me this: My concern that stopping my medication will worsen my condition is the result of Satan sending thoughts into my head to disturb and harass me. My life is in God’s hands and I ought to have the faith to rely upon God. Accordingly, I prayed to God saying, “God! Even though my condition hasn’t worsened despite taking a lower dose of medication in these few weeks, I still lack faith in You and can’t quit relying on the medicine. I ask that You grant me real faith and allow me to see through Satan’s malicious schemes. Whether my condition worsens after stopping medication is for You to decide. My life and death are also in Your hands. I am no longer willing to be fooled and tormented by science. I believe that only You have the power to rule, please guide me!” After concluding my prayer I felt grounded and peaceful. I didn’t go back to fill my prescription.
After stopping medication, I persisted in listening to readings of God’s word, recordings of sermons, and hymns every day. I also reported the details of my illness to God in prayer. I never would have imagined it, but my condition improved day by day. Half a year later, I was slowly able to raise my eyelids and see more clearly. I was so excited and happy. I never imagined that I’d be able to read God’s word myself and attend meetings with my brothers and sisters on my own. Together we prayed, read God’s word, and sang in praise of God. I was often so moved that I’d burst into tears. I finally could go back to living a normal life.
As of now, my body is completely back to normal. I can do any kind of work and can even walk for three hours without feeling tired. My eyes are also more or less healed. When friends and family see that I’ve recovered from my illness, they all say it’s a miracle. My mother-in-law exclaimed with surprise, “I never imagined it—you can see again, how great!” Later, I testified to my mother-in-law how God had worked a miracle on my body and, as a result, she began practicing faith with me.
Looking back on this rocky road to recovery, I think of how that doctor had concluded that my disease was incurable, that I would have to use long-term drug therapy, and as soon as the disease was not well controlled it would lead to paralysis. Yet, amazingly, with God’s protection, I was able to recover my health without relying upon any drugs. What’s more, my energy and appearance continually improve and my heart is full of joy and peace. If God had not taken pity on me and used His words to reverse my erroneous ideologies and philosophies, I would still be living under Satan’s dominion and in utter misery. God’s love is beyond any estimation—I will never be able to repay Him fully in this life. My only desire is to use my remaining years to repay God’s love through fulfillment of my duty.
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