9. In the Middle of a Disaster I Saw God’s Protection
Zhang Min, Beijing
August 6, 2012
On July 21, 2012, it started to rain heavily in the morning. By the afternoon when I was supposed to go to a meeting, I saw the rain was so heavy that I didn’t want to go. But it was just once a week, if I didn’t go I’d have no way to do my church work. Whatever there was going on outside, I still had to fellowship with them. When I thought of that, I hurried myself to the meeting. After four o’clock that afternoon, the brother of the meeting place ran back home, saying: “You’re still holding meeting, get yourselves home, there’s a whole lot of water coming down out there.” I went out and looked and there was a lot of water coming down, the river was swollen and running very high. I’d never seen so much water, I had no way to get home. (My place was half a li outside this village.) I was very anxious. There was nothing I could do, I had to go back to the meeting place, because the place was high up, and safer. After a while I heard a clamor of voices outside. I went out to look, and it was the adults and children of my village coming their way with ropes and poles. I rushed to ask how my house was doing, and someone told me it hadn’t been washed away, but the waters were high outside of the wall of the yard. I thought to myself: All things are in God’s hands. Even if the house is washed away, there is the good purpose of God in it.
At dawn the next day, I went back home with the other villagers. Walking into the village we all stared, dumbfounded. The rainwaters had left a swath of chaos across the whole village, we simply couldn’t believe our eyes. But the thing that surprised me most was this. There were only eighteen houses in our village, only four houses were in the lowest part, and mine was the most dangerous one. If the waters in the gullies flowed down they would all collect behind my house, and could wash the house away at any time. I’d never have imagined that the flood waters would go right by the house, and I was even more stunned when I walked into the yard. The sand and mud coming down from the yard of the house above went from a ditch outside the yard wall to the house in front of mine, so my house was safe and sound. Although there was a little dam-wall piled up behind my house, the rocks there were very small, but they hadn’t been washed away by the flood. In contrast, the houses that people would usually have thought were solid and safe had their courtyard walls washed away, or got smothered with sand, and some were full of water. Out of eighteen households only five didn’t meet with disaster, the others were all misshapen from the damage. When I saw this scene, my heart raced. I didn’t know how to express my emotions. But after my excitement, I started to loathe the way I always wounded God’s heart before, rebelling against and resisting God so much. I was really unworthy of this kindness, this protection, that God gave me.
Only when I’d experienced this hair-raising flood did I fully feel the meaning of God’s words: “without the care, keeping, and provision of God, man cannot receive all that he was meant to receive, no matter how great the effort or struggle” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “man can make a thousand plans, or ten thousand plans, but in the end they cannot escape from the palm of My hand. All things and events are administered in My hands” (“The Forty-fourth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). That the word of God promises people that God watches and protects, that God governs all, will never again be just a phrase to me. In the middle of this disaster I was profoundly enlightened. I experienced that if we place our futures and fates in God’s hands, not preparing alternatives and plans for ourselves, but wholeheartedly seeking truth and satisfying God, then no matter what the situation God will favor us, protect us, and get us through any crisis. Because God is righteous toward every person.