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What Should Christians Do in the Event of Child’s Sudden Illness?
By Manyi, Canada
I was fast asleep one night, when I heard the cry of my four-year-old son, while I was in a daze from my waking. I gave him a few gentle taps and then he calmed down. But before too long, he cried again, and the crying grew louder and louder. Woken up by this, I opened my sleepy eyes and saw him crying and rolling around on the bed while clutching his stomach. Seeing his pale face, I was stunned and hastily asked him, “Oh, honey! What’s wrong with you?” “Mum, my tummy hurts. It really, really hurts,” he wept out. Seeing his pained expression, I felt very anxious and scared. As it was just 3 a.m., I couldn’t take him to the hospital. My husband was sound asleep in the next room, but I didn’t want to bother him, for he had already been desperately tired with his work as well as the decoration of our house. So what should I do?
Just when I was confused about what to do, I suddenly realized: I am a believer in God and I can’t get confused in this circumstance. Worrying will not help. I’d better come before God to pray. Then I hurriedly knelt on the bed and prayed to God, “Almighty God! My stature is so small that I get confused when encountering this matter, but I’m willing to believe You. May You guide me.” After the prayer, I thought of a passage of God’s words: “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. … The word of God is sweet indeed! God’s word is potent medicine! Put to shame the devil and Satan! If we grasp God’s word we will have support and His word will quickly save our hearts! It dispels all things and sets all in peace” (“The Sixth Utterance” of Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning). “By this he meant that, no matter what God does, whether good things happen or bad things happen, it is God who does the good things and Satan wouldn’t dare do the bad things if God did not allow it. God dominates all and you mustn’t be afraid; you are in God’s hands, there is nothing to fear. Even if you fall into Satan’s hands, Satan wouldn’t dare to touch you without God’s permission. … and if you don’t know what God’s good will is, then just seek and wait and then you obey” (“What Is Practicing the Truth?”). God’s words made me realize: The things that happen each day, whether good or bad, are ordained and arranged by God. Whether or not my son will get better is not determined by man, nor can Satan control his life, for God is almighty and only He has the authority to dominate all. Then I gained some and didn’t feel as worried. I thought: Even though I don’t understand God’s will, I should quiet my heart before God and rely on Him rather than thinking wild thoughts. So I prayed to God to quiet myself before Him, and also placed my son’s stomachache in the hands of God.
Fearing that my son’s crying would disturb my neighbors, I picked him up and said, “Honey, please be good! How about going to the toilet for a poo?” “I just have a stomachache. I don’t need to poo!” he wailed. “Sh! Good boy,” I comforted him. “Shall we calm down a little? Your pain won’t stop if you cry. We’re believers in God, aren’t we? Only Almighty God is the all-powerful physician. So you should quiet yourself and obey God.” My son seemed to understand my words and calmed down a little, sobbing weakly, “My stomach is aching badly now.” Then I hastily took him to the washroom. No sooner had I lifted him up onto the toilet than he began to have watery stools and vomit, and then his nose bled, his face turning paper-white. Seeing the blood, he continued crying loudly with fear, lashing out wildly and kicking roughly. Then I massaged his belly with one hand, and pressed his nose to stanch the blood with the other. Recalling that he liked singing hymns and praying with me, I told him, “Sweetie, let’s.” Hearing my words, he quieted himself and prayed with me. Though he could hardly say anything because of pain, I could hear him weakly answer Amen now and then. Little by little, he calmed down. Seeing his distressed look, I felt so bad, thinking: If only I could suffer the pain for him. Why does this not happen to me? However, the more I complained this way, the more worried I felt, and I was eager to wake my husband up to take my son to the hospital.
Just then, a passage of God’s word occurred to me: “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. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God. Satan devises every way possible to send us its thoughts, we should always pray that the light of God will shine on us, and we must always rely on God to purify us from Satan’s poison. We shall always be practicing in our spirits to come close to God. We shall let God have dominion over our whole being” (“The Sixth Utterance” of Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning). God’s words came into my heart like a warm current, giving me more confidence and strength to face the situation I met. I understood that since I believed in God, I should have true faith in Him. My worries and fear were ideas sent by Satan. Seeing that I had some faith in God, Satan didn’t resign itself to failure and thus devised every way possible to send me its thoughts to attack my faith in God and make me suspect God’s sovereignty. Then I came to realize: I can’t fall into Satan’s scheme, nor can I complain against God. I should entrust my son’s illness to God and submit to God’s sovereignty. At this crucial moment, I even more need to calm down and pray to God. If my son sees me panic, he will be more frightened.
God’s words enlightened and guided me in time and gave me faith. I patted my son and comforted him, “Look, sweetie, we should be brave. Don’t be afraid. You’ll be better when all wastes are excreted from your body. You need not fear, for we are believers in God, and God will take care of us and protect us. Now would you calm down and let me pray for you?” Seeing he was pale and a bit scared, I instantly prayed, “The only true almighty God, we’re willing to quiet ourselves before You. I know it’s because of Your guidance that my son behaves so bravely in this situation. We thank and praise You! We wish to rely on You. May You lead us so that we won’t complain against You or do anything according to our own thoughts.” When I finished my prayer, my son got better, and his nose stopped bleeding. Then he violently vomited and threw up a clot of blood. Though he still had bad diarrhea, he was not as frightened as before, and he even comforted me in turn, “Mum, God is so nice. He heard our prayer and cured me of my stomachache. Now I don’t ache that much, nor do I feel scared.” At his words, I felt very warm and moved in my heart. God is truly real and vivid. He is not on the remote horizon, but is right by our side, taking care of and protecting us. I deeply felt that God does know man’s thoughts, and that the end of man is the beginning of God. Everything is under God’s sovereignty and control. So no matter what we encounter, only when we seek, wait, obey, and rely on God, will we have a way forward.
Although my son was still very weak, he cried no more nor had a stomachache, and gradually fell asleep. Being completely exhausted from attending to him and worrying about his illness, I also dropped asleep unconsciously. When getting up in the morning, I saw my husband didn’t go to work and knew that he was going to take the day off. Then I asked him, “Did you hear our son’s crying from his stomachache last night?” “No, I didn’t,” answered he. Hearing this, I kept giving thanks and praise to God within. Then I recalled: Before I believed in God, every time when my son got ill, I would get into a panic and call out to my husband for help because of my quick temper. But since I believed in God, I have learned to commit everything to God, and do what I should cooperate with. Every time when I practiced this way, I would have a way to follow. That’s why I didn’t get flustered in this situation but experienced God’s guidance and almightiness in the process of relying on Him.
Then I thought of the hymn of God’s word: “In living never leaving God’s words, that is to be saturated with God’s words. In your every word and every act, God’s words shall guide you forward. If you truly get close to God to this degree, that you can be in constant communication with God, all that you do shall not end in confusion, or dead end. God must be there with you, and you will be able to act by God’s word. God must be there with you, and you will be able to act by God’s word.
With every person, thing, or event you encounter, God’s word will appear to you, guiding you to act by God’s will and do all things in God’s word, God shall lead you forward in each of your act, you shall never go astray, and shall be able to live in a new light, with more and newer enlightenments. You cannot use human thoughts to wonder what to do. Obey the guidance of God’s word, have a clear heart, keep quiet before God, ponder more. Do not fret for solutions to what you don’t understand, bring it before God often, offering a sincere heart.
Believe that God is your Almighty! You must have a strong desire for God, hungrily seeking, refusing Satan’s excuses, intentions, and tricks. Do not despair. Do not be weak. Seek with all your heart; wait with all your heart” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Thinking back to that night: I got into panic at first, and then realized that I should rely on and look to God. With the enlightenment and guidance of God’s word, I got a way of practice and had the faith to face such an environment. It was God that led me and my son through the particularly tense moment, and also allowed me to have some discernment about Satan’s plot. Satan just uses the moment when we get weak in sickness to disturb our relationship with God, and makes us complain against God, which is Satan’s sinister intention. After this experience, I understood: God is my only reliance. If I pray to God sincerely and have true fellowship with Him in everything, God will surely enlighten and guide me, and allow me to see through Satan’s scheme and be secure and peaceful within. So I made a resolution inwardly: No matter what I do in the future, I will learn to rely on God, accept the guidance of God’s word, and commit my everything to God and let Him make the arrangements.
At a few minutes past 8 a.m., my husband and I took our son to see the family doctor. After the examination, the doctor said, “Your son just has gastroenteritis. Don’t worry. There is no need for him to take any medicine. He should avoid milk and greasy food and have a bland diet for two or three days. Then he will be fine.” Thank and praise Almighty God. May all the glory be to the Creator—the only true almighty God!
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