By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
Gripping the Bands of Love in Despair
Before I got married to my husband, he caught a rare incurable sequela, severe sinus bradycardia, after a serious disease. As he grew older, his heartbeat grew ever slower. After marriage, his condition worsened increasingly, and he developed dizziness, widespread limpness, chest pain with his lips cyanotic due to severe insufficiency of blood supply.
When our child was four or five years old, I couldn’t resign myself to my husband being afflicted like that with the disease for the rest of his life, so I determined to make a fortune to cure his condition radically. Then I tried various jobs to earn money. At that time, for the sake of safety, we could only see Chinese medicine practitioners for conservative therapy. My husband took countless Chinese herbal medicines but to no avail. His heartbeat was still very weak, to an extent that later he was even stifled to awake from sleep at night. Once he didn’t return home at the due time from work, I would be worried whether there was something wrong with him. We grew rice back then, and I didn’t dare to have him work much in the fields for fear that he would faint there due to the inadequacy of blood supply to his brain. Moreover, I never had a restful night those days. I often woke up in the middle of the night and shone a flashlight secretly, feeling my husband’s pulse while looking at my watch. When his heart rate was more than 50 beats per minute, I would feel assured and sleep for a while; after a break, when I woke up to find his heart rate was only over 40 beats per minute, I would immediately get tensed and give him a nudge. Then he would turn over or go to the bathroom, so that his heart would beat faster. Just like this, I woke up time and again at night, and I was afraid to draw his attention lest he be more worried about his condition.
In those days full of anxiety, I really had a hard time. With nobody to tell all the pain in my heart, I could do nothing but weep under the covers in the dead of the night. Owing to the enduring mental pressure, I suffered from severe neurasthenia, and could not sleep nearly every night. Sometimes I seemed to have fallen asleep, but my brain was still thinking, and a slightest sound would wake me up. Every morning, I rose to find myself tired out as if having worked for a whole day. At that time, my husband also lived in anguish. He thought he could never get his illness cured, so he wrote himself off and indulged in gambling every day. In the face of this wretched home, my heart was broken. I often looked at myself in the mirror alone, who grew older and older as a result of long-lasting labor, feeling untold sadness and desperation. At that point, I even thought about dying. However, when I looked at my pitiful child and aged parents, I then thought if I really died, my child would be left without mother and my parents would bury their daughter at such an old age; how could I bear to do that? Thus, I had no alternative but to concede to reality and continue on. I often looked to the skies and cried out in my heart: Heavens! I even cannot afford to die! What should I do with my family? How can I keep on living? Will I lead such a depressed and painful life for the rest of my life?
At that time, my parents had already believed in God. When I went to their home occasionally, they would preach to me the and exhort me to believe in God and read . Yet I was always distracted by the stress of life and could not calm my heart to hear what they said. I thought: What problem is faith in God supposed to solve? So, every time I heard something about belief in God from my parents, I just had no mind to care about that. I only continued with my miserable life.
In 2006, my husband’s condition worsened all the more. He did not have any strength all over, and felt dizzy every day. So I advised him to go to a large hospital and ask whether he could be fitted with a pacemaker. After a trip to the hospital, my husband told me that a pacemaker would cost more than 100,000 yuan. Upon hearing this astronomical number to our family, I was shocked, and felt as if I had gotten a hit on the head. But in front of my husband and child, I had to put on a brave face. My husband was sick and my child was too young to be aware of what’s going on, so I must brave it all and cannot collapse. Otherwise, our life would not be able to move on.
Just when I was in despair, I suddenly remembered God, whom my parents often mentioned to me. Somehow, at that point, I felt as if I had grasped a rope of salvation on the edge of a precipice, and awakened an aspiration for survival from the bottom of my heart: I want to believe in God! I want to listen to God’s words, and perhaps there I can find a way out of the desperate situation. That day no one was in but me. I fell to my knees, and prayed to God for the first time in my lifetime. As soon as I knelt down, I was choked with tears. My tears fell like pearls from a broken string, pouring out my torment and agony which had oppressed me for years. The moment I cried out “God,” I felt like an orphan who had suddenly found his home and returned to his parents’ side after long wandering. I unburdened all my worries and pain, “Oh God! I’ve been living such a painful life these years. My husband’s disease cannot be cured, and I can’t feel any hope for life. Now I do feel like preferring death to living. Oh God, if You really see my suffering, please help me out. God, I know only You can help me. God, please save me …” After the prayer, my whole body felt much relaxed, and I was not that anguished inside. Having this spiritual experience, I was even more resolved to believe in God. Coincidentally, that exact day my mother paid a visit to me who seldom came to my home. I told her how I prayed to God. Upon hearing that, she was overwhelmed with emotion and cried tears of joy, saying, “Believing in God is good. We can overcome any difficulties by relying on God.” When she was about to leave, she gave me a book The Scroll Opened by the Lamb.
From then on, I began to read God’s words. One day, I saw these words from God, “Mankind, who left the supply of life from the Almighty, does not know why they exist, and yet fears death. There is no support, no help, but mankind is still reluctant to close their eyes, braving it all, drags out an ignoble existence in this world in bodies without the consciousness of souls. You live like such, with no hope; he exists like such, with no aim. There is only the Holy One in the legend who will come to save those who moan in suffering and long desperately for His arrival. … He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. , the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time. He is watching by your side, waiting for you to turn back. He is waiting for the day your memory suddenly recovers: becoming conscious of the fact that you came from God, somehow and somewhere once lost, falling unconscious on the roadside, and then, unknowingly having a ‘father.’ You further realize that the Almighty has been watching there, awaiting your return all along” (The Sighing of the Almighty in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
God’s words touched my heart indeed. When I didn’t believe in God, there was no reliance or help for me. I had spent my days worrying about my husband’s illness, and lived in agony, physical and mental exhaustion. Only when I read God’s words did I realize that the root cause for my suffering was that I left the life provision from God, was trampled upon by Satan, and lost God’s care and protection. Yet God did not abandon me. When I cried out to Him at the point of utmost despair, He promptly arranged for my mother to visit me with the book of . My mother told me, “Man’s end is God’s beginning.” At this moment, I had finally truly experienced it. Along the way beset by hardships over these years, I had fully tasted the pains and worries resulting from the corruption of Satan. Facing the gospel of God’s salvation, I pushed it away many times. It was not until all my hopes and efforts ended up in vain and I was left desperate that I remembered God, who bestowed His mercy upon me once again and stretched out His hand of salvation to me … As I looked at God’s words and reflected on the past, tears blurred my sight. I was really like a lost child who had eventually found his home.
Afterward, through the fellowship of the brothers and sisters from , I came to know that man’s fate rests in God’s palm, and that man’s life and death is even more controlled by God. I saw God’s words, “Like all things, man quietly and unknowingly receives the nourishment of the sweetness and rain and dew from God. Like all things, man unknowingly lives under the orchestration of God’s hand. 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” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature? … The destination of man is in the hands of the , so how could man control himself?” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading those words from God, I realized that my sufferings over those years precisely stemmed from my disbelief that man’s fate is controlled by the hands of God. My husband was sick, so I strived hard on my own to make money for his treatment, cared about him all the time, and even spent unrestful nights feeling his pulse. And I just thought all that I did could lengthen his life and erase his death. How ignorant I was! God is the Master of man’s fate, including his life and death. If God allowed my husband to die at a certain time, he would simply in no way live any longer; conversely, if God did not permit his death, he would not die anyway. Why did I rack my brains and take painstaking efforts for his life? Having understood these, my heart slowly brightened and became much lighter. I had found the way of practice: to entrust my husband, my life, and everything of me to God, and let Him control and arrange all of them. Then I prayed to God, “Oh God! In the past when I didn’t believe in You, I acted blindly on my own, and I felt as if I was hovering between life and death. Today I’ve come in Your presence, so I should have faith in You and rely on You. Oh God! I believe that You preside over man’s fate and his life and death. I’ll give my husband’s life and death to You. I’m willing to put myself at the mercy of You and no longer plan by myself. I don’t want to live a painful life any more …” Since then, I never tried to feel my husband’s pulse at night, but instead had slept in peace. That was because I never felt any loneliness or misery after praying to God that time, because I was confident that God has been caring for and keeping me and that the future and fates of my family and I are all controlled by God’s hand, and because I had felt assured inside by submitting to God’s sovereignty.
After a while, it surprised me that my insomnia of years caused by depression and anxiety was healed without treatment. Moreover, my husband improved miraculously. His lips were not that blue, he was less frequently stifled to wake up at night, and he was not so weak as he had been before. I used to accompany him going from one doctor visit to the next, but his condition did not get any better. However, when I entrusted everything to God and looked toward Him, things just started to pick up, and our home regained the quiet and peace that had never been there for years. Having seen such wonderful deeds of God, I was more than grateful. I was merely a man corrupted by Satan and I even refused God’s salvation many times, but God did not keep my past in mind, but stretched out His hand of love toward me when I cried out to Him sincerely. indeed bestows upon those who truly believe in Him gratuitously. When my life plunged into despair, God’s salvation, just like the bands of love, pulled me out of the valley of the shadow of death and led me toward light and a new life. From then on, I’ve lived a happy life with a fresh start under the care and protection of God. All the glory be to Almighty God!
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