“When men are being drowned by water, God saves them from the drowning water. When men lose confidence in their life, God reaches out his hand of rescue, pulls them back from the edge of death, and gives them the courage to live, so that they can have him as the foundation for their existence have him as the foundation for their existence. When men disobey God, God causes them to know him in their disobedience. Because men have old nature and God has mercy for them, God does not put men to death but causes them to repent and reform. When men are in a famine, even if they have only one breath left, God takes them back from death and gives them an opportunity to receive life again, so that they can be awakened and will not fall into satan’s schemes. So many times men see God’s hand and see God’s kindly countenance and smiling face, and so many times they see God’s majesty and God’s wrath God’s wrath. Although men have never known God, God does not ‘make trouble for them deliberately’ because of their weakness. God knows and understands the sufferings of the world, so he sympathizes with men’s weakness. Only because men are disobedient and ungrateful does he chastise them differently according to that.” Whenever I sang this hymn from God’s word “God Is the Only Foundation of Man’s Existence,” my eyes were full of tears. Yes! It was the Almighty God’s smiting and discipline that had pulled me back from the verge of death, made me know God’s holy, righteous, and majestic nature which is not to be offended, and also caused me to understand it is really true with man’s life that “he cannot live without God, cannot accomplish anything without God, and everything is empty without God.”
Early in 2000, because of the seven-year trial, my heart was gradually distanced from God. I didn’t want to perform my duty but began to bustle about all day for my own family and flesh. All the thoughts in my mind were business and money. However, God did not leave me falling away like that. In March 2000, I was suddenly attacked with gastroptosis. The medical treatment cost me more than 2000 yuan, yet my illness was still not cured. In June of the same year, the twelve pigs my family raised all died. In October, my twelve-year-old daughter caught pneumonia, and we spent more than 1000 yuan before she was cured. Although God’s discipline came upon me again and again, I was so numb that I still did not give up my own plan and had no intention to turn back. However, God’s righteous nature did not let me pass. At the end of 2000, I, weak and ill all along, started to have a fever. I took medicines and received injections for three days on end, but that did not help. I had to be hospitalized. Ten days passed, yet the condition of my illness was still worsening. Even the doctors were at their wits’ end. My family members, relatives, and friends were terrified; and I was scared, too, thinking, “Am I really dying?” Then, my family sister (my wife) said, “Let’s pray to God.” “Ay! Pray to God? Do I still have the cheek to pray to God to ask for anything?” “This illness must be a discipline from God. If not, why can’t it be cured? Didn’t God say that man’s destiny is all in his hand? Let’s confess our sins to God.” Her words reminded me. Thinking back, I had rushed about for my flesh and family all the year round, but in the end I still got nothing. And then I remembered these words of God: “All men’s destinies are in God’s hand. You cannot control yourself. Even if man labors and works for himself all the time, he cannot control himself. If you could touch your future and control your destiny, would you be called a created being? In a word, no matter what work God does, it is for mankind, just as the heavens and the earth and all things created by God are for serving man. He created the moon, the sun, and the stars for man, created animals and plants for man, ordained spring, summer, autumn, and winter for man, and so on. He did all these for man’s existence. So, no matter how he chastises and judges man, it is for saving man. Even if he deprives man of his fleshly hope, it is still for purifying man. And he purifies man for man’s existence. All men’s destinations are in the hand of the Creator. How could man control himself?” Ay! It is so. How can I, a tiny created being, control my own future and destiny? God’s word had early stated this plainly; but I was stiff-necked and disobeyed God. I had really grieved God’s heart! Thinking of this, I fell down before God, and confessed to him from the bottom of my heart, “O Almighty God! My heart is far from you and my flesh rebels against you. Your disciplines of love have come upon me time and time again; but I was blind and disobedient and resisted you. I have no cheek to beseech you for anything. Now I have come to such an end and this is the retribution I deserve. Even if you destroy me, I am convinced in heart and in mouth. Now you have not struck me down and this is already your great mercy for me, for your nature is not to be offended by man. O Almighty God! If you give me another chance, I am willing to offer up my whole being to you and requite your love with the rest of my life.” After I prayed to God in weeping and tears, my spirit got released instantly. My whole being felt much relieved, and I no longer worried about my illness. In the depths of my spirit, I tasted a warm feeling of a prodigal son returning home. Two days later, my illness, miraculously, was healed. I truly realized that the illness was exactly the cord of kindness and lock of love from God. In this one year, I lived in satan’s trap and never thought about God’s existence, God’s beauty and good, and God’s earnest and sincere teachings for man. If it were not for God’s chastisement and judgment, I would have long since become a prey to satan. Through this experience, I have realized that God is the only foundation of man’s existence and that God’s chastisement and judgment is God’s infinite love for man and even more, God’s great keeping for man; I have also realized that God’s righteous nature is merciless toward anyone.
Bozhou City, Anhui Province