I am a Christian, and my family started a printworks in which we invested over one million yuan. Although the factory was not large, it was all the property we had. The workshop we rent was located in the district under the jurisdiction of an army, and my landlord was a veteran. The entire plant was a long and wide iron-roofed single story building in a straight line, covering about 8,000 or 9,000 square meters. The landlord rent the middle part to a young couple who were engaged in recycling cloth waste, and the workshop I rent were at the end of the whole building, about 1,000 square meters. The rest belonged to the landlord, who ran a cloth processing factory (which processed the rags into wool). As the piece goods business was slack in 2015 and the market price was very low, the landlord stored a large quantity of stock in his factory. The young couple and my family were also in the cloths business, so the factories were piled high with rags and cloth. These rags were all chemical fiber and were inflammable.
During the Spring Festival in 2016, the workers were all on holiday, and only my younger brother (a believer in God) was helping tending the factory. Around 12:30 a.m. on February 27, he called me and told me urgently that the plant was on fire. I knew the fire didn’t break out for no reason: The landlord was building on a workshop on the plant building these days. The other day, I saw sparks flying when the welders he hired were working. I warned the workers again and again that the workshops were piled with inflammable goods, and advised them to be careful and cover these goods with damp cloths. However, they didn’t take my warnings seriously. I had never expected that the fire really happened.
When I hung up the phone, I burned with anxiety. Then I hastily walked out the door to have a look. Seeing the smoke rising from the direction of the plant, I couldn’t help shivering all over, thinking: The starch and cloths stored in the factory are all inflammable goods. If they catch fire, it will be all over! Deeply uneasy, my husband and I hurriedly drove to the plant. On our way there, I found the fire was much more serious than I had thought. Heavy smoke from the fire could be seen for dozens of kilometers, and even the sky was blackened. The whistles of the fire police and traffic police kept jangling. And the road was already overcrowded by the onlookers. When we were about 2 or 3 kilometers away from the plant, we found the police had closed the road, for the fire was too fierce. So we couldn’t drive any farther but had to pull over and watch at the side of the road, anxiously waiting for news. There were about two or three police cars and seven or eight fire engines on the scene, and more fire engines were on their way to the plant. Onlookers were saying, “Oh my God! That’s too bad. This is unfortunate for those who run the factories there. Everything must be burnt out.” “The fire is so fierce, perhaps nothing will be spared.” Hearing this, my husband also said bitterly, “We are finished!” Seeing his desperate face, and looking up at the black sky, I got into a panic, my legs trembling. I thought: We have invested all our money in this factory. If it really burns out, we will not only become bankrupt but will never get back the 800,000 yuan we have lent, and we will even owe tens of thousands of yuan to others. In that case, we will be burdened with heavy debt and never rise again. This thought made me feel heavy-hearted. In desperation, I suddenly remembered God. So I kept calling to God in my heart, “Oh God! You know I’m very depressed. May You keep my heart quiet, and guide me to understand Your will in this accident and accept the fact.”
As I was contemplating, God enlightened me to remember Job’s experience. Job was a man who feared God and shunned evil. He possessed a great wealth, and had many sons and daughters and a mountainful of sheep and oxen. However, all he had were robbed all of a sudden. When encountering these calamities, he didn’t have the slightest complaint against God. Instead, he obeyed God and fell down on the ground to extoll . Since he believed that whether man received blessings or suffered misfortune was ruled by God, he could calmly face all the disasters that befell him. What I encountered today was the same. Outwardly, this fire was caused by the workers’ carelessness, yet it was also a trial for me. Now that I had heard many God’s words and the sermons on entering into life, I should learn to obey God. At this thought, I no longer worried that much. Instead, I was willing to obey God, commit everything into God’s hand, and let Him control and arrange it. Later, as the fire was still fierce and we couldn’t enter the plant, we decided to go home rather than watched at the side of the road. After we got home, my younger brother, who had escaped the fire, also came back, his face and hands blackened by the smoke. I knew he also worried about the factory, so we fellowshiped about Job’s experience together to know God’s sovereignty and learn to obey God whenever anything happened.
It was a whole day and whole night before the fire was put out. As the fire site was still sealed up, my husband and some other guys sneaked into the plant through the sewer. They found a miracle happened. In this huge fire, our factory was completely undamaged, while my landlord’s burnt down: its window-panes burst, and the walls were burnt, looking like popcorn (because the walls were built of cement hollow bricks); the iron roofs were burnt to small balls; several motorbikes exploded in the fire; all the machines in the factory were burnt out. The damage was at least several million yuan. The chemical fabrics that the young couple stored in their factory were also completely burnt, and the net loss was more than half million yuan. When I learned that our workshop was safe and sound, I was full of gratitude to God, and couldn’t help kneeling on my knees and praising the only true Almighty God. It was God that protected our workshop and goods from the fire. And this was really God’s great power!
Later I knew that it was because God had miraculously arranged several things in advance to keep the fire from spreading that our workshop was undamaged. Actually the source of fire was only 20 meters from our workshop, so logically, our workshop should have been burnt first. But miraculously, several days before the fire, the landlord built on a workshop on the warehouse (20 meters wide) which was just next to my factory. The warehouse was usually used to store the cloths, but when the workers grouted the cement, the cloths in the warehouse all got wet. So they were taken out to be dried in the sun and thus the warehouse became empty. More miraculously, a reinforcement bar in the cement board happened to break, and the cement board collapsed. Therefore, the landlord had to grout the cement again. It wasn’t until midnight that the work was finished. When the fire broke out at 11:40 a.m. in the next day, the cement was still wet, which naturally formed a 20 meters wide protective wall and thus stopped the fire from spreading to our workshop. More importantly, the wind was blowing in the direction of the landlord’s warehouse. If it had blown in our plant’s direction, 20 meters wide protective wall simply couldn’t stop the fire. I saw that these coincidences were all God’s wondrous arrangements. This reminded me of God’s words: “Though the phrase ‘God’s authority’ may seem unfathomable, God’s authority is not at all abstract. He is present with man every minute of his life, leading him through every day. So, in every person’s day-to-day life he will necessarily see and experience the most tangible aspect of God’s authority. This tangibility is proof enough that God’s authority truly exists, and it fully allows one to recognize and to comprehend the fact that God possesses this authority” (“God Himself, the Unique III” ). From these words I saw that God’s authority and power are beyond man’s imagination, that all matters and things are indeed in God’s hand, and that disasters are even more orchestrated by God and will shift according to God’s thoughts. These are all the manifestations of God’s power and authority. We are too small to anticipate when and what kind of disaster we may encounter. God, however, know these things like the palm of His hand, and will take precautions in advance for us. Our factory could remain undamaged without any economic loss entirely because of the power of God’s protection. Since we had invested all the money our family had in the factory, if the factory had been burnt down, we would be ruined financially and even carry a heavy debt. In that case, my whole family would have no way to go on living. I saw that God’s care and protection helped us be spared a disaster, and gave us a guarantee of subsistence. I had truly experienced God’s faithfulness, and that God is indeed our only reliance.
Through this fire, I had a more practical understanding of God’s authority and His ruling over all things. Only God can save us and exempt us from disasters. The only way by which we can receive God’s keeping in disasters is to accept His salvation and pursue the truth to become a man who worships and submits to God. Only then can we escape suffering the disaster and survive.
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