Click here to read in Chinese/点击读中文见证

A thunderclap, yet Lord gives peace

Last April, I was diagnosed with lung cancer out of the blue after having been healthy all along, and it was inoperable! But thank the Lord, it was really an amazing feeling to me at that time. When the doctor told me that I had the late stage of lung cancer, my husband was in tears sadly, but I was calm. While exchanging pleasantries with the doctor, I seemed to hear a voice saying, “You are saved because of faith.” Then a scene came to mind, which I had read in the Bible, where a woman with a flow of blood touched Jesus’ clothes from His behind, and Jesus felt it and looked back at her and said, “You are saved because of faith.” I thought it was mysterious at the time because I am not a very calm person, and I get depressed or anxious when something happens. Why was I so calm at this moment? Shouldn’t I have been weeping, grieving, and fearing for the end of the days? Why was the first thing that came to mind the words of the Lord, and the first thing that appeared to me was the verses from the Bible? I told my sisters in the Lord about this amazing experience, and they all said it was because my strong faith and I had gained the Lord. But I was asking myself, “Is that really true? Where did my faith come from?” I had been baptized for almost 4 years, but I was busy with my family, children, work, etc., and seldom read the Bible. I went to the church meeting on Sundays, but I was pestered by my children and had to stay in the nursery, and I seldom listened to the word of God. Occasionally, I asked Sister Yinmei about the Bible questions and listened to her explanation; I also let her explain the truths to me because of the trivial things in my life and work. From time to time, I attend our church Bible study on Fridays. Most of my understanding of the Bible comes from these limited activities and conversations. It stands to reason that faith should grow stronger with more understanding and knowledge of the Bible. How can I have such faith when I am just a flunker?

Thirst for the truth and increase of faith and love mutually

I wanted to find out why there was peace in my heart when it seemed painful to ordinary people. While I was in the hospital, I began to study the Bible seriously, listened to the word of God online, read Morning Revival, and felt that I was gradually transforming from a school dropout to a good student, though I was still far from being a really good student. I also feel that my spiritual life is slowly growing and that my faith is getting stronger. I have always believed in the existence of God, but my previous belief was somewhat distorted and contained negative ideas of fatalism. I mistakenly thought that God was high and mighty and could do whatever He wanted, so how could He care about us humble people? Now I have a positive feeling of trusting God, not only in His existence but also in His love for the world and in His love to make the best preparations for His children. I gradually fell in love with prayer, communicated with God in the Spirit, and put everything in His hands with peace of mind. I was often filled with God’s love in my communication and was ashamed that my love for God was not one ten thousandth of what God loved me.

One day, I read “Love and faith are inseparable”, and my spirit was suddenly greatly moved. At that moment, I suddenly realized that the true source of my inner peace was the love of God! Before I knew and loved God, God had loved me. When I had only a rudimentary knowledge of Him, He had planted in my spirit a small seed of faith, as small as a mustard seed, so that faith would gradually grow in my spirit. At that moment, I really felt God’s love in my spiritual life and believed that God would definitely save me, which is why I heard God’s words and recalled the fragments from the Bible. God loves the world so much, and I was so fortunate to have received God’s love and to have experienced it deeply through the blow of my illness. In the process of seeking to know God, the power of love allowed faith to grow, and the growing faith allowed me to learn to love God. The more I loved God, the more I felt God’s love, and this love encouraged the growth of faith along with it. Love and faith are mutually effective and inseparable.

Members of the Lord are better than relatives

I thank the Lord that, although I had doubts about why I was so calm in the face of the doctor’s diagnosis, the peace in my heart did not pass away for a moment. My heart was at peace during the two-month-long hospitalization, and it was also at peace during my slow recovery for more than six months after my discharge from the hospital. The reason my heart was always at peace was because of God’s love and the miracles God showed me. Those of you who know me well know that I still have two school-age children to take care of. The first few weeks of my hospitalization were very bad, and my husband was in the hospital day and night, unable to take care of the children separately. The complication of my lung infection came out of nowhere, and we had absolutely no plan to make arrangements for the children. Thank the Lord! Sister Grace, who is not well herself and works full time, volunteered to take on the task of caring for my little ones with brother Jim. Sister Grace coordinated and did everything herself, arranging for friends and sisters I knew or didn’t know to bring me delicious meals for the sick and looking around for summer camps for the children. When my husband was not able to stay in the hospital, Sister Yinmei came to stay with me and slept in the narrow and hard hospital bed for several nights. Not to mention the many sisters and brothers who prayed for me. What parents could not provide for the children and what husband could not do for the wife, God did all through the hands of our sisters and brothers and far exceeded our expectations. This is the reason my heart has been at peace: because God has kept me. Although he put me in the storm, he did not abandon me in the storm; he placed me on the rock, stabilized me, conducted greatly good works on me, awakened my spirit and grew in me, and gave me all kinds of help that was beyond the expectation of my heart.

God performs miracles to heal the sick

When my friends and family got to know of my diagnosis, they said sadly, “How could this happen?” Yes, I usually rarely get sick, but also pay attention to exercise. How could I have gotten very sick without any warning? I was asking myself the same question. From a temporal perspective, the medical explanation would link the cause of the illness to my genes, habits, and spirituality. I also tried to look at the cause of my illness from a spiritual perspective. As I said earlier, when I had only a cursory knowledge of the Bible, my understanding was skewed, and I would often interpret the Bible’s teachings as I saw fit, never seeing the truth in the Bible as truth. If I thought it made sense, I used it; if I thought it didn’t, I said in my heart that it was absurd and ignored it. At that time, I was really proud and foolish, but I did not know it. It was only after I gradually gained a better understanding of the Bible that I realized my error, offended God, and was disciplined by Him. After realizing this, I had a pretty good attitude, not complaining that God had brought such a great disease upon me, and I prayed often for God’s forgiveness for my transgressions. After praying, my heart was filled with joy, and I felt that since God had come to discipline me, He must love me, and the God who loves me will never abandon me. I took God’s good work in me as my own salvation only.

Until one day, when I was listening to a message, I heard this passage in the Bible. “When Jesus was passing by, he saw a man born blind. The disciples asked Jesus, Rabbi, who sinned against this man that he was born blind, this man or his parents? Jesus answered and said, Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God might be revealed in him.” Yes, the world had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but God loved the world and sent His only Son to save it, to cleanse us from our sins with His blood, and to rebuild our relationship with God. At this point, I awakened to the fact that I had sinned and offended God, but God had forgiven me of my sins. My sickness was not a punishment from God, nor was God’s good work a mere salvation for me, but a demonstration of God’s wonderful works in me, so that the world might know that God is a faithful God, a living God, and that God’s name might be glorified.

Look to the Lord’s grace and serve Him with my whole body

Because of God’s preservation, I went from being bedridden and unable to walk to slowly recovering and being able to work. Because of God’s preservation, my family in the Lord took good care of me even though I had such a big change and was far away from my own family. God’s work in me was not only limited to healing my body but, more importantly, healing my spirit. Doctors can diagnose my physical illnesses, but they cannot check for my spiritual illnesses. Today’s medical science is so advanced that there is medicine for lung cancer to prolong life, but there is no medication that can heal the disease of the spirit. God is a great healer who not only heals my physical illness but also uses His power to save my spiritual life.

I used to be proud, and even after my baptism, I trusted and relied on my own abilities in everything and never thought of looking to the Lord. A few years ago, I had an arthroscopy on my knee, and the doctor said that I could move my left leg after five days. So on the fifth day, I tried to walk from my bedroom to the living room, but as soon as my left leg touched the floor and took some of my body weight, I felt a sharp pain that increased with every step I took. I told myself that I believed I could walk across. I struggled for about 30 minutes to walk the short distance of less than 10 steps, and my clothes were soaked with sweat afterwards. Proud of myself, I refused to take painkillers even before I practiced walking.

This time, I was also in need of practicing walking again after being discharged from the hospital. Due to being bedridden for too long, my muscles were weak, my strength was greatly reduced, and because the cancer had metastasized to my cervical spine, I felt great pressure on my neck when walking upright, and the pain was unbearable. This time I still believed I could overcome the physical pain, but this time the faith did not come from my blood but from looking to the Lord and trusting in His guidance and that God would show His good will in me. Although I endured the physical pain during the exercise, with God’s added faith and strength, there was no struggle in each step, only inner peace.

In my previous life, I had always relied on myself for everything and never wanted to seek God’s help and guidance. If God had not set me on the path of truly seeking Him through this physical illness, I would not have been able to discover the illness in my spiritual life, much less recover my spiritual life by the mighty hand of God. Only a healthy and strong inner spiritual life can help me heal and overcome the pain of my flesh. I thank the Lord that I have not wasted the trials the Lord has given me. The pain in my body reminds me to always look to the Lord, and with every step I take, I am inwardly thankful for the Lord’s manifestation in me. I write this testimony not only to remind myself of the good work God has done in me, to remember to rely on God in all things, and to serve the Lord with all my heart and soul, but also to use my testimony to let the world know that God is not a high and indifferent God but a living God full of love and grace.

Ellen Zheng