God’s grace – A Big Fire Wakes Me Up

Ma Shun

My name is Ma Shun and I am a Christian. Because my factory had a lively business and I thought I must earn as much money as possible while I was still young, and that when I earned enough money, I would believe in God properly, thus I did not attend meetings regularly. Until I was woken up by a big fire, I didn’t see that in the face of disaster, no matter how much wealth one possesses, it will come to nothing in a twinkling. Wealth is just an externality, which cannot save me and keep me from disaster. Only God is my only reliance and salvation.

At noon on July 20, 2016, my staff and I were having lunch in the kitchen. Suddenly, we heard a loud sound of an explosion. I quickly put down the chopsticks and ran out of the workshop. Looking toward the source of the sound, I found that it was the bursting of a boiler in the factory next door and it began to burn strongly. At that time, the flames shot up to several meters high. This factory was on the north of mine and the two factories were close together. Just then the wind blew very hard and it would blow the fire toward my factory at any time. Seeing this scene, I was thrown into a panic. Without allowing myself time to think, I immediately shouted to my staff to leave quickly. At my words, they hurried to run out. … While I was evacuating them, I ceaselessly prayed to God in my heart, “God, the fire comes so unexpectedly that it has caught me by surprise. May you guide me. God, I can do nothing but commit everything into Your hands. I believe all matters and all things are in Your hand. …”

When my family and I ran onto the road and looked toward the factory buildings, the flames had soared up to over 10 meters high and the burning building was billowing thick black clouds of smoke, which filled the air. Also, my factory building was shrouded in the smoke. I thought to myself: The fire is burning so fiercely. My factory is bound to be turned to ashes. At that point, my wife said to me uneasily, “There are 30,000 yuan in cash in our safe upstairs. I’ve got to fetch it quickly.” I hastened to intercept her and said anxiously, “The fire is so fierce. You cared more about money than life itself!” Hearing my words, she changed her mind. Though I had just said that to her, as soon as I thought that I would lose our money and factory, I felt unspeakable sadness. At that moment, I thought of Job’s words, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). Yes. When so much possessions of Job were removed, Job didn’t complain against God but extolled His name. Today, no matter what happened to me, I would be willing to obey: With this thought, I felt better in my heart.

And so, we had been standing on the road and dared not approach my factory building. Some onlookers around us used their cellphones to take photos and then put them on the Internet. Others talked in a low voice, “The fire is so great. The factory cannot be saved.” “Yes. So close they are.” Hearing their words, I was kind of suffering. Then I thought of God’s words, “Where you will go every day, what you will do, who or what you will encounter, what you will say, what will happen to you—can any of this be predicted? People cannot foresee all these occurrences, much less control how these situations develop. In life, these unforeseeable events happen all the time; they are an everyday occurrence. These daily vicissitudes and the ways they unfold, or the patterns they follow, are constant reminders to humanity that nothing happens at random, that the process of each event’s occurrence, each event’s ineluctable nature, cannot be shifted by human will” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Pondering God’s words, I couldn’t help thinking: Does God remind me through these matters and people? When I reflected on the time since I had believed in God, even though I professed to believe in God, I was merely engaged in earning money. Thinking of this, I prayed silently to God, “Oh, God. I believed in and followed You outwardly, but I was single-minded in my pursuit of financial success. The big fire has come upon me today. There is surely Your good purpose behind it. Whatever the consequence is, I will obey You. May You protect me from complaining against You.”

God's authority, God's grace

By then, the policemen came, cordoned off the scene of the fire and asked all the people to stay 400 meters away from my factory. All the while, on the other side of the factory building, the fire became more and more immense, and the temperature got higher and higher. The heat wave continuously rushed toward us. The flames had spread to my factory building before the fire trucks arrived. I saw clearly that my many years of painstaking effort was about to vanish and come to nothing, but I could only helplessly stand by, watching from afar. I could not help but sigh: I have toiled all my life, but all my pains will go for nothing in the end. I felt I am so insignificant in the face of disaster. The only thing that I could do was complying with God’s will. The fire trucks were late in coming. The blaze took quite a long time to be put out.

When people were permitted to enter the scene, I ran into my factory building. I was stunned by the scene before my eyes. Everything remained intact and was still good. How incredible! I truly felt that the disaster is indeed in God’s hands. Just as God says, “The disaster originates with Me and is of course orchestrated by Me” (“You Ought to Do Enough Good Deeds to Prepare for Your Destination”). “[A]ny and all things, whether living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear in accordance with God’s thoughts. Such is the way in which God presides over all things” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). God really has authority and power. He is really the one true God who rules over all things. At that moment, I couldn’t help but weep for joy, offering a prayer of thanksgiving to God, “Oh, God! Thank You for Your love and mercy for me. You have not treated me based on my disobedience. From now on, I’m willing to believe in You properly and repay Your great love.” Afterward, the staff came in successively. They all said in amazement, “Oh, our boss is so lucky! Our factory is not damaged. The God our boss believes in really is watching over his home.”

Later on, I went to the factory next door and saw that they lost very heavily. Their factory building was burnt to iron sheets; even the steel pillars bent in the fire; their equipment, cars and forklifts were burnt to scrap iron. Also, I saw the windows of another factory next to this were roasted into pieces. They lost many properties, too. People around me said, “It’s really strange. Clearly the wind blows northerly. This factory is further than yours but met disaster; while, yours is not damaged. How lucky you are!” At these words, I knew this is the power of God, and this is also the protection of God. I offered God praise and gratitude in my heart.

Through the big fire, I saw that in everyone’s life, even though he always rushes and busies about, without God’s care and protection, it will be futile no matter how much money he has earned. This is as God says, “Without the care, keeping, and provision of God, man cannot receive all that he was meant to receive, no matter how diligently he tries or how arduously he struggles” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). No one suspected that my factory remained safe in such an immense fire. Without God’s protection, all would have been burnt out. Today, from this fact, I realized that God reminded me that I should not believe in God half heartedly and sloppily as before. If I still didn’t pursue the truth and life, wouldn’t believing in God this way be completely futile in the end? As a result, I prayed to God, “Oh, God. Thank You for Your protection and great love. I rebelled against You so much. In order to pursue money, I didn’t care about my own life. However, You have never abandoned me but are still saving me. From the fire, I know that no matter how much money I earn, when facing the disaster, I will collapse at the first blow. God, I’m willing to give my heart to You and to believe in You properly. I no longer pursue insignificant things. I want to use my real actual actions to repay Your love.”

From then on, I led a normal life in the church, often had meetings and read God’s word with my brothers and sisters. I felt consoled and gratified in my spirit.


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God’s Love Accompanied Me On The Edge Of Death

Awakening In The Jaws Of Death

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