By Yang Li
It was one day in November 2017. As early winter is the right time to dig herbs to make money, after breakfast, I went to the mountain with tools to dig roots of atractylodes (a kind of herb). I walked searching for it, and around noon I arrived at the top, where no one was about. I saw several seedlings of atractylodes three meters away from me. When I was about to dig them, I heard a buzz. I felt something wrong and looked around, only to see a swarm of bumblebees surrounding me. Immediately I became nervous, and thought, “If I’m stung by them, it would be terrible. I heard that many people had been stung to death by bumblebees.” At that time, I was filled with fear. In a panic, I turned and ran the way I had come, praying in my heart, “O God! I fear that I will be stung by the bumblebees and poisoned. Please lead me and help me.” During my run, I broke branches to beat them. However, the branches were all bare at that season, so I couldn’t hit them no matter how I whipped. They still chased after me and attacked me. Because I wore a cloth hat and was bare-necked, my neck was crawling with bumblebees. I continuously slapped my neck, but the bumblebees even climbed onto my hands and left me several stings. At that time, I was so scared and I didn’t know whether I could escape the death. I ran down the mountain as fast as I could, but they still went after me. When halfway down the mountain, I finally got rid of most of the bumblebees, but there were many stings on my neck and the back of my head. The bumblebee was very poisonous, and soon the poison got into my system. I felt light-headed, suffered from vomiting and diarrhea, and had difficulty in breathing as though I was about to suffocate. My eyes appeared blurred and after a few minutes became blind. Gradually I lost my strength and consciousness, unable to move. At that moment, I felt a sense of indescribable sorrow and pain, and I thought, “If I die here today, no one would know.” At the very moment when I was about to be unconscious, I urgently called out to God in my heart, “O God! Save me!” Then I fell to the ground and knew nothing.
Not knowing how much time had passed by, I gradually came around. I could see a little light, and some sensation was coming back to my limbs. I clearly realized that it was because God had been watching over and protecting me with His great power that I could wake up. Then, I prayed to God to give me confidence and strength so that I could get out of the wild place. Afterward, I felt a stream of strength supporting me and I tried to crawl forward a meter. But when I continued crawling forward, I suddenly felt dizzy and very weak. The pain brought by the poison attacking the heart made me utterly miserable. I was out of breath and couldn’t speak. I wanted to groan so that someone may hear and help me, but I couldn’t make it. So I could only call out to God in my heart, “O God! Now I feel very pained, as if I’m about to die. May You enlighten and guide me. I’m willing to obey Your sovereignty and arrangement.” At this moment, I remembered the words of God: “God created this world, He created this mankind, and moreover He was the architect of ancient Greek culture and human civilization. Only God consoles this mankind, and only God cares for this mankind night and day.” The timely guidance of God’s words gave me something to rely on. The heavens and earth and all things are established and made complete because of God’s sovereignty. Am not I—just a small created being—even in God’s hands? God is the source of the life of us mankind. At this juncture of life and death, only by relying on God and looking to God more can I receive His care and protection.
After a while, I could move my hands and feet, so I crawled forward slowly and continually prayed to God in my heart. When I moved up 30 meters, the poison attacked my heart and I vomited and vomited, as though my heart would be vomited up. I lay on the ground and was dying, unable to move or raise my head. I was somewhat weak, and thought, “Surely, today I would die in the wilderness of the mountain.” At this moment, I suddenly realized that my weakness and passiveness came from Satan’s disturbance. My heart couldn’t leave God. Then, I called out to God again in my heart, “O God! I feel much pain and discomfort inside, as if thousands of arrows were piercing through my heart. I can barely take it. O God! I beg You to save me.” At this point, God’s words occurred to me, “If you have but one breath, God will not let you die.” I received the faith and strength from God’s words and had the hope to live on. Then I thought of Job. He was afflicted by Satan with the result that he had festering sores all over. But, without God’s permission, Satan dared not harm the life of Job. God is the Master who holds the power of life and death over us mankind, and no person, event or thing can surpass God’s authority. Although I became unconscious because of the bumblebee stings, I miraculously came around; when the bee venom got into my system, and made me keep vomiting and lose my strength, I could still crawl forward slowly; when I was passive and weak, and was losing my confidence in God, God used His words to guide me and give me the hope to survive. Wasn’t this all the guidance and help of God? I should have confidence in God, and rely on and look to Him more. So, I said a prayer of submission to God in my heart, “O God! Now I’m weak and suffering from the aches and pains. But I’m willing to obey Your designs and arrangements, because I know the life and death of man is in Your hands. May You guide and lead me more.” After praying, I could slowly raise my head and move forward bit by bit. When I tried to crawl forward, I found I could even stand up slowly. I kept giving thanks to God in my heart. I staggered forward more than 10 meters before I became strengthless. Then I stopped to pray. Whenever I couldn’t move, I would stop to pray to God in my heart; after I regained a little strength, I would go on to stagger forward. In this way, finally I got out of the mountain and came to the door of someone’s house by the road. Seeing that I was weak and in unbearable pain, the hostess hurried to give me some water to drink. However, I couldn’t take a single drop of water at all. Just then, one of my neighbors who was going home from the fields passed by here, and he took me to a country hospital in a rickshaw.
The doctor found me in serious condition, so he dared not receive me. Then people around me called the county hospital, got a cab, and contacted my family. They all helped send me to the county hospital. During this whole process, I kept calling out to God in my heart, and I knew that it wasn’t because of their kindness that those people I didn’t know could help me on their own initiative, and that it was orchestrated and arranged by God. I thanked God in my heart. Because the neighbor called the county hospital in advance, the doctor gave me an intravenous injection of antidote and a thorough examination as soon as I arrived. And he asked about the time and specific situation of my being stung by bumblebees. The doctor said that my condition was serious, and that if I had arrived ten minutes late, I might have died. All places of my body that were stung by the bumblebees were covered with the ointment. Afterward, I was transferred to the intensive care unit.
The doctor said to my daughter, “Previously, I admitted a young man. He had 38 stings and died despite emergency treatment. Another older man also had more than 30 stings, and although it didn’t take long from the time he was stung to the time he was rescued, he died in the end. According to the condition of your mother, her stings are more serious than either of them. Although the poison hasn’t yet entered into her liver and kidneys, she is still in danger. You’d better prepare for the worst.”
In the intensive care unit that evening, the doctor gave me a follow-up examination to see whether I still had the sign of life. At that time, I was conscious and very clear in my mind. I could feel that the stings swelled up and were painful, but I couldn’t move. Nevertheless, I felt very calm within, because I knew my life and death are both in the hands of God, and that all things are dictated and arranged by God. I lay on my sickbed and couldn’t fall asleep. All I could do was to continuously pray to God in my heart.
The next morning, the doctor transferred me to an observation ward. Seeing me lying on my sickbed, my daughter burst into tears. The doctor comforted her, saying, “Your mother is recovering well, and she would be all better after some time. I’ve never met such a miracle during the last more than twenty years.” I was excited within and I knew that it was God’s wondrous deed. Without, I would have died in that mountain; how could I be here? One day, my sister and her husband came to the hospital to visit me. When they saw that I couldn’t move and hadn’t eaten, they said to me, “You were stung so seriously; how did you get out of the mountain?” I replied, “This is Heaven’s care!” After hearing my words, other people in the ward said with surprise, “You’re so lucky!” But I knew clearly that it was not luck but God’s care and protection that saved me from the brink of death.
I thought of a man in my neighborhood who was also stung by bumblebees. Having spent seven days in the hospital, he died in the end. My condition was more serious than his: I had 46 stings. However, I was fortunate to survive. Those who knew me all said that I was lucky to be alive. Seeing God’s wonderful deeds on me and His salvation toward me, I didn’t know how to express the feeling of gratitude toward Him.
After I spent six days in the hospital, I came back home. Twenty days later, I went back to the hospital for a reexamination. The doctor said that I had been recovering nicely, which was a special case. But I clearly knew in my heart that it was due to my believing in God and relying on Him. It was God who saved me from the jaws of death. Through this special experience, I realized that wealth, fame and status can’t save us mankind or bring life to us in the face of death. With life hanging by a thread, only God is our reliance. I thank God for saving me. In my future experiences, I’m willing to rely on God and look to God more, and to pursue the truth properly to repay His love.
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