By Lizhi, Korea
“Lizhi, something bad has happened. When Xiaodong was working on the building site, a ton of steel bars fell from high up and crushed him. He’s lost a lot of blood and his life is now hanging in the balance. He’s been taken to hospital, so you’d better hurry.” I was at work when I answered the call from my younger brother’s co-worker. Without having time to think, I hurriedly grabbed a cab and rushed to the hospital. While in the cab, my heart was beating fast, and I kept thinking: How are my brother’s injuries? Could he possibly die? The more I thought about it, the more afraid I became. Just then, God’s words came to mind: “Do not fear, Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He has your back and He is your shield.” God’s words enabled me to understand, and I thought: Yes, God is almighty, and He is our staunch backup. God is with us and I should not be afraid. Whatever happens, I must rely on God. I then hurriedly prayed to God in my heart: “O God! My brother has suddenly met with disaster and I don’t know how to face it. O God! Please save him!” I kept calling on God and, in my pain and torment, the cab arrived at the hospital.
I rushed inside, and my husband said my brother’s injuries were very severe, that he needed a big operation, and that he had been in the operating theater for two hours already. My heart immediately leaped into my throat, and fear and worry flooded my mind: Our father only has this one son. If something were to happen to him, would our father be able to cope at his age? If my brother saw himself losing his arms or legs, would he lose the courage to keep on living? And how should I face it when the time comes? Just then, my husband brought my brother’s clothes over to me, and I saw that his shoes and his tattered and shorn trousers were all covered with blood, and there were some bits of flesh stuck to them. My heart felt like a knife was twisting into it. It hurt so much that I couldn’t breathe, and my feet wouldn’t hold me. If my husband hadn’t been next to me to support me, I would have fainted and fallen to the floor. I just could not imagine the scene when my brother was hurt. I thought of how I had seen him well just the day before, and now his life was hanging in the balance, and I couldn’t stop myself from sobbing loudly. As I cried, I prayed to God, saying: “O God! Please save my brother’s life! So long as he keeps breathing, it’s fine even if he cannot get up off his bed. O God! I feel such pain in my heart right now and I don’t know how to get through this.”
Time crawled by second by second, minute by minute, and the door to the operating theater did not open. I couldn’t help but feel anxious, and I thought to myself: It’s been such a long time—how come he hasn’t come out yet? Has something gone wrong? I thought of my brother’s brilliant smile, then looked at the bloodstained clothing, and I couldn’t stop myself from again bursting into sobbing cries. My husband came over and kept trying to console me, but his words had no effect on me just then. Just as I was feeling weak, a sister from the church heard the news that my brother had been in an accident, and she sent me a passage of God’s words using her cell phone: “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 words enabled my panicked and helpless heart to quieten down. I saw that my constant fear and worrying were ideas put into my head by Satan, and that they showed that I lacked true. Our lives are actually held in God’s hands, and God predestines and rules the time when we will be born and the time when we will die. He had the final say, and I knew then that I should have faith in God. I thought of Job when he was undergoing his trials; he lost all his wealth and his children and yet he never complained or blamed God, and this was because he had true faith in God. Although I was nowhere near as good as Job, I wanted to emulate him, nevertheless. Whether my brother would die or be crippled, I knew I should submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements without complaint, and much less make any unreasonable demands of God. At the same time, I knew I must pray to God at all times and trust that God would guide me. And so, I prayed to God: “O God! Whether or not my brother will come through this safely is in Your hands. I ask that You give me faith and strength, that I may calmly face whatever the outcome may be.” As I contemplated God’s words over and over, the pain in my heart lessened somewhat.
10 hours later, the door to the operating theater opened at last. My heart leaped into my throat and I rushed over. The doctor spoke to us, saying, “Your brother has been really lucky. When he first came in, we weren’t sure about doing this operation. His legs had comminuted fractures, and his flesh and blood were mixed with a lot of sediment. The blood vessels were all broken, and the wounds had become infected. Necrosis had set into most of his muscle tissue and, because of the long delay and him having lost so much blood, he’s been incredibly fortunate that we were able to keep him alive.” Hearing the doctor say this and discovering that my brother was out of danger, I was thrilled, and I kept thanking God.
A while later, the doctor told us to go to see my brother in the ICU. As soon as I walked in, I saw my brother lying on a bed in a comatose state with tubes inserted into his mouth and nose. He was entirely wrapped in gauze bandages; one leg was fixed in place with steel plates and his foot was swollen up like a bear’s paw. Upon closer inspection, I saw that there was not one part of his body that hadn’t been hurt, and I couldn’t bring myself to look anymore. Crying, I walked up beside the bed and took hold of his hand. In a soft voice, I spoke into his ear. “Xiaodong, it’s your sister. Can you hear me? You’ve survived because of God’s protection. Don’t be afraid. You must trust God and you will definitely get better.” Just then, my brother miraculously opened his swollen eyes and, weeping, he gently nodded his head. I felt an inexpressible thrill, and I thought to myself: If my younger brother can acceptbecause of what’s happened to him, then this really will have been a blessing in disguise! I held on tightly to his hand, showing him to keep persevering, and once again I offered up praise and thanks to God in my heart: “O God! I give thanks to You. My brother lives by Your mercy. When he is better, I’ll preach the gospel to him and bear witness to the grace of Your salvation!”
After the operation, my brother recovered quickly from his injuries and, a week later, he was transferred onto a normal ward. During this time, I preached the gospel to him with my sister from the church. One time, my brother said with deep feeling: “When it happened, if it hadn’t been for a thick plank of wood protecting my legs, that ton of steel bars that fell from high up would have killed me. It was God’s wondrous protection! Having experienced this accident, I have finally come to appreciate that my life and my death are held in God’s hands, and that God is indeed right by my side!” Hearing my brother say this, we all kept offering up our thanks and praise to God. After several days of reading God’s words, my brother also accepted God’s work ofand would often listen to recitals of God’s words and watch song and dance videos in his hospital ward. His spirits kept on improving, and his speech got stronger. The doctor and the other patients in the ward said to him in amazement, “You wouldn’t think you’d been through a big operation! What miraculous elixir has your sister been giving you to make you recover so quickly?” Every time he heard someone say something like this, he would testify to them of how God saved him with His wondrous salvation.
A month later, seeing my brother’s health recovering well, the doctor made ready to perform an operation to suture the broken blood vessels in his legs. Unexpectedly, after the doctor had made a further examination, he said to me helplessly, “I’m afraid your brother has to have his legs amputated. Because his injuries were so severe, the muscles burst out of the legs which led to necrosis setting into most of the muscle tissue. If we don’t amputate, his life could be in danger.” When the doctor said this, my mind went totally blank and was unable to accept the fact that my brother’s legs needed to be amputated. If my brother became a cripple, how would he live the rest of his life? But if his legs were not amputated, there was a possibility he could die; how could I tell him this? Would he be able to accept it? Just as I was at a loss, God’s words came to mind: “The heart and spirit of man are held in the hand of God, and all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things.” God’s words enabled me to understand that God holds sovereignty over all things, that my brother’s future and destiny were orchestrated and arranged by God, and that my worrying was unnecessary. Before, when my brother’s life was hanging in the balance, I already witnessed God’s almightiness and sovereignty. This time, I should entrust everything to God even more and, no matter what the outcome of the operation would be, whether my brother’s legs would be amputated or not, we would not blame God.
I then plucked up my courage and told my brother what was to happen. At that point, I was still worried that this news wouldn’t sink in. Unexpectedly, however, he was silent for a while, and then said calmly, “It’s a miracle that I’m still alive. I make no more excessive demands but wish to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements.” My brother and I then said a prayer of obedience to God, and were willing to calmly face the amputation operation.
Three days later, the doctor prepared to operate on my brother. Before the operation began, the doctor said, “Upon observation, we’ve had a final discussion and, in light of your brother’s situation, we would like to try a new approach. We’ve never tried this approach before and would like to test it on your brother to see if we can save his legs. We cannot guarantee the final outcome, however.” The doctor’s words gave me a glimmer of hope. At least there was still a possibility that my brother would be able to keep his legs, so I gave my consent. After the operation was over, the doctor said happily, “Your brother has been very fortunate! The operation to suture the blood vessels was a success, and this signifies that there is great hope he will be able to keep his legs.” Hearing this news, I felt overjoyed, and I kept offering up my thanks to God. It really was just as God’s words say: “Any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things.” I had once again witnessed God’s deeds.
Afterward, my brother underwent two more big operations and he encountered many obstacles. Although we were still worried and anxious, yet my brother and I were able to rely on God together and, under God’s care and protection, each operation went smoothly. After these three operations, my brother’s legs were saved at last. Three months after the final operation, my brother was able to use a wheelchair; five months after that, he was able to walk. The attending physicians saw my brother recovering so quickly and were amazed. It always takes a long time for bone fractures to heal, but for my brother to be walking again after only five months since being admitted to the hospital, they said, was something they had never before seen at their hospital. But I knew in my heart that this was God’s deed.
Having experienced my brother’s accident, I’ve truly come to feel that God is by my side. When I felt anxiety and fear when faced with my brother’s condition, it was God’s words that gave me faith and strength and enabled me to stand firm; when I relied on God and looked to God with a desire to obey God, I witnessed His wondrous deeds and my faith in God increased. On the road of my belief in God, this experience has been a precious treasure. In my life hereafter, whether good things or bad things happen, I wish always to rely on God to face them. With God beside me, what is there to fear? Thank God. All the glory be to God!
Read more on God’s Grace page.
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