In fact, God’s disposition is open to everyone and is not hidden, because God has never consciously avoided any person … Read More God’s word of the day: “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I” (Excerpt 20)
Reflections After the Fire: Only God Is My Salvation
One day in February last year, while I was doing housework, I heard several neighbors talking in front of my house. One of them said: “Dongsheng’s house, which was in the neighboring village, caught fire, and the fire burned up his two-storied house and all his possessions.” Another said: “Luckily, his wife and son were not at home that day so they were not harmed; otherwise he would have suffered more. Alas! This family are really unlucky to have encountered such a thing!” “Now Dongsheng is crying from worry day in and day out. No one can persuade him to stop crying.” said another. On hearing their words, I immediately thought of my unforgettable experience …
At past 2 a.m. on December 22, 2016, I was suddenly awakened from a sound sleep by the noise of cracking from the living room. I thought: “I have never heard such sound before during a night’s sleep; there must be something wrong.” So I hurried to get out of bed and wake up my granddaughter and grandson, who were sleeping in the same room with me. They quickly rose from the bed, and then as soon as they opened the door to see what was on, they screamed: “Grandma! It’s disastrous! The electrical wire in the living room is on fire. What should we do?” I stepped forward to have a look, and then the stench of burning rubber saluted my nostrils. I saw the room was filled with billows of smoke, and that the electrical wire was sending out white sparks; apart from this, I couldn’t see anything else at all. My grandson and granddaughter cried out in fright: “Grandma! Grandma! What can we do?” I was also trembling with fear at the sudden fire, but with assumed tranquility, I still comforted them: “Children, don’t be afraid. Go downstairs quickly!” At that time, I suddenly remembered that my co-tenant had just put a full tank of gas in the kitchen. I thought, “Now the fire is so strong. If it is not moved out, once it explodes, the fire will burn the whole building, causing harm to others; if so, it will be too terrible! And what’s more, I can’t afford to pay for such huge economic losses.” Thinking about this, I got so anxious and told myself that I had to wake up the other people in the building immediately. However, the more anxious I got, the more I felt it difficult to cry out. Seeing this, my granddaughter began to shout: “Auntie, get up quickly. It’s a fire! Our electrical wire is on fire! Get up quickly!” Then, the other people in the building all got up and dashed out. But at that time my grandchildren and I couldn’t grope our way to the door, because our room was filled with black smoke. At that time, I suddenly thought of my money in the cupboard, so I hastily groped around for the cupboard; when I found the money, I put it into my purse, and took it with me. Then I also thought of the many things in our room, and began to wonder how to throw them out of the windows? Just at that moment, I heard the sound of my co-tenant coming. She tried to go move the gas tank out, but failed to grope her way to the kitchen. Frightened, she cried and said: “Where’s the kitchen? How come I get to the bathroom?” After a while, she finally reached there, and managed to get the gas tank down the stairs. At that moment my heart was a little released. However, the smoke was so thick that we still couldn’t find the door. I was seized with fear, panic, and anxiety, thinking to myself: “What can I do? If we can’t find the door, we will be burnt to death.” At this point, I suddenly remembered that I am a believer in God, and also remembered a sentence of God’s words I often read before: “The greatest wisdom is to look to God and rely on God in all things.” Thereupon I hurriedly cried out to God in my heart: “God, what I encounter today contains Your good intentions. Now the room is filled with billows of black smoke that we can’t find the door. God, all things and matters are in Your hands, and I can only rely on You now. You are the almighty God, and may You guide me to find the way out.” After praying, I felt a bit calmer. At this time, my granddaughter shouted: “Grandma, we have groped our way to the staircase. Quick, this way!” But then I thought of those expensive clothes my daughter bought for me, so I decided to get them out first. Yet my granddaughter cried out: “Grandma, hurry up! Now our lives are in danger, what use will those things be?” Hearing what she said, I realized that this was God reminding me through her. Thereupon, I hastily went outside and managed to grope for the banister. At the time, I was in a panic, and my whole body was trembling with fear uncontrollably. When I started to go downstairs, I suddenly missed my step and fell from the fourth floor to the third floor (it measured about 3 meters). As I rolled down the stairs, I thought: “This time, even if I don’t die, I will be disabled, so how can I run out? I’m finished! It’s all over!” Just when I was worried and fearful, I fell to the landing. After my grandchildren heard the sound, they raised me up crying and asked: “Grandma, grandma, are you OK?” After I stood up and checked myself, I found nothing was seriously wrong with me, except that I had a slight headache and grazed my hands and feet a little without drawing blood. Seeing this, I couldn’t help but think: “I am in my sixties now, yet after falling from the fourth floor to the third floor, I just suffered superficial injuries. This was really God’s wondrous protection.” I kept thanking God in my heart.
After we went downstairs, where there was a confusion of noises, I breathed heavily and still didn’t fully return back to normal. At that time, some people who lived in the same building surrounded me and asked: “What’s wrong with the electrical wire of your house? How did it catch fire?” Those who knew I had fallen down the stairs said in amazement: “You’ve fallen down from the fourth floor to the third, but you are actually not seriously hurt. What a miracle!” Also, many other people shouted: “We have waited for so long, but why hasn’t the fire department arrived yet to put out the fire?” “Yes! We have called them twice. It’s extremely worrying!” Just then, the fire truck arrived. It took over half an hour to fight the fire, and not long after, the smoke dispersed. At this time, someone said to me: “How terrifying it was! If you had been fast asleep and hadn’t found the fire tonight, the consequences would have been unimaginable. We would have suffered great misfortune.” Now, he turned to the others and continued, “Today we are so lucky that there are no casualties. All right! Everybody! It’s four o’clock, let’s go home and get some sleep.” Then all of us left. Those who lived on the same floor went upstairs with me to see the fire scene in my house. While going upstairs, I wondered what had become of the things in my home. After I got home, to my surprise, I found: Although the fire burned for more than two hours, it only burned a bed in the living room, my co-tenant’s bacon, which weighed dozens of kilograms, and some of her tableware. Apart from that, the electrical wires in the kitchen and living room were destroyed and the window panes in the two rooms burst, while the other rooms were just blackened by smoke. Even more incredible was that our bedrooms were undamaged. At the sight of this scene, the neighbors started talking at once. “It’s really strange! Although the fire burned for so long, it didn’t spread to other rooms, nor did it burn any one. It was Heaven’s protection!” “It is quite rare to see. What a miracle! You must have done good deeds in your previous life, for it is said, ‘Do good things and good things happen.’” “It was really Heaven who saved their family of three.” Hearing what they said, I thought: “Indeed, this is all down to God’s care and protection, just as God’s word says: ‘Almighty God the practical God! You are our strong tower. You are our refuge. We huddle under Your wings, and calamity cannot reach us. This is Your divine protection and care.’” Thinking about this, I said to my neighbors: “You are right. It is true that Heaven cared and protected us today, otherwise my grandchildren and I would have died. I really thank God!” After hearing my words, they all nodded.
After the neighbors all had gone, I silently sat on the side of the bed and replayed the electrical fire in my mind. There was still fear lingering in my heart. I also thought: “We could grope our way out in billows of black smoke, and the fire, which burned for more than two hours, didn’t spread to the bedrooms; all of this was all down to God’s care and protection. I clearly knew in my heart that all this, which was thought to be impossible, is the work of God’s power.” Thinking of this, I turned on my MP5 player and began to read God’s words, where it 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.”
Pondering over God’s words, combining them with what I had experienced just now, I deeply felt the great power and authority of God in ruling all things. All things and matters are in God’s hands, and how things develop is also at the mercy of God. Think about myself. Two o’clock is a time when I am in deep sleep, yet today I was awakened by the sound of fire caused by electricity. This was God’s reminder to me. Moreover, the fire burned for more than two hours, but it didn’t spread to other rooms. Wasn’t this controlled by God? It was completely God’s wondrous protection!
At this point, I suddenly felt pain when I thought about how my heart had strayed far from God since I came to this county to accompany my grandchildren while they studied. I worked two jobs, and indulged in making money. What I thought about all day was making more money; I even put making money first and attending gatherings second, and would attend gatherings only when I had free time. Thinking about such attitude in my belief in God, I felt unworthy to live in God’s presence. However, God didn’t treat me according to my disobedience; instead, when the disaster befell, He still reminded and protected me, allowing me to live peacefully through it. Now I finally realized: No matter how much money I have earned, it can’t help me to avoid disaster. In the face of disaster, wealth and material things are completely useless and can’t save my life. Yet I highly valued money before, how ignorant and foolish I was!
Afterward, I also read God’s word saying: “People spend their lives chasing after money and fame; they clutch at these straws, thinking they are their only means of support, as if by having them they could keep on living, could exempt themselves from death. But only when they are close to dying do they realize how distant these things are from them….”
It was not until I read this passage of God’s words that I realized that the reason why I, after believing in God for many years, could still be obsessed with money was because my view of pursuit had not changed. Indoctrinated with Satan’s thoughts and viewpoints, such as “Without money, you can do nothing” and “Money is first,” and so on, I always thought that man couldn’t live in the world without money and that only having money could bring my heart peace, and thus I placed money before everything else. Actually, the main purpose of my coming to this county was to cook for my grandchildren, and I had no lack of money. But under the domination of my wrong thoughts and viewpoints, I wasn’t satisfied with my current situation, and though I was in my sixties, I still worked two jobs to make more money. To this end, I even put my belief in God to the back of my mind, and didn’t take gatherings seriously. And I only attended them occasionally when I was free. Even in the face of the fire, I still thought of my money and possessions, and could throw away my life in exchange for money. I really cared more about money than life itself. I completely fell for Satan’s trickery, living in Satan’s net, thus becoming a money-mad person. At this time, I called to mind the story of the burning of Sodom as recorded in the Bible. When God sent down fire to destroy Sodom, Lot’s wife, who had great attachment to their property in the city, couldn’t bear to give it up that when fleeing from Sodom she persisted in looking back, even though the angels had told her not to. As a result, the moment she turned, she became a pillar of salt. Wasn’t I the same as Lot’s wife? God’s work of saving man in the last days is short-lived, but I didn’t focus on pursuing the truth and gaining life and yet was fully occupied with making more money. If I continue on that way, then when God’s work has been completed and disasters befall, I certainly can’t receive God’s salvation without truth; then whom can I complain about? At that time, even more money can’t help me to escape the disasters. My encountering this sudden fire accident was indeed worthy of my reflection. In fact, money and material things are all empty and fleeting clouds; when disasters befall, they are all useless. The experience of Dongsheng in the neighboring village is an example. He owned more than 1 million in property, but no matter how much money he had earned, when his house was on fire, it couldn’t help him get the fire under control. He had struggled all his life to make those money yet lost all of it in a fire.
Thank God! Through experiencing this fire, I realized that believing in and worshipping God is a quite important matter, while living for food, clothes, and flesh is devoid of all meaning and value, is empty, and will allow us to gain nothing. When my views of pursuit changed somewhat, I gradually became indifferent to money. Then I gave up one job, and began to put belief in God first, focused on pursuing and practicing the truth, sought to cast off my corrupt disposition to live out the likeness of a true man, and sought to perform my duty as a created being to repay God’s love. Thank God!
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