By Wang Zhen
I’m Wang Zhen, a Christian of The Church of Almighty God. I live in a small town beside the Huai river and National Highway 312. Every time I recall the stormy night of July 7, 2017, I will thank and praise God from the bottom of my heart. It is because of God’s marvelous deeds that I was protected amidst the disaster.
During that time, bridges of National Highway 312 were being repaired, and the rebuilt gravel road beside two bridges divided the river into two parts. At around 8 p.m. on July 7, the skies suddenly became overcast, lightning flashing and thunder crashing, and then there came a heavy downpour. At around 10 p.m., I couldn’t fall asleep, so I took out a book ofand read it until midnight. However, I still wasn’t sleepy after that. Hearing the rain falling harder and heavier, I felt somewhat unease, so I got up and went out to the backyard to see whether the sewer was clear, and then came to the front yard to see whether the chicken coop was covered well. After everything was arranged well, I came back to the room. It was 2:15 a.m. then. The rain was pouring down in buckets. Watching the thunder storm through the window, I tossed around in bed and couldn’t sleep. At about 2:50 a.m., hearing a rumbling sound all of a sudden, I immediately turned around and sat upright. When listening carefully, I found as if it came from something in my room and then I got out of bed instantly to check it. On my feet touching the ground, I felt water was everywhere, so that I couldn’t find my shoes. I woke my husband and turned on the light hurriedly, only to find the water in my bedroom had been 20 cm deep. Suddenly, the power went off, and then the room was dark. I hurried to the door with bare feet. As a result, I found the sound came from the sewer pipe in the bathroom. Seeing water over 3 feet slipping through the door, I was in panic and thought to myself: That’s torn it! If it keeps raining, all things in my house will be ruined. I shouted to my husband, “There is so much water outside the house! What should we do?” My husband cried aloud, “Put that aside. Hurry to move the furniture first.” Then my husband moved the things upstairs hastily by the flicker of the lightning. For a moment, I was at a loss what to do, so I immediately called out to Almighty God, “O God! Facing the sudden storm, I don’t know what to do. Please guide me. I am willing to rely on You.” At that moment, I wanted to know how things were outside. Then I waded toward the front door, but I couldn’t push the door open. By then I was a little afraid and shouted to my husband, “I can’t open the door! What is it outside that props the door so hard?” He said, “It must be the water, it’s too deep.” On hearing his words, I hurried upstairs to wake my two sons and their wives, only to find they had been roused by the cries for help from an old woman living opposite to our house. I heard the neighbors all yelling the waters were so deep that they couldn’t go out. Through the windows, I saw a scene of confusion in the street by the flicker of the lightning: The street was entirely covered in wood, household waste, batten doors, etc.; some houses were flooded roof deep. And our car was also flooded roof deep. Originally the car was parked along, but now it had made a 90-degree turn and was moving slowly with the currents. Seeing this scene, my elder son rushed to open the two back doors of our house and the water ran away through them. At this sight, I couldn’t help thinking: God sends down all manner of disasters in in order to chastise man and punish this evil corrupted mankind. Because I have things of Satan in me, I cannot be compatible with God, and I am often slipshod when performing the duty, which grieves God too much. No matter what God does, no matter what He takes away, God is righteous. I am willing to submit to His manipulation and arrangement, and have no complaints.
At this moment, I suddenly remembered that the books of God’s word were in a red plastic bucket under the stairs. I thought: The water in the room is so deep, and the red plastic bucket must be beaten down. Without the books of God’s word, what should I do later? Thinking this, I was so nervous and then I hurried to the stairs. When I got close there, I kicked a glass bottle and a big white bucket which had fallen on the ground. Immediately, I felt even more panic in my heart: That’s done it! The bottle and the white bucket, so heavy, were still beaten down by the water; the bucket where I put books definitely flooded. At the moment, I was like a cat on a hot tin roof. I called to God anxiously, “Almighty God, if the books are all immersed, how could I read them afterward? O God! I only ask that You can protect them …” After prayer, I thought of God’s words, “Almighty God the practical God! You are our strong tower. You are our refuge. We huddle under Your wings, and calamity cannot reach me. This is Your divine protection and care” (“The Fifth Utterance”). God’s words gave me faith. It’s true! God is almighty, and moreover, He is my only reliance. At the thought of this, my panic-stricken heart calmed down. Then I quickly pushed aside the sundries piled outside the stairs. When I reached out to touch it, I found that the bucket was still standing there firmly, which made me feel much secure in my heart. Thank God for His keeping! I held the bucket tightly in my arms, my grateful tears dropping down. When seeing the water outside keep pouring in the room, I hurriedly wrapped the books and put them on the top of the tallest wardrobe in the bedroom. When I went out of the room, I saw my daughters-in-law using the mobile phones to light and at the same time my sons and husband carrying the refrigerator and washing machine to the upstairs. Then our family were busy draining water away from our house.
Fortunately, the water level didn’t rise. However, the water level outside was still so high that we couldn’t get the door open but only stand by the window to watch outside. Scores of people were in the street and the water was up to their waists. Many of them were crying for their relatives. The noise filled the entire street. An old woman lived in a low-lying basement; it seemed that she hadn’t gotten out, and her relatives were sobbing aloud and crying her name. On the western tip of the street lived another old woman. When she was saved by her son and neighbors, the water was chest-high; while when her son returned, the water had risen to the top of the door. While the water outside my door was waist-high. Seeing this, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with emotion: It’s really thanks to God’s care and protection. And meanwhile I also saw how insignificant and powerless man was in the face of the flood. At about 5 a.m., the flood finally flowed out after beating down the enclosures and lodges of the school on the west of our village. As the flood waters went down, we could open the door. At the sight of the scene, I thought of God’s words saying, “The disaster originates with Me and is of course orchestrated by Me” (“You Ought to Prepare a Sufficiency of Good Deeds for Your Destination”). My tears of excitement gushed out, and I prayed to God silently in my heart: “God! Through this flood, I have seen Your authority and Your love. How marvelous Your deeds are! From now on, I will try my best to perform my duty to repay Your love!”
Then my son raced to the car soaked in the water and took its photographs inside out and then called the insurance company. At 7 a.m., the company sent several people to come and tow away the car. My son’s two classmates came to ask, “How do you deal with the car?” My son said with resignation, “The car has to be abandoned for it has been soaked for several hours. Besides, I always drive long distances; even if it’s repaired well, it’s not safe to drive it. Then, both of them said, “It’s bad. You can only get a little compensation. Last month, one person in my neighborhood wrote off a car bought last year for 180, 000 yuan, and he just received 15, 000 yuan as compensation.” Hearing this, my son became more worried. I thought: Our car was bought in September of last year and cost us more than 80, 000 yuan. Will we get less compensation? Just then I suddenly realized what I thought was wrong and that I was complaining against God. So I immediately prayed, “O Almighty God! Today such a circumstance befalls us. There are Your good intentions in it. How much compensation we will get is all up to You. I am willing to obey Your manipulation and arrangement and absolutely won’t make any complaint! Because everything we have is bestowed by You. It’s You who gave, and You Who has taken away. Whatever You does, it is righteous. Your name is worth the eternal praise.” After prayer, I thought of God’s words, “Of everything that occurs in the universe, there is nothing that I do not have the final say in. What exists that is not in My hands?” (“The First Utterance”). Yes! Everything is in God’s hand. I should just obey Him.
By the early morning, the water in my house subsided. The walls on the east side of the village and the walls of the school all fell, which were 30 centimeters away from my walls. However, only mine did not fall. My cousin’s home was even worse; the water level of his house was three times taller than mine; His TV, refrigerator, and washing machine all fell over in the mud. His mother-in-law lived in the first floor; when the floating wardrobe fell, her legs were right hurt by it, and then, she was sent to the hospital. The rainwaters left a swath of chaos across the whole street. Most of the wooden doors were shattered and the majority of iron gates got bent. There are three old women in our village. In this flood, two of them died, and another one was muddleheaded with fear, and was sent to the hospital to be rescued.
Later, the Village Secretary and others came to my home. After seeing the situation of my house, they said with surprise, “It’s so strange. On the same level, how come that the water level in your house is so low, while that of others’ is triple the depth of yours and your furniture is still good?” My husband said, “It’s obvious that the water level in my house is lower. You all can see it.” When hearing his words, I had a kind of unspeakable gratitude toward God in my heart and I thought: Thanks be to Almighty God! Who can stop the flood? It’s all because of God’s mercy and protection toward us. I also thought of the words in Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entering In, “The disasters can discriminate and God is righteous….”
Four days later, the insurance company auctioned off our car, and granted us a compensation of 55, 000 yuan. I thanked God for His blessings from my heart. After this flood, many people complained that the government obstructed the river in order to repair the bridge of National Highway 312, so that the water couldn’t go through, thus making the streets swallowed up. They intended to take their fight to the Municipal government and also asked my son to join them. I fellowshiped with my son about God’s will: God uses disasters to chastise man and warn man as well, so that we humans will come before Him. All matters and all things are in God’s hands. Hearing this, my son had no hand in this matter.
Through this experience, I’d truly appreciated that God rules and commands all things and that every thought and idea of man is controlled by God and that God’s authority and power are everywhere. According to common sense, people are sound asleep at two or three in the morning. However, on that stormy night, I couldn’t fall into a sleep whatsoever and felt kind of unease. And this must be that God was reminding me secretly. Had I slept the night through, my house would have become as terrible as others’. Meanwhile, I also had some knowledge of God’s authority and power and saw that He is caring for those who truly follow Him at all times. In that flood, other people’s houses showed a crack and their walls fell; while my house was safe and sound. This was indeed determined by God’s omnipotence. Just as Almighty God says, “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 Is the Source of Man’s Life”). And I also realized that God’s righteous disposition does not tolerate man’s offenses. He uses all manner of disasters to punish the evil doers and warn people so that we humans can repent before Him. In the face of disaster, man is so helpless and weak. Only when we come before Almighty God, can we receive His care and keeping, because He is the only salvation and reliance of us human beings.
After rain, the sky looked blue and the earth was bathed in sunlight. I drove my electric scooter to perform my duty. Seeing the street was filled with many things having been doused in the water, such as sofa, bed, and electric scooter, I was even more full of gratitude toward God in my heart and made a resolution inwardly: From now on, I will certainly perform my duty earnestly to satisfy God and repay His love for me. All glory be to Almighty God!
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