In the winter of 2013, it snowed so heavily that the traffic was affected. About half mile away from my home, there was a low-lying river where the wind was not strong there. Because of the heavy snow, the river froze over and was covered with snow over one meter thick, on which there was a path trodden by the passers-by. Every time I went to attend meetings or back, I would take this path on the frozen river.
On the twenty-first day of the twelfth lunar month in 2013, after the meeting, I found it was getting late, so I hurried home. Hardly had I stepped onto the ice-river when I heard a click, and before I could react I fell into an ice hole. Because the hole was not wide, I got stuck with half of my body in water, I tried very hard to climb out of the hole but could not. At that time, I was very worried and afraid, thinking: “The river is five meters deep. Even young people can’t get out of the hole once falling into it, let alone I who is fifty-odd years old and 80 kilos. I must be dead.” Feeling myself sinking, I was even more fearful and thought: “Considering the situation, I would either freeze to death or drown.” At this thought, I wildly flailed my arms, with the attempt to find a hold for my hands so that I could pull myself out of the water. However, there was nothing but white snow around me. Then I kicked strongly with my legs, in the hope of emerging from the water. After a period of struggle, I was tired and breathless, but still didn’t get out of the water. I got anxious and thought: “What should I do? Am I really gonna freeze to death here? Who can help me? In such a deserted place, no matter how I cry for help, no one would hear my call. It’s done. I must be dead.” Thinking of this, I felt a burst of desolate helplessness, and tears rolled down my face.
In my despair and helplessness, I thought of God. Like a drowning man grasping at straw, I cried to God, “Oh God! Now I’m helpless. Please help me …” At that time, I didn’t know what to do but could only pray to God incessantly. After, I recovered the strength and was somewhat less fearful. Then I thought of God’s words: “When you face sufferings you must be able to not consider the flesh and not complain against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or disappear. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design … Only this can be called true love and faith.” Under the guidance of God’s words, I came to understand His will. I should have when encountering this environment. No matter what God does, I should believe in Him and obey His sovereignty and arrangements. Thinking that though I believed in God, I didn’t look up to God or rely on God but cried in despair when encountering such a dangerous situation, I felt that I wasn’t like a believer in God. Then I prayed to God, “Oh God! Whether I can get out of the hole or not is in Your hands. I’m willing to entrust my life to You. May You give me true faith.”
After praying, I had the strength. So I continued with my struggling, during which I prayed to God in my heart incessantly, but I still couldn’t find a hold for my hands. After an hour of struggling, I completely lost my strength, cold and tired. Because of my desperate struggle, the ice cracked and the snow around me began to sink, while my body was also sinking. Seeing this, I broke out in a cold sweat from fear and didn’t dare to move a bit. I urgently prayed to God in my heart. The snow was still sinking and my chest was compressed so tightly that I couldn’t breathe, so I had to open my mouth to inhale and exhale. At that moment, I had no strength to struggle.
Then I urgently cried to God, “Oh God! I can’t draw a breath. I feel I’m dying. Please help me!” Right after the prayer, the wonderful thing happened. My foot stuck something solid, and I found I could use it as a point of support; then I stepped on it, leaned my elbows on the ice and leaped upward, with the attempt to get out of the water, but because I was heavy and feeble, I failed in my first attempt. After struggling for a while, I had no strength again. Gusts of bone-piercing wind hitting me, I, in a soaked cotton jacket, felt so cold that my teeth were chattering and my hands were nearly frozen. Cold, hunger, and fear threw me into a panic.
Seeing it was getting darker, I was both worried and afraid, and thought: “Even if I don’t drown, I couldn’t make it through the night and would freeze to death.” Though I had prayed to God and entrusted myself to Him, I didn’t get out of the water, so I lost faith in God and felt somewhat weak. In my desperation, I thought of God’s words: “If you have but one breath, God will not let you die. … 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.” God’s words enlightened me in time and gave me faith in Him. The words “If you have but one breath, God will not let you die” reminded me of the experience in my childhood. I got a rare disease three days after birth. Seeing my entire body was covered in boils and sores, my parents didn’t hold out hope for my recovery. However, my disease was gone miraculously later. Wasn’t it God’s authority and almightiness? Now when I’m stuck in the ice hole and failed to get out of it several times, I lost faith in God and turned to place my hope on some passer-by. I’m really doubting and of little faith like Thomas, and I don’t have any true faith or trust in God. At this thought, I made up my mind to obey God’s arrangements and prayed to God, “Oh God! My life and death are in Your hands; I’m willing to entrust them to You. Even if I die today, I will not complain against You. I’m willing to obey Your sovereignty and arrangements.”
A few minutes after such a prayer, my foot touched something solid. Not wasting time to think, I immediately stamped on it and with all my strength, hoisted myself up onto the ground. Sitting feebly by the hole, I took a rest for a while, thinking, “I was in the water for so long, but didn’t feel anything solid like this before. So what is it?” Then I looked into the water through the hole but found nothing. At that point, I realized that it was God’s wonderful deed, and that it was God who saved me. Thinking of this, I was moved to tears and wailed kneeling on the ground. I prayed to God, “Oh God! Today after I fell into the ice hole, You have been by my side all the time. You comforted me and encouraged me with Your words and gave me faith in You. But I was blind and didn’t know Your sovereignty and almightiness. Though obviously it was You who saved me, I didn’t know Your deeds. If I hadn’t experienced this dangerous circumstance, I would still have no true knowledge of Your almightiness and sovereignty. It was really Your great power that I could survive this dangerous circumstance. I’m grateful for Your salvation.”
After returning home, I read God’s words: “All that is in this world is fast changing with the Almighty’s thoughts, under His eyes. Things mankind has never heard of can abruptly arrive. And yet, what mankind has always owned can unknowingly slip away. No one can fathom the Almighty’s whereabouts, and further, no one can feel the transcendence and greatness of the Almighty’s life power.” From God’s words, I knew that all things are changing with God’s thoughts, and that no one can fathom God’s authority and power. When I fell into the ice hole, I should have kept sinking due to my weight, but I remained stuck in the hole; when I felt disappointed and discouraged after many failed attempts, God enlightened me with His words and allowed me to have faith in Him so that I didn’t give up; when I was on the verge of death, God helped me out of the water, revealing His wondrous deeds. From this experience, I saw that God is always watching me by my side, caring for and keeping me every moment; I knew that everything in the universe is under God’s sovereignty, and that God’s authority is everywhere and at every moment; I also appreciatedand salvation for me. He didn’t give up His salvation for me because I had little faith in Him and no place for Him in my heart. Instead, He revealed His wondrous deed to me and allowed me to personally experience it, which made me have some knowledge of His almightiness and sovereignty. I made up my mind before God: I’m willing to devote the rest of my life to God, pursue the truth properly, and fulfill my duty as a created being to repay God’s love for me.
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