By Xiangshang, South Korea
It was the morning of March 2, 2018. I was on the job when my cell phone rang. When I picked it up, there came a weak voice, “Mom, I feel dizzy now. I threw up the breakfast and have a bad pain in my stomach. …” Hanging up the phone, I took a day off and hurried home to take my son to a nearby clinic. After the doctor examined him, he said, “Your son might get a gastric perforation and needs treatment immediately. But the medical facilities here are quite limited. You’d better take him to a large hospital. I have called an ambulance.” Just then, my son let out a cry and fainted. The doctor quickly had a nurse take my son’s blood pressure, but she was unable to get a reading. Then the doctor patted my son on the cheeks. At that time, I was so afraid he was going to die. I cried out his name, but he had no response. In a panic, I remembered God and continuously called to Him within, “Oh God! Please save my son.” After a while, my son’s pulse started beating and his eyes opened a little, which allayed my fear.
Then the ambulance arrived. On the way to the hospital, the doctor kept monitoring his heart, while I was very nervous with my heart pounding, fearing that the heart rate monitor flatlined. Holding the hands of my son, who was lying on the stretcher, I felt an anguish at my heart and dared not imagine how I could live without him. I kept crying to God along the way, daring not to leave Him for a second.
Upon our arriving at the hospital, my son was rushed to the emergency room. I waited nervously outside. After a while, a doctor came up to me and said with a serious expression, “The examination shows that your son got acute myocardial infarction. It’s such a rare disease that less than 1 percent of boys of his age get it in Korea.” Hearing the doctor’s words, I felt a stab of fear; not willing to accept the fact, I asked him, “How could my boy get this?” He answered, “It’s probably because the heart was attacked by cold viruses, which caused a disorder of internal organs. Now your son’s condition is critical. He is in a state of half unconsciousness. His belly is full of fluid and his pulse is very weak. He must have an operation immediately, or he will be in mortal danger. But the cardiologists in our hospital are learning skills overseas. There is no doctor who could do such an operation now. You’d better get him transferred immediately. I’ve called a heart hospital. You can take him there.” The doctor’s words hit me like thunder from a clear sky. My mind went blank. I asked myself, “My son was full of life and energy yesterday, but now he is at death’s door. How could this happen?” There was no more time for me to have much thought, and we hurriedly got in the ambulance.
As soon as we arrived at the heart hospital, my son was wheeled into the ICU. I waited outside anxiously and never took my eyes off the gate of the ICU, fearing that my son would not come to life. The minutes ticked by and still no one came out. Gripped by a terrible fear, I couldn’t stop tears from gushing out and thought, “Is his life in danger? Why did no one come out all the time? Did something bad happen to my son? Could it be that he … No. I can’t lose him. Since I divorced, my son and I have relied upon each other. For the sake of him, I did all I could to make money. In life and study, I provided him with the best possible thing and never let him suffer hardship. However, when he is ill now, my money cannot buy his health. I can do nothing but see him suffering from the torment of illness. What’s the use of having a lot of money?” A chime of an incoming text message interrupted my thinking. It was from a sister who had learned about my son’s illness. She sent me some passages of God’s words: “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.” “Almighty God is an all-powerful physician! … If you have but one breath, God will not let you die.” “I am your strong tower, I am your shelter, I am your backup, and moreover I am your Almighty One, and I am your everything!” God’s words gave me faith and it seemed that God was encouraging me, telling me: “Don’t worry. I am your strong tower and ever-present help.” Then I realized that the reason why I felt afraid was that I received Satan’s thoughts and lacked faith in God. In fact, God is the Creator and all things are in His hands. Whether my son survived or died was also in His hands. As long as I relied on and looked to Him, He would help me get through this difficulty. I should have faith in Him.
Then I received another message from the sister, in which there were the words spoken by Job when he faced Satan’s temptation: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.” After reading the message, I thought: When Job lost his possessions and children and had sores all over his body, he never blamed God or denied God but still praised God’s name. This is because he had true faith in God. Today, the illness comes upon my son, which is Satan’s temptation and is also God’s trial. God uses this environment to test my faith in Him, to see whether I could stand witness for Him. What I should do is obey His sovereignty and arrangements and entrust my son to Him, relying on Him to confront my son’s illness confidently.” Thinking of these, I calmed down gradually.
At that time, the door of the ICU opened and the doctor called me in there. After entering it, I saw my son was still in a coma, with many tubes in his whole body. The monitor showed that his blood pressure was low and pulse was weak. His heart pumped only 20 to 30 times a minute. The doctor said to me grimly, “We carried out another examination and found that your son’s condition is very complicated. He has acute myocardial infarction and atrioventricular block, which are fatal diseases.” Upon hearing the doctor, I became worried. “Please operate on him immediately,” I said. He shook his head and said, “His condition is precarious. His heart has stopped beating many times. His belly is full of fluid and his liver is damaged. So, the best we can do now is use medicine to stabilize his condition and keep him under observation. If he doesn’t get any better after tonight, we will perform an invasive procedure to put a temporary pacemaker in him. Only when his heart beats normally can we take the following treatment.” The doctor’s words filled me with worry. I thought, “The more diseases my son gets, the more danger he is in. His heart problem is a life-threatening thing. What should I do?” Seeing my anxious look, the doctor said, “You’d better go home and have some rest; we’ll take care of your son and keep you posted.”
It was late when I returned home; lying on the bed, I couldn’t fall asleep anyhow. Then I got up and prayed to God, “Oh God! I know my son’s destiny is dictated and arranged by You. But thinking of his condition, I feel so worried. Please make his heart beat normally.” After prayer, I turned on my cellphone and played a hymn of experience, “God! My destiny is in Your hands. My all are predetermined by You. Even if You give me some trials of suffering, it’s Your love for me. All You do is to cleanse and save me. My duty is to obey, obey all God’s arrangements. My duty is to obey, obey all God’s arrangements, and obey God’s leading. God! I have understood Your will. Whether You chastise me or bestow grace upon me, I’m willing to accept it and never complain. I’ve resolved whatever outcome I may have, I’ll obey God’s work unto death without resentment. God! I have understood Your will. Whether You chastise me or bestow grace upon me, I’m willing to accept it and never complain.” Hearing this hymn, I was moved by every word of it and began to join along in singing. When I got to the part that goes, “My duty is to obey, obey all God’s arrangements, and obey God’s leading,” I thought of my prayer. “Wasn’t I making demands on God? Am I having faith in God? When God asked Abraham to offer his only son, though he felt miserable, he still offered Isaac upon the altar willingly because of his loyalty and obedience to God. In contrast, my faith in God is too little. Since I accepted God’s work in the last days, I have spent most of my time making money. I seldom attended meetings or read God’s words, let alone fulfilled my duty as a creature. But now when my son encountered illness, I made demands on God, asking Him to save my son. I really don’t have any obedience to God. When his condition became worse, though I prayed to God, I had no faith in Him but lived in fear and worry. I’m really a person who is of little faith.” At these thoughts, I was willing to imitate Abraham to obey God and satisfy God. Then I knelt down and prayed to God, “Oh God! Thank You for Your guidance and enlightenment. Though I’m not worthy of comparison with Abraham, in the matter of my son’s illness, I’m willing to stand testimony for You and never blame You. But my status is too small and my faith in You is too little. May You protect my heart, so that I could never complain against You regardless of whether my son could survive.” Then I listened to some other hymns, and drifted into sleep.
In the next morning, the doctor called me, “You’d better come to the hospital immediately. Your son’s condition continues unchanged. He raved all night in coma. We’re afraid that his life will be in danger. We decided to put a temporary pacemaker in him to help his heart pump.” Hearing that, I felt my heart give a great throb and I became nervous and frightened. Then I prayed to God, “Oh God! I feel frightened at the doctor’s words. May You protect my heart and give me faith. Whatever the result would be, may You help me face it calmly.” Finishing prayer, I calmed down much. When I arrived at the hospital, my son had been wheeled into the operating room. I sat on a bench outside waiting quietly.
About two hours later, my son was wheeled out. He was hooked up to an I.V drip with many tubes inserting into his whole body. Seeing this, I was so distressed. The doctor said, “We have put a temporary pacemaker in him. He has to stay in the ICU for observation for several days. If his heart couldn’t beat by its own, we would put a permanent pacemaker, which is expensive and may affect his future life and study. Now whether he can recover depends on his luck.” Hearing these words, I didn’t feel so nervous and frightened as before. But at the thought that my son would live with the pacemaker throughout his life, I couldn’t help feeling worried. At that time, two sisters from the church got to the hospital. Then I poured out all my troubles to them. A sister read a passage of God’s words on her cellphone: “When Moses struck the rock, and the water bestowed by Jehovah sprang forth, it was because of his faith. When David played the lyre in praise of Me, Jehovah—with his heart filled with joy—it was because of his faith. When Job lost his livestock that filled the mountains and untold masses of wealth, and his body became covered in sore boils, it was because of his faith. When he could hear the voice of Me, Jehovah, and see the glory of Me, Jehovah, it was because of his faith. That Peter could follow Jesus Christ, it was by his faith. That he could be nailed to the cross for My sake and give glorious testimony, it was also by his faith. When John saw the glorious image of the Son of man, it was by his faith. When he saw the vision of the last days, it was all the more by his faith.” Then the sister fellowshiped, “The saints of ages could see God’s wonderful deeds and praise His mighty power because they had faith in God. Now when we encounter this thing, we should experience it in faith to see the wondrous deeds of God. Don’t worry. Let’s pray more to God.” After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I felt enlightened and made a resolution in my heart: No matter how my son’s future will be, I would entrust it to God and let God rule over and arrange it.
After the sisters left, I waited at the door of the ICU for the visiting time, during which I felt calm and was prepared for the worst: Whether my son’s heart could beat again or not, I will face it calmly. After a while, a nurse informed me that my son had awakened. The doctor said excitedly to me, “Your son is so lucky. It’s so amazing that his heart could beat again in such a short time. Now he doesn’t need a temporary pacemaker or any major operation. Many people who suffered the same illness have a mental impairment caused by brain anoxia because of being in shock for a long time. But your son recovered so well and didn’t suffer sequelae. It’s really a rare thing.” Hearing these words, I was very excited. I knew that this was God’s grace and mercy as well as His almightiness and sovereignty. My heart was full of gratitude and praise for Him. Later, my son recovered from his illness gradually. Two weeks later, he was discharged from the hospital, and now he has completely recovered and goes to school normally.
Recalling the scenes when my son got the illness, I was filled with emotion. When my son was at the moment of life and death, I couldn’t save his life no matter how much money I had. Through this experience, I knew that money isn’t everything and that only God is my true reliance. Now I don’t want to live for money as I did in the past and I don’t want to miss any chance of experiencing God’s wonderful deeds. So, besides my work, I set aside more time to read God’s words and participate in church life. From the experiences the sisters and brothers shared about how they experienced God’s wonderful deeds, I have a deeper understanding of God’s almightiness and sovereignty. To repay God’s love, I’m active in preaching the gospel. I want to share my experience with more people and contribute my effort to bearing witness for God’s deeds.