What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
I Regained My Voice – From Atheist to Christian Testimony
By Li Yi
I was born into an ordinary family of a cadre. Having received the education of atheism from childhood, I didn’t believe there is a God in the world. When I saw my mother burning incense and worshiping Buddha, I thought that she was poorly educated and so superstitious; when others talked about deities and ghosts, I thought they were too backward, for it had been written clearly in the book that there is no Savior in the world.
One day, my cousin came to preach the kingdomof to me and bore witness that God created the heavens and earth and all things; He made mankind out of clay; and His authority and power are unique. … Hearing these words, I didn’t believe so and sarcastically said: “My cousin, you are too foolish. Where is God? The heavens and earth and all things were formed naturally, and man evolved from apes. Did you see that God created them? As a cultured person, hasn’t your studying in school been empty of meaning?” Just like that, I refused God’s salvation in the last days. Later, my cousin came to preach the gospel countless times; however, I was still unaffected until the arrival of a serious illness, which thoroughly transformed me, an atheist, and made me return to God’s house.
One day in the middle of August of 2011, I found a tumor on my neck by accident. At the hospital, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and was advised to have surgery to remove the thyroid tumor. If the surgery failed, I would be a mute. I was afraid I couldn’t speak anymore, so I chose to treat it with Chinese herbs. Yet after I had taken Chinese medicine for several months, the tumor not only didn’t get smaller, but kept growing, and my stomach was getting bad. At last, I had to have an operation in the hospital. Though the doctor performed the operation carefully, it failed in the end. Hearing this news, I was unable to bear the cruel fact that I couldn’t speak, suddenly hitting rock bottom, and thus lived in extreme suffering.
Before I was discharged from hospital, the doctor told me: “Don’t worry too much. Just do what we’ve said, and you will recover in a month or so.” After I heard his words, the hope was reignited in my heart. I thought: Since the doctor has said this with such certainty, as long as I follow his orders, I will surely recover my health in advance. So I did what he reminded me when I got back home, but a month later, my illness had not improved in the slightest. At that time, my heart felt piercingly cold as if it had fallen into an ice box in the chilling cold of winter.
One day after three months, I went to the hospital to have a thorough check-up. The doctors held a consultation together and a foreign expert said in broken Chinese: “There’s nothing I can do, unless miracle happens.” When I saw the three big words “Disabled for life” written on the medical certificate, I could hardly stand steadily and almost fell, feeling that the whole heaven had come crashing down. Seeing this, my husband hurried to hold me. And I thought to myself: If I can’t speak or talk with people normally in the future, what’s the point of living this way? My husband seemed to understand what I was thinking and said anxiously: “You should never think about death. Just think about our son. It doesn’t matter if you can’t speak. All that matters is that our family is happy.” His words struck at my weak spot: It’s true. Our son hasn’t got married or started a career; what should he do if I die? I no longer dared to think more. Anyhow, I am still alive, and I could still see him grow up even if I’m unable to speak; I should go on living with strength for the sake of our son. In thinking about this, I gave up the idea of death. But when facing the cruel reality, I still couldn’t accept it.
One day, my colleagues came to see me, telling me something in the unit, and then they had a chat for a while. After they left, I felt sick at heart, falling on my bed and crying unceasingly. In the past, my colleagues and I laughed and chatted together, but today I, just like a fool, couldn’t say anything when they had a talk; it was meaningless to live this way, and I would rather make a speedy end of all. Then I thought of taking sleeping pills to kill myself, and right when I was ready to take those pills, my husband suddenly returned. He grabbed the pills from my hand, threw them into the toilet, and snapped at me: “If you die, what should our son do?” When I thought of my son, tears streamed down my face, and I then abandoned the idea of death, yet I still didn’t know how to confront the rest of my life. When I had absolutely lost hope in life, the kingdom gospel of Almighty God once again came upon me.
On April 2, 2012, my cousin brought two sisters over to my house. When I saw them, I couldn’t stop my tears falling. My cousin comforted me and said: “Xiaoyi, don’t be disappointed; miracles will always occur. Though your illness can’t be cured by medicine, you could believe in God; you shouldand rely on Him, and ask Him to help us.” Hearing these words, I thought: God? Is there really a God in this world? Can God cure my illness that even those doctors could do nothing about? Then my cousin stood up with a book and came up to me; while wiping my eyes, she said: “Xiaoyi, let’s use our hearts to look upon first.” I took the book and saw the following words she showed me: “Praise God in the midst of illness and enjoy God in the midst of your praise. Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking and never give up, and God shall shine His light to you. How faithful was Job? Almighty God is an all-powerful physician! To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well. If you have but one breath, God will not let you die.” When I read the words “Almighty God is an all-powerful physician!” I thought: Even the foreign expert said that there was no hope for my recovery; could it be that Almighty God has the ability to cure me? After that, a sister fellowshiped: “Whatever kind of illness we have, don’t live in suffering but face it bravely; as long as you to God with a true heart, telling Him your actual difficulties and the words in your heart, He will listen, and He will also open a path for you, leading you to get over the illness.” After reading Almighty God’s words and hearing the sister’s fellowship, not knowing why, in my heart I experienced a peace and assurance I had never had before; I couldn’t help but hold the book to my breast. Seeing this scene, the sisters smiled happily. My cousin said: “Xiaoyi, you may keep the book. Just read it more, and we’ll come to see you again in a few days.”
Later, brothers and sisters came to my home and met with me. They were thoughtful to me as if they were my family relatives; they helped me do the cleaning and often sang for me for fear that I felt lonely; they treated me with sincerity, speaking the words within heart to me. Their living out was quite different from that of the people I contacted with in my unit and the society before. I thought: Such love can only come from God, which can’t be found in the earthly world; can it be that what they believe in is the true God? I must read the book my cousin gave to me carefully. Opening the book, I saw a passage of God’s words: “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. Human development and progress is inseparable from the sovereignty of God, and the history and future of mankind are inextricable from the designs of God.” After I read God’s words, my heart suddenly became clear: Turns out that the heavens and earth and all things are created by God, and we humans also come from Him; God accompanies us at our side like a mother. When we live in suffering, God’s gentle words comfort us; when we encounter danger, His loving hands support us. At that time, it occurred to me that it was God’s salvation that I didn’t die though I tried to kill myself several times, and that I had been living under God’s care and protection. I prayed to God in my heart: “Oh God! Now I am unable to communicate with people normally, and feel very painful in my heart. But as I see Your words ‘Almighty God is an all-powerful physician,’ I believe that my illness is in Your hands, and I am willing to give myself up to You completely and obey Your sovereignty and arrangements. Amen!”
Three months later, as there were more and more new believers in the church, the supply of books of God’s words fell short of demand, so I offered to copy God’s words at home for brothers and sisters. One day, a sister came to my home to take the copies of God’s words. She asked me: “Sister, have you finished copying that piece of God’s words?” I replied: “Yes. I’ve finished.” The unexpected voice astonished her; she stared straight at me and said: “You can speak!” I casually said: “Who can speak?” She excitedly came forward to give me a pat and said: “You!” Only then did I suddenly come to my senses, and I hugged her and wept for joy, with my tears running unceasingly like water after the floodgates had been opened. I truly felt: There really is a God! It’s God’s salvation for me that enables me to regain my voice. At that moment, I didn’t know what words I could use to express my gratitude toward God, but only continuously said: “Thank God! Thank God!” Having calmed down for a while, we kneeled on the ground, offering up our thanks and praise to God. I said with a heart of gratitude: “Oh God! Your deeds are really wonderful and unforeseen! I have been certified to be disabled for life by the doctor and every way I have tried was in vain; however, Your great power is revealed in me so that I, who was a mute, can speak again. You are truly the all-powerful physician! Oh God, thank You for Your elevation and appreciation; I will never forget Your grace! A thousand things I want to say can all be summed up in a few words: Thanks be to Almighty God!” From then on, I completely bid farewell to the life as a mute, and was overjoyed in my heart; I raised my voice to sing praises for God, completely immersed in joy.
One day, I opened the book of God’s words and saw these words: “It long ago planted the seed of the tumor of atheism within the young heart of man, teaching man fallacies such as ‘learn of science and technology, realize the Four Modernizations, there is no God in the world.’ … It cries out such shocking scandals, ‘There is no God in the world. The wind is due to natural laws; the rain is moisture that condenses and falls in drops to the earth; an earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the earth due to geological changes; drought is due to dryness in the air caused by nucleonic disruption on the sun’s surface. These are natural phenomenon. Which part is an act of God?’ … In the back, it has man hang it upside down on the walls and place it on tables to be enshrined and worshiped. While it cries out, ‘There is no God,’ it regards itself as God, pushing God out of bounds of the earth relentlessly. It stands in God’s place and acts as the king of devils. How utterly ludicrous!” God’s words reminded me that when I was little, Satan had instilled various heretical fallacies into my mind. Under its long-term education and deception, my soul was occupied with atheism, the theory of evolution, and materialism, which made me stubbornly believe that there is no God in the world, and that the fate of mankind is held in our own hands, so that when my cousin preached the gospel to me at first, I not only refused to seek or investigate but teased her. Looking back upon the road I had walked, I repented to the extreme before God and felt very ashamed, hating myself for being foolish and ignorant. Corrupted by the tumor of atheism that Satan advocated, I had been so stubborn that I refused the salvation of God time and again, and ruthlessly rejected the opportunities to be saved. This was all because of Satan’s fallacies, which had harmed me. If not for the revelation in God’s words, I would still be deceived by atheism and believe that there is no God in the world and couldn’t find my root, and I would still be fooled and deceived by Satan unwittingly, and be buried with it in the end. Now, God’s words help me fully see that the heretical fallacies such as “All things are created by nature” are lies that Satan spreads in order to fool and cheat people and to distance people from God. I will no longer believe in Satan’s nonsense.
Since I regained my voice, my family members, relatives and friends saw God’s wondrous deeds in me and have also walked out from the lies of atheism, and over twenty of them have successively accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days. They have experienced God’s work and words, understood some reality of the truth, and walked on the path of seeking the truth to be saved; in order to repay, they have also performed their duties.
Finally, I would like to offer up a grateful prayer to God: “Oh, Almighty God! I give thanks to You and praise You. Today, facing Your grace, I feel ashamed; blinded by Satan’s ideological education of atheism, I didn’t admit Your existence before; when brothers and sisters gave me testimony of Your kingdom gospel, my heart was so hard that I didn’t listen to Your words, refusing Your salvation time and again. When I became dumb due to the illness and lived in suffering, You still aroused sisters to preach gospel to me, allowed me to hear Your voice, and brought me to Your home. Thank You for Your mercy and salvation for me. Though I was deeply corrupted, rebelling against You and opposing You, You didn’t remember my disobedience but cured my illness, so that I could speak again. I have seen Your wonderful deeds, and determined the truth that You are the one true God who created the heavens and earth and all things, and who holds sovereignty over the fate of us humans. Through reading Your words, I have gained discernment about Satan’s heretical fallacies; I will thoroughly forsake Satan, read more of Your words, and pursue the truth to have a true knowledge of You. I will praise You, Almighty God, to eternity!”
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