Once, the small-district leader had a meeting with us several gospel deacons and required us each to write a guarantee, guaranteeing that we would not be perfunctory in our own duties and would perform our duties faithfully; otherwise, may God curse us heavily. Theoretically I knew the significance of swearing, but when writing the guarantee, I still had some thoughts: If I am perfunctory and unfaithful in my duty, may God curse me—this is no problem; but I must choose my way to die. I’ll choose to be run over by an automobile and killed, for in this way I can at least leave my wife and children an amount of damages. As long as they can lead a good life, I’ll die content. However, my base intent could not escape Almighty God’s eyes of searching people. I had just finished writing the guarantee, when God’s righteous nature came upon me.
After the meeting that day, on the way home I began to have a headache and cough. And I also felt chilly all over and my limbs felt weak. When I got home, I immediately went to the village clinic. After an examination, the doctor said that I caught a bad cold and had a high fever of 39 degrees. At that time, I thought, “This is normal. Anyone can catch a cold or a cough.” So I began to take medicines and infusions. In more than ten days, however, the medical fees cost me over four hundred yuan and my illness didn’t lessen but got worse every day. Not only my fever persisted, but my cough went on and made me hardly eat or sleep. When I went to see the doctor again for the treatment, he made an excuse to refuse to treat me. I went to him three successive times, and then he told me that I had pulmonary emphysema, which had reached the advanced stage. At the moment, I could hardly believe my ears. How could a slight cold turn into terminal emphysema? However, the doctor’s word was so definite that I couldn’t have any doubt. I was in despair. Looking at my young wife and thinking about my young children, I couldn’t help but shed tears. My wife saw me so sad and she fellowshipped with me, “God is righteous. You should examine yourself. Have you done anything recently to resist or offend God?” My wife’s words reminded me of the intent I had when I swore that day. All of a sudden, I felt as if awakened from a dream. Now I knew that it was my base intent that caused me to be loathed by God so that God’s righteous nature had come upon me.
God’s word says: “No one, except me, can fathom man’s nature. Everyone thinks that he is offering ‘loyalty’ to me. He doesn’t know that in his ‘loyalty’ there are impurities mixed, and such impurities will ruin him…. I can see your intent through your blood, through your flesh. Man’s nature is not difficult for me to fathom. But man thinks himself wise and that no one knows his intent except himself. But don’t you know that there exists Almighty God in the midst of the heavens and the earth and all things?”
Examining myself against God’s word, I felt too ashamed to show my face. I was so blind and foolish that I didn’t realize that God searches hearts and minds and that my base intent is under the searching of God. God’s family required me to swear an oath in my duty, and this was because I was perfunctory and deceitful by nature, and through swearing, I was made to pursue to make progress and do what I could in my duty to satisfy God. However, I not only didn’t take the swearing seriously and didn’t think about how to fulfill my oath, but on the contrary, when swearing I had my own base intent and was still faithful to my family, caring about their future. I was really an audacious desperado! This illness coming upon me today is just God’s love coming to me, which has woken me up in time. Otherwise, I would surely act perfunctorily and deceive God in performing my duty. And in the end, I would provoke God and be punished by God.
At that time, the more I thought, the more I hated myself for being too disobedient and having resisted God too much. I was no longer sad and distressed about my illness but had some more reverence and fear of God. So I came before God and prayed, “O Almighty God, my base intent is too disgusting and loathsome to you. My doings have deeply grieved your heart. This discipline coming to me today is your great love for me, which has made me see your holiness and righteousness and even more taste your nature intolerant of man’s offense. O God, even if you curse me and have me die today, I won’t have any complaints, because all this is the bitter fruit I myself have made. If I can still live, I’m willing to lay aside everything to serve you and dedicate my whole being to the gospel work.”
Later, I went to another village’s clinic to see a doctor. And after receiving infusions only three days I miraculously recovered from my pulmonary emphysema! I really didn’t know how to express my gratitude to God, only feeling that God’s righteous nature contains so much of his love and so much of his mercy. I felt from the bottom of my heart that God is so lovely! From now on, I will never again consider and plan for myself. I only wish to do my duty faithfully to satisfy God and to console God’s heart.
Suqian City, Jiangsu Province