99. Reflections of a Terminally Ill Patient

By Titie, China

In June of 2013, my period lasted more than ten days, and I passed some big blood clots. At the time, I only felt a little pain in my lower right abdomen from time to time, so I didn’t think much of it. But during my period the following month, I started passing more and more clots and the bleeding got heavier and heavier. I was a bit scared, so I went to the hospital to get it checked out. The doctor sent me home to wait for the results. But, the very next day I had continuous bleeding. The best medicine to halt bleeding only temporarily stopped it and the bleeding started back up as soon as it wore off. I broke out in a cold, full-body sweat from losing too much blood. I was all alone at home at that time. I thought to myself: “What if I lose so much blood that I die?” I rushed to call my sister and then collapsed onto my bed, unable to move. My sister quickly called an ambulance and had me rushed to the hospital. I was frighteningly pale because of all the blood loss. My lips had turned purple and my face was as pallid as a corpse’s. I had full-body chills and was in desperate need of a blood transfusion, but the hospital’s plasma reserves were empty and no more would arrive until 1 a.m. I was terrified when I heard the hospital was out of plasma, thinking, “There are still eight hours to go until 1 a.m. How can I make it that long? I’ve nearly bled out everything, so in eight hours won’t I already be dead? I’m still so young. If I died, I’ll never see the azure blue of the sky again, or the beautiful vistas of the kingdom.” I was really scared, and continually called out to God: “O God! Please save me!” Just then, I recalled a sentence of God’s words: “So long as you still have one breath, God will not let you die(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 6). God’s words gave me a lot of faith. As long as I still had one breath, I would not die without God’s consent. I silently prayed to God: “God, I give thanks to You. When I’m helpless and afraid, only Your words can comfort me. I still have one breath, and as long as You do not let me die, I will keep on living. I believe in what You say.” After prayer, I felt much calmer and less afraid. My husband got to the hospital at around 6 p.m., but when he heard what’d happened, he didn’t offer me a single word of comfort. He just looked at me, spoke briefly with those around me, and then walked right out. My husband had been persecuting me ever since I started believing in God. Now that I was sick, he wanted even less to do with me. I felt so desolate and helpless. At the time, I couldn’t move or speak, but my mind was clear. When I saw my husband walk out, I couldn’t stop the tears streaming down my face. I thought my husband would be there for me in sickness. I never thought he’d be so ruthless. I knew then that I could no longer count on my husband and could only rely on God. I just silently prayed to God, not daring to stray from Him for a single moment. I also pondered some hymns and words of God I had read. The hymn that left the deepest impact on me was called “Peter Held to True Faith and Love”: “God! My life is worth nothing, and my body is worth nothing. I have only one faith and only one love. I have faith in You in my mind and love for You in my heart; these two things only have I to give to You, and nothing else(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How Peter Came to Know Jesus). I sang this hymn to myself in my head, and thought about how I hadn’t given myself to God in my faith and didn’t have true faith in Him. I always wanted to rely on my family, but in my most vulnerable moment, the person closest to me ignored me. It was God who comforted me through His words and only He can save me. I prayed to God in my heart: “God, only You can save and comfort me, and give me faith and strength. I am ready to give my heart and life to You.” I felt truly peaceful as I pondered the hymn of God’s words, and I stopped thinking about my illness and fearing death. Slowly, some warmth returned to my body, and before I knew it, it was already 1 a.m. After the blood transfusion, I felt good as new the very next morning. The physician on duty was shocked when he saw me sitting up in bed. He said: “You were in a bad way yesterday; I’m amazed you made it through the night!” When I heard the doctor say that, I gave thanks to God over and over. If not for the guidance of God’s words, I never would’ve survived. It was all due to God’s wondrous protection. After that, the physician sent me to the city hospital to run further tests. I thought to myself: God protected me through such a dangerous situation yesterday, so I’m sure they won’t find any serious problems.

The next day, I went to a large hospital with some family for further testing, only to find out that I was diagnosed with late-stage cervical cancer. The tumor was already as large as a duck egg and surgery was out of the question. I would never make it through the surgery. When I heard him say “late-stage cervical cancer,” I was dumbstruck and completely floored. I kept thinking to myself: “Cancer? How did I get cancer? Some unbelievers only live for a couple of months after getting cancer. Will I make it through this?” I felt anguished and distressed and didn’t want to talk to anyone. Lying in my hospital bed, I kept reflecting on my past ten years or so of faith in God: Ever since I accepted God’s last days’ work, I had been persecuted by my family and unbelievers even mocked and slandered me. Over these years, no matter what duty the church assigned me to, I would always submit. No matter how difficult or grueling, I would get through it by relying on God. Even when I was arrested, convicted and sent to jail, I never once betrayed God, and after I was released, I continued to spread the gospel and fulfill my duty. I’d already suffered so much and gone through such rough times, so why did I now have a terminal illness? Why hadn’t God protected me? Was my faith in God coming to an end? I just didn’t understand and couldn’t accept dying like that. As tears of grievance streamed down my face, I made my request to God: “O God, I don’t want to die. If I die now, I will never see Your day of glory and the great red dragon’s demise, and I will never see the beautiful vistas of the kingdom. I shudder to think what ending lies in store for me. O God, please come to my aid and heal my illness!” Just then, I thought back to the massive blood loss I’d sustained and how despite no one thinking I would survive, God had preserved my life, and I had witnessed His wondrous deed. With that thought, I wanted to get treatment.

Seeing how serious my condition was, the doctor recommended that I receive both radiation and chemotherapy. The chemotherapy made me nauseous and muddle-headed. It was extremely uncomfortable and my face would get really hot. During radiation, it felt like I was being pricked by needles all over my body. The pain of the two therapies together was unbearable, and I began to complain and misunderstand God again: It made sense that unbelievers who didn’t have God’s protection would get cancer, but I had faith in God, so how could I come down with this terminal illness? God hadn’t protected me! My ward in the hospital was filled with all kinds of cancer patients and every few days a deceased patient would be carted out of the room. I was terrified, and worried that if my illness worsened any further, someday I would be the one carted out. I didn’t want to be stuck with all the other cancer patients all day. It was so agonizing to listen to their painful groaning day after day. So, as soon as I finished my treatment, I went to a sister’s home to read God’s words. During my gatherings with her, I would actively share my understanding of God’s words, and would discuss with her how to resolve the notions of potential gospel recipients. I thought to myself, “Once I’m discharged from the hospital, I’ll continue spreading the gospel and doing my duty. As long as I attend more gatherings, eat and drink more of God’s words and have faith in God, He will surely protect me.” During my treatment, a relative of mine came to visit, and privately told my husband and children that her husband had died of cancer and that my cancer was incurable. She said that rather than spend money on treatment in the hospital, it’d be better to just take me traveling and not lose both me and their money. My husband took her advice and said he was taking me on a trip. He said we could go wherever I wanted. But my only thought was, “So they want to give up on my treatment? Won’t I die if that happens? Is this really the end for me?” I descended once again into anguish. A few days later, my husband refused to pay my medical bills. My sister said: “Your doctor said you only have two to three months to live, so stop asking your husband to pay your bills. No treatment can cure you now. Just rely on God—only He can save you!” Hearing this, I lay paralyzed with shock on my bed, not daring to think that what she said could be true. I only had two to three months to live? I felt absolutely devastated and tears came streaming down my face. The doctor had pronounced me incurable, and my husband and children had given up on my treatment. What was there left to do but wait to die? I had believed in God for so many years and suffered so much, all with the hope that God would save me from death and I could enter the kingdom. I never imagined things would end this way. I felt incredibly hopeless and that I was beyond saving. In the following days, I just went through the motions in prayer and was less enthusiastic about reading God’s words. I felt like I might die at any time and there was no use in praying anymore. I was feeling very pessimistic and negative.

One day when I was returning to my hospital ward, as soon as I opened the door, I saw a cancer patient lying dead in their bed with a white cloth draped over their body. I was so scared that I ran into a different ward. That patient had only been admitted two days ago and was already dead. I feared that one day soon I too would have to face death, so I rushed to pray to God: “O God, I’m terribly frightened, negative and weak. I don’t want to die like an unbeliever. Please protect me, give me faith and strength, and let me understand Your will.” After prayer, I recalled a hymn of God’s words titled “The Pain of Trials Is a Blessing From God”: “Do not be discouraged, do not be weak, and I will make things clear for you. The road to the kingdom is not so smooth; nothing is that simple! You want blessings to come to you easily, do you not? Today, everyone will have bitter trials to face. Without such trials, the loving heart you have for Me will not grow stronger and you will not have true love for Me. Even if these trials consist merely of minor circumstances, everyone must pass through them; it’s just that the difficulty of the trials will vary from one person to another. Trials are a blessing from Me, and how many of you come often before Me and beg on your knees for My blessings? You always think that a few auspicious words count as My blessing, yet you do not recognize that bitterness is one of My blessings(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 41). God’s words were comforting and deeply moving for me. His words showed me that it is not a smooth and easy road to enter the kingdom, one has to endure some bitter trials. My illness was yet another trial and a blessing from God. I couldn’t lose faith in God, but I had to seek God’s will in this illness and not complain about Him, and I had to stand firm in my witness to God. After understanding God’s will I became less negative, and had the faith to rely on God to get through this. Seeing that God hadn’t let me die yet, I read more of His words in my spare time and gathered with that sister.

At her home, I would often read this piece of God’s words, “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment.” One particular passage gave me some new knowledge of my views about faith in God. Almighty God says: “You hope that your faith in God will not entail any challenges or tribulations, or the slightest hardship. You always pursue those things that are worthless, and you attach no value to life, instead putting your own extravagant thoughts before the truth. You are so worthless! You live like a pig—what difference is there between you, and pigs and dogs? Are those who do not pursue the truth, and instead love the flesh, not all beasts? Are those dead ones without spirits not all walking corpses? How many words have been spoken among you? Has only a little work been done among you? How much have I provided among you? So why have you not gained it? What do you have to complain of? Is it not the case that you have gained nothing because you are too in love with the flesh? And is it not because your thoughts are too extravagant? Is it not because you are too stupid? If you are incapable of gaining these blessings, can you blame God for not saving you? What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God, for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plow the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest. A coward such as you, who always pursues the flesh—do you have a heart, do you have a spirit? Are you not a beast? I give you the true way without asking for anything in return, yet you do not pursue. Are you one of those who believe in God? I bestow real human life upon you, yet you do not pursue. Are you no different from a pig or a dog? Pigs do not pursue the life of man, they do not pursue being cleansed, and they do not understand what life is. Each day, after eating their fill, they simply sleep. I have given you the true way, yet you have not gained it: You are empty-handed. Are you willing to continue in this life, the life of a pig? What is the significance of such people being alive? Your life is contemptible and ignoble, you live amid filth and licentiousness, and you do not pursue any goals; is your life not the most ignoble of all? Do you have the gall to look upon God? If you continue to experience in this way, will you not acquire nothing? The true way has been given to you, but whether or not you can ultimately gain it depends on your own personal pursuit(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God). I also read this passage in God’s words: “Apart from the benefits that are so closely associated with them, could there be any other reasons why people who never understand God would give so much for Him? In this, we discover a previously unidentified problem: Man’s relationship with God is merely one of naked self-interest. It is a relationship between a receiver and a giver of blessings. To put it plainly, it is akin to the relationship between employee and employer. The employee works only to receive the rewards bestowed by the employer. There is no affection in such a relationship, only transaction. There is no loving or being loved, only charity and mercy. There is no understanding, only suppressed indignation and deception. There is no intimacy, only an uncrossable chasm(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 3: Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management). God’s words of judgment were like a sharp sword piercing my heart. It was as if God was judging me face-to-face. I started to reflect on myself: After I became a Christian, I always sought to attain grace. I thought that as long as I put faith in the Lord, He would keep me safe and keep me from peril. After accepting God’s last days’ work, despite knowing that God did not heal the sick, drive out demons, and perform miracles like in the Age of Grace, but instead had people pursue the truth, and go through judgment, chastisement, trials and refinements to purify people’s corrupt dispositions, I still clung to this extravagant desire to attain blessings. I thought that as long as I pursued my faith diligently, I would be immune to all disasters and diseases, and even if I did become very ill, God would protect me and not let me die. I enthusiastically expended myself in order to attain blessings and grace. No matter how my husband persecuted and obstructed me, or how my relatives maligned and abandoned me, I was not constrained by them. Even when I was arrested and jailed, I still didn’t betray God. Once I was released, I continued to fulfill my duty. I thought that by pursuing that way I would be saved and would be kept. This time especially, when I thought I was on my last breath and God pulled me back from the brink of death when I called to Him with everything I had, I felt even more convinced that God would help me no matter what hardship I encountered. When I was diagnosed with cancer and my family gave up on my treatment, I saw God as my one last hope, and thought that if I continued to attend gatherings and read God’s words, if I prayed more and relied on God, and fulfilled my duty as well as I could, God would see I had faith and had submitted, and might protect me and allow me to live. Through the revelation of God’s words, I saw that though I could abandon some things, expend myself and do my duty so fervently, it wasn’t the truth I was pursuing, and it wasn’t to cast off my corrupt disposition and attain purity, but rather, I was hoping to trade my expenditures and prices paid for God’s grace and blessings, hoping God would protect me from death in the great disaster and I would arrive at a wonderful destination. When God protected me, I ceaselessly thanked and praised Him, but when I developed this terminal illness, I felt wronged, silently protested against God and even blamed Him for being unjust. In my faith, I just wanted to extract benefits from God and didn’t see how important it is to pursue the truth. When I was faced with an illness that threatened my ending and destination, I lost my faith in God. I lost interest in God’s words and prayer, and I even misunderstood and blamed God. I saw that I didn’t have the slightest sincerity toward God or true love for Him, but was just using Him, cheating Him and “doing business” with Him. How could I consider myself a believer? If I kept pursuing in this way, even if I did survive, I would be rebelling against and resisting God. What value was there in living like that? Realizing this, I felt incredibly ashamed and embarrassed. I felt so indebted to God.

Later on, I read a passage of God’s words that gave me an even deeper understanding. God says: “Nothing is more difficult to handle than people constantly making demands of God. As soon as God’s actions do not correspond with your thinking, or haven’t been carried out in accordance with your thinking, then you are likely to resist—which is sufficient to show that, in nature, you are resistant to God. Recognition of this problem can only be achieved by frequently reflecting on yourself and reaching an understanding of the truth, and it can only be fully resolved by pursuing the truth. When people do not understand the truth, they make many demands of God, whereas when they truly understand the truth, they make none; they feel only that they have not satisfied God enough, that they do not obey God enough. That people always make demands of God reflects their corrupt nature. If you cannot know yourself and truly repent concerning this matter, then you will face hidden dangers and peril on your path of belief in God. You are able to overcome ordinary things, but when important matters such as your fate, prospects, and destination are involved, you will perhaps be unable to overcome them. At that time, if you still lack the truth, you may well fall back upon your old ways, and will thus become one of those who are destroyed. Many people have always followed and believed in this way; they’ve behaved well during the time that they’ve followed God, but this does not determine what will happen in the future. This is because you are never aware of man’s Achilles’ heel, or the things that are within man’s nature that can come to oppose God, and before they lead you to disaster, you remain ignorant of these things. Because the issue of your nature opposing God goes unresolved, it sets you up for disaster, and it is possible that when your journey ends and God’s work finishes, you will do that which most opposes God and say that which is blasphemous against Him, and thus you will be condemned and cast out(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. People Make Too Many Demands of God). After reading God’s words, I realized that ever since getting sick, I’d been afraid of dying, and vehemently desired for God to keep me from death. Wasn’t that making demands of God? I always thought that since I believed in God, He should protect me at all times, and shouldn’t treat me like He would treat an unbeliever. After I was diagnosed with late-stage cancer, and I saw that God hadn’t given me extra protection, I just couldn’t submit. I used my sacrifices, expenditures, and suffering in jail as capital to argue my point with God and make stipulations, demanding that God cure my illness. When God didn’t act according to my demands, I argued with Him and fought it. I realized that I didn’t have the slightest reverence for God, despite believing all these years. I was so lacking in humanity and reason. I thought of how Job revered God and shunned evil all of his life. When God tested him and he lost all his property, his children and his body broke out in boils, he never once complained about God or demanded that God heal him. Job was incredibly humane and reasonable. As for me, I became full of complaints and misunderstandings when faced with death, and unreasonably demanded that God protect my life. When my life was first in danger from losing so much blood, it was God’s protection and care that saved me—He gave me His grace, allowing me to see His marvelous deed. What’s more, in my years of belief, I had enjoyed so much of the watering and sustenance of God’s words and learned many truths and mysteries. God had given me more than I ever asked for or imagined, but I still wasn’t satisfied. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I made unreasonable demands of God, asking Him to allow me to live on. I realized that I had an incredibly greedy nature. God is the Lord of creation, so what right did someone as insignificant, rebellious, resistant and full of corruption as me have to make demands of God? I saw that I lacked even the slightest self-awareness, that I was unreasonably arrogant and didn’t have the slightest reverence for God. When God’s actions didn’t fit my notions, I threw a tantrum, argued, and protested. What I revealed was a vicious disposition, and if I didn’t transform my corrupt disposition, I would offend God’s disposition and be subject to His righteous punishment. I was frightened and didn’t dare make any more unreasonable demands of God, so I prayed to Him, saying: “O God, I thank You for Your judgment and chastisement, which allowed me to see how unreasonable I was. O God! I am willing to repent, and whether or not my condition improves, I will submit to Your orchestrations.” Realizing these things, I felt a little more at peace.

Lying in my hospital bed, I wondered why I could make such unreasonable demands after I got sick. After reflecting and seeking, I realized it was mainly because I didn’t understand God’s righteous disposition. Later on, I read this passage of God’s words: “Righteousness is by no means fairness or reasonableness; it is not egalitarianism, or a matter of allocating to you what you deserve in accordance with how much work you have completed, or paying you for whatever work you have done, or giving you your due according to what effort you expend. This is not righteousness, it is merely being fair and reasonable. Very few people are capable of knowing God’s righteous disposition. Suppose God had eliminated Job after Job bore witness for Him: Would this be righteous? In fact, it would be. Why is this called righteousness? How do people view righteousness? If something is in line with people’s notions, it is then very easy for them to say that God is righteous; however, if they do not see that thing as being in line with their notions—if it is something that they are incapable of comprehending—then it would be difficult for them to say that God is righteous. If God had destroyed Job back then, people would not have said He was righteous. Actually, though, whether people have been corrupted or not, and whether they have been profoundly corrupted or not, does God have to justify Himself when He destroys them? Should He have to explain to people upon what basis it is that He does so? Must God tell people the rules He has ordained? There is no need. In God’s eyes, someone who is corrupt, and who is liable to oppose God, is without any worth; however God handles them will be appropriate, and all are the arrangements of God. If you were displeasing to God’s eyes, and if He said that He had no use for you after your testimony and therefore destroyed you, would this, too, be His righteousness? It would. You might not be able to recognize this right now from the facts, but you must understand in doctrine. What would you say—is God’s destruction of Satan an expression of His righteousness? (Yes.) What if He allowed Satan to remain? You dare not say, yes? God’s essence is righteousness. Though it is not easy to comprehend what He does, all that He does is righteous; it is simply that people do not understand(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). Through God’s words, I saw how I used to think of God’s righteousness in terms of my own notions and imaginings. I thought that I was a believer in God, had paid heavy prices, expended myself, suffered through prison without betraying God, and stood firm in my witness to Him, so He should protect me from a terminal illness. As for the unbelievers that God did not protect, it was normal for them to get cancer. I believed this was God’s righteousness. When God didn’t act in accordance with my notions and I contracted a terminal illness, I felt that all of my expenditures had not been repaid, that God had done me wrong, and so I was full of complaints and misunderstandings of God. I saw that my understanding of God’s righteousness was no different than the unbelievers’ transactional understanding. I thought I should be compensated for all my work, and it was unfair if I didn’t get what I was owed. After reading God’s words, I learned that God’s very essence is righteous. Everything God does is invested with His will and wisdom. I couldn’t evaluate my situation based on superficial appearances and notions. That would lead to mistakes, and I would be likely to judge and resist God. I thought that becoming sick was a disaster, but God’s will was behind that sickness. If I hadn’t been exposed through that, I wouldn’t have realized how lacking in humanity and reason I was. As soon as God’s actions didn’t fit my notions, I began to argue and protest. I wasn’t submissive and reverent toward God. The experience of this illness showed me my true stature and allowed me to let go of my unreasonable demands on God. Thanks be to God! He has worked wonders and is truly wise! In the past, I didn’t know God, and I judged His righteous disposition based on my own views. How blind and ignorant I was of God! God is the Lord of all creation, but I am just a miniscule, created being—He is right to treat me as He sees fit. What’s more, I saw my faith as a transaction and made unreasonable demands of God. Even if I were to die, this too would be God’s righteousness—I shouldn’t have complained about God. No matter what God chose, whether I was to live or die, it would all be suitable. I had to submit to God’s arrangements—this was the reason I should possess. After gaining some knowledge of God’s righteous disposition, I felt a lot clearer, and stopped complaining about and misunderstanding God. No matter how God treated me, I didn’t complain and was able to submit.

Later, I learned how to treat my own mortality by reading God’s words, and I no longer feared death. God’s words say: “If a person has been in the world for several decades yet has not understood where human life comes from nor recognized in whose palm human fate rests, then it is no wonder that they will not be able to face death calmly. A person who has gained, in their decades of experience of human life, knowledge of the Creator’s sovereignty is a person with a correct appreciation for the meaning and value of life. Such a person has a deep knowledge of life’s purpose, with real experience and understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty, and beyond that, is able to submit to the Creator’s authority. Such a person understands the meaning of God’s creation of mankind, understands that man should worship the Creator, that everything man possesses comes from the Creator and will return to Him some day not far in the future. This kind of person understands that the Creator arranges man’s birth and has sovereignty over man’s death, and that both life and death are predestined by the Creator’s authority. So, when one truly grasps these things, one will naturally be able to face death calmly, to calmly lay aside all one’s worldly possessions, accept and submit happily to all that follows, and welcome the last life-juncture, arranged, as it is, by the Creator, rather than blindly dreading it and struggling against it. If one views life as an opportunity to experience the Creator’s sovereignty and come to know His authority, if one sees one’s life as a rare chance to perform one’s duty as a created human being and to complete one’s mission, then one will surely have the correct outlook on life, will surely live a life blessed and guided by the Creator, will surely walk in the light of the Creator, will surely know the Creator’s sovereignty, will surely come under His dominion, and surely become a witness to His miraculous deeds, a witness to His authority. Needless to say, such a person will surely be loved and accepted by the Creator, and only such a person can hold a calm attitude toward death and welcome life’s final juncture with joy. One person who obviously held this kind of attitude toward death is Job. Job was in a position to accept the final juncture of life happily, and having brought his life’s journey to a smooth conclusion and completed his mission in life, he returned to be at the Creator’s side(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III). “Job was able to face death without any suffering because he knew that, in dying, he would return to the Creator’s side. It was his pursuits and gains in life that allowed him to face death calmly, allowed him to face the prospect of the Creator taking back his life calmly, and moreover, allowed him to stand unsullied and free from care before the Creator(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III). Through eating and drinking God’s words I learned that my life comes from God. God dictates and arranges my life, death, blessings and misfortunes. I had no reason to make demands of God. Even if God were to have me die, there would be His will behind this. I had to face this in the right way, and that would be the reason a created being should have. I thought of Job who had revered God and shunned evil his whole life. Whatever situation he encountered, he could recognize God’s rule and arrangements. He didn’t complain, didn’t misunderstand God, nor did he make judgments or argue. He was able to submit and calmly face his own death. I had to emulate Job’s reverence for God, shunning evil and submitting to God’s rule and arrangements. God gave me my life, so whenever He chose to take it back, I had to submit. As for what outcome awaited me in the afterlife, God would decide based upon everything I’d done in my life. God hadn’t let me die yet, so I had to use my remaining time to repent, walk the path of reverence for God and shunning of evil, pursue the truth and dispositional transformation, and fulfill my duty to the best of my abilities. Having realized this, I felt much more lucid and less fearful of death. I also felt closer to God.

During that time, as I gathered with my fellow sisters, eating and drinking God’s words, my state steadily improved. I still had four chemotherapy sessions to go, but the side effects were too strong, so I could only do radiation therapy. But I didn’t find the radiation therapy nearly as painful as before. I knew that God had the final say as to whether I’d survive, so I didn’t worry about my illness, and spent my free time pondering God’s words and listening to hymns. After a little while, I began to feel better and better, like I was back to my old self. The other patients all said I looked so healthy that they thought I was a nurse. After forty days as an inpatient, I was discharged. During my next exam, the doctor said my cervical tumor had disappeared. When I heard the doctor say that the tumor had vanished, I couldn’t believe it and thought I had heard wrong. I asked the doctor again and he confirmed that it was gone. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe that a tumor the size of a duck egg could just disappear. I thought of God’s words which say: “Man’s heart and spirit are held in the hand of God, everything of his life is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, whether living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear in accordance with God’s thoughts. Such is the way in which God presides over all things(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God Is the Source of Man’s Life). Indeed, all beings and things are in God’s hands. All things dead or alive are subject to God’s sovereignty and management. They are all orchestrated according to God’s will. Everyone said I wouldn’t make it, even the doctor said the tumor was too big to be operated on, so I never dreamed that it could completely disappear. This was all God’s marvelous deed! I was deeply moved, and felt in my heart that I was indebted to God. I was so rebellious and corrupt and made unreasonable demands of God, I wasn’t worthy of being saved. But God did not treat me based on my rebelliousness and corruption. I am so thankful to Him for His salvation. After returning home, I continued spreading the gospel and fulfilling my duty, and my health gradually returned.

Later on, I came across another passage of God’s words: “A person’s outcome or destination is not determined by their own will, nor by their own inclinations or imaginings. The Creator, God, has the final say. How should people cooperate in such matters? People have but one path that they can choose: Only if they seek the truth, understand the truth, obey God’s words, achieve submission to God, and attain salvation will they ultimately have a good end and a good destiny. It is not hard to imagine people’s prospects and destiny if they do the opposite. And so, in this matter, do not focus on what God has promised man, what God says about mankind’s outcome, what God has prepared for mankind. These have nothing to do with you, they are God’s business, they can’t be taken, begged for, or bartered for by you. As a creature of God, what should you do? You should perform your duty, doing what you ought to with all your heart, mind, and strength. The rest—things to do with prospects and destiny, and humankind’s future destination—these are not something you can decide, they are in the hands of God; all of this is ruled over and arranged by the Creator, and has nothing to do with any creature of God. Some people say, ‘Why tell us this if it has nothing to do with us?’ Though it has nothing to do with you, it does with God. Only God knows these things, only God can speak of them, and only God is entitled to promise these things to humankind. And if God knows them, should God not speak of them? It is a mistake to still pursue your prospects and destiny when you do not know what they are. God did not ask you to pursue this, He was just letting you know; if you mistakenly believe that God was letting you make it the goal of your pursuit, then you are utterly lacking in reason, and do not possess the mind of normal humanity. It is enough to be aware of all that God promises. You must acknowledge one fact: No matter what kind of promise it is, be it good or ordinary, be it pleasing or uninteresting, all is ruled over, arranged, and determined by the Creator. Only following and pursuing the correct direction and path indicated by the Creator is the duty and obligation of a creature of God. As for what you ultimately gain, and the share of which of God’s promises you receive, this is all based on your pursuit, on the path that you take, and on the Creator’s sovereignty(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Nine)). Through God’s words I learned that my final outcome and destination would not be determined through prayer and would not be gotten through bartering with God. Rather, God would determine my outcome based upon my pursuit, my actions and the path I have walked. But I hadn’t pursued the truth and did not understand God’s disposition. When I saw God bestowing people with a glorious destination, I thought that as long as I pursued diligently, fulfilled my duty, was able to suffer and pay a price, and continued to fulfill my duty no matter what persecution and hardship I encountered, I would be saved and would remain. These years, I had been ceaselessly seeking and striving for my outcome and destination based on my own beliefs and desires. I was walking the path of Paul. If I continued like that, not only would I not be granted a good destination, but I would be exposed and cast out because my corrupt disposition hadn’t been purified. I have finally recovered from cancer. God did not let me die and has given me a chance to repent. This is God’s salvation! I thought to myself, “I must pursue the truth and dispositional transformation in my duty going forward. I can’t keep bartering with God for blessings. I must be a person with humanity and reason who submits to God. Whether the outcome God arranges for me is good or bad is for God to decide. What I must pursue is the truth and dispositional transformation.”

Nine years have passed, and my condition has never returned. Through this experience, I’ve found that even though this illness threatened my life, God never wanted to rob me of my life or my future. God was using this illness to purify and transform me, reveal the impurities in my faith and transform some of the absurd notions I held. It also allowed me to gain true knowledge and experience of God’s almightiness and sovereignty, have the right attitude toward life and death and submit. To me, this illness was God’s way of bestowing me with grace and granting me salvation! Just as God says: “If one really has faith in God in their heart, they first of all must know that a person’s lifespan is in God’s hands. The timing of one’s birth and death is predestined by God. When God gives people illness, there is a reason behind it—it has meaning. It feels like sickness to them, but, in actual fact, what they have been given is grace, not illness. People must first of all recognize and be sure about this fact, and take it seriously(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three).

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38. A Different Kind of Salvation

I truly feel God’s great love for me; it’s just that I was so numb and I made God wait so long. I thank God for meticulously arranging various people and events to lead and guide me step by step back into God’s family, and I thank God for saving me in a different way! All glory be to Almighty God!

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