2. Amidst Disaster, I Saw God’s Hand
Ying Xin, Beijing
August 15, 2012
On July 22, 2012, the day after Beijing’s flood of July 21, I hurried over to visit a sister who had just accepted God’s work of the last days two months previously. No sooner had I entered her village when the scene I saw before me stunned me speechless! I saw that the roads had collapsed, revealing their foundations beneath the asphalt. Everywhere were stone fragments that had tumbled down from the mountain, the larger of them weighing a few tons. Mud had piled up to thirty centimeters deep, and the rainwater running off the mountain slopes had already formed into a small river…. The entire village was in a total mess, completely beyond recognition.
I passed through the village, and halfway up the mountain I saw Sister Li (the new sister). She described to me how the disaster had unfolded.
On the evening of the 21st, this sister’s husband was cooking in a little shed next to their stone house. The two of them were talking and laughing together, never imagining how terrible this rainstorm could become. When the sister discovered that water was pouring into the knee-high galoshes she was wearing, she suddenly had a very bad feeling. She shouted, “We’re in trouble! Quick, let’s run up onto the mountain!” As soon as she said this, they saw a flood of water rolling down the hill, inundating the ground a meter deep. In that moment, the sister was scared silly; in her urgency, she pulled her husband and began to climb up the slope with the help of some locust trees behind the house. Only about a minute after they had reached high ground, the torrent rushing down the mountain unleashed a landslide of rocks and boulders and debris. The electric scooter, bicycles, and the little shed in the courtyard, and even a corner of the stone house, were abruptly swept away by the fierce current.
Afterward, the sister said, “While I was watching all those things get swept away, I didn’t feel afraid; on the contrary, in my heart I felt especially calm and at peace. Even though our things were gone, I still had God. Because the force of the current was so enormous, anyone who fell into it would undoubtedly have died—yet we were fine. This is because Almighty God saved us.” When the sister returned home to tidy up, she happened upon her copy of Selections of the Records of the Three Stages of God’s Work, on the bed, completely intact and undamaged. The water had not submerged the bed or gotten the book wet, even though all the other things in the room including the desk and chairs were floating. The sister said excitedly, “God deliberately left this book for me. From today forward, I must do my best to follow Him!” She also said that ordinarily, after coming home from work and getting changed, she would just leave her clothes everywhere, but that that day she had hung them up instead. Only later while sorting through her things had she discovered that two thousand yuan left in a pocket of her clothes. This was all thanks to God’s protection. When the sister and I walked behind her mushroom-growing shed, an even more wondrous sight met our eyes: The road leading from the shed to the villa area was piled thirty or forty centimeters high with rocks and boulders; these had blocked the torrent rushing down the mountain from surging up against her mushroom-growing shed and stone house, and caused it instead to part and flow away. The flood and stones seemed to have grown eyes. God’s actions truly are miraculous!
Actually, God’s purpose in disasters is not to completely destroy humanity, but rather to use the calamity to shake our souls awake and enable us all to see through life amidst catastrophe, and thereby disentangle ourselves from Satan’s net and return to God to receive His salvation and protection. At the same time, God wants to use disasters to make us genuinely know Him, to see His actions, and to be gained by God. This is God’s love and mercy for us humans. The lyrics of the hymn of God’s utterance, “God Descends With Judgment,” are sung thusly: “God is now descending upon the nation of the great red dragon. At the same time He is facing the universe, so that the whole firmament is shaking, so that the whole firmament is shaking. Is there a single place not being judged by God? Or a place that doesn’t exist under the plagues God pours down? Everywhere God goes, He has scattered ‘seeds of disaster’ of all kinds. This is one of the ways, in which God works. Without doubt, it’s an act for saving man, and what He bestows is still a kind of love. It’s still a kind of love. … God wishes to make more people come to know Him, make more people see Him, and so come to revere God whom they haven’t seen for long but who is real today. God whom they haven’t seen for long but who’s real today.”
Brothers and sisters, in this time of frequent disasters, how should we choose our path? How should we walk our final beat while remaining considerate of God’s will? The bigger the catastrophe, the more anxious God gets. Let us all be able to understand His earnest thoughts and eager intentions, so that we can actively take the initiative to act in coordination with God, accept God’s calling and His commission, lead even more souls before Him, and, in the final, crucial moment, offer up our entire being to Him by spreading the gospel of the kingdom!