Reflections After Becoming Sick During the Pandemic
By Ding Li, USA
Soon after accepting’s gospel of the last days, I learned from that when God is finishing His work of the last days, great disasters will come upon us to reward the good and punish the evil. Those who did evil and opposed God will be destroyed in the disasters, while those who accepted the judgment of God’s words and were cleansed will be protected and kept by God through the disasters and brought into His kingdom to enjoy eternal blessings. At that time I thought that getting into the kingdom and gaining eternal life would be a great blessing, and I had to treasure this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to do my duty well and work hard for God so that when God’s work ends, I’ll be qualified to remain. So, I quit my job and started spreading the gospel. Seeing that disasters keep growing, in such a critical time, I wanted to prepare more good deeds and share God’s gospel of the last days with more people to contribute to the spread of the kingdom gospel. So, I threw all my energy into sharing the gospel, busy from early till late every day. More and more were accepting God’s work of the last days in my district, establishing one church after another. Seeing these results left me very pleased with myself. I felt like my contributions to the gospel work couldn’t go unnoticed. And with the breakout of the pandemic that was ravaging the world, and the number of infections growing, I felt totally calm. I thought since I worked hard for God in my duty, no matter how widespread it was, it wouldn’t impact me. However, an unexpected infection with the pandemic virus shattered my notions and imaginings. I had to reflect on the motives and adulterations in my faith over the years.
One day in May 2021, I suddenly started coughing, then developed a fever and felt weak all over. At first I thought I’d gotten a cold and didn’t really care, but the symptoms persisted for a week without going away. A sister noticed my symptoms were really similar to the coronavirus and was concerned I’d gotten it, so suggested I go to the hospital for a check-up. I didn’t pay it much mind. I thought that I worked long days, and suffered and paid a price for my duty, plus I got pretty good results in it. Also, I hadn’t done evil and disrupted the church’s work, so how could I get the virus? But the examination results were totally contrary to what I expected. I tested positive. I walked home in a daze, totally unable to make sense of how I could have gotten the virus. I’d been doing a duty for years, so why wasn’t God protecting me? What would the brothers and sisters think of me if they found out? Would they think I’d done something to offend God and was being punished? But I didn’t think I’d done evil and disrupted the church’s work. Millions of people worldwide had already died since the pandemic broke out the previous year. Was I going to die, now that I was infected too? With God’s work about to wrap up, if I died then, wouldn’t my years of hard work all come to nothing? Then I’d have no part in any of the blessings in the future kingdom. I got more upset the more I thought about it, and didn’t know how to get through this situation. I prayed, calling out to God, “God, You’ve allowed me to get this virus—it must be Your good will. You cannot go wrong, so I must have rebelled against and opposed You in some way. But I don’t know how I offended Your disposition. Please enlighten me to know how I went wrong. I’m ready to repent.” I thought of a passage of God’s words after that. “How should the onset of sickness be experienced? You should come before God to pray and seek to grasp His will, and examine just what it is that you did wrong, and what corruptions there are within you that have yet to be resolved. You cannot resolve your corrupt dispositions without pain. People must be tempered by pain; only then will they cease to be dissolute and live before God at all times. When faced with suffering, people will always pray. There will be no thought of food, clothing, or pleasure; in their hearts, they will always pray, and examine whether they have done anything wrong during this time. Most of the time, when you are beset by serious illness or some unusual sickness, and it causes you great pain, these things do not happen by accident; whether you are sick or healthy, God’s will is behind it all” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Believing in God, Gaining the Truth Is Most Crucial). God’s words’ timely enlightenment showed me that my infection wasn’t random, that it was entirely God’s rule and arrangements. I had to seek God’s will and reflect on myself. I couldn’t complain and blame God no matter what. Over the next several days when I was quarantined at home, I opened up to the brothers and sisters about any corruption I revealed, learned about myself, and found a path for practice and entry in God’s words. Also no matter how I felt physically, I kept sharing the gospel online. After a couple days, I felt a lot better, I was hardly coughing anymore, my temperature was normal, and my energy and strength had recovered well. I was really happy, and thought God had seen my obedience and repentance, so He’d looked after me. At that thought, my uneasiness relaxed a bit. But the next day I suddenly felt tightness and discomfort in my chest and couldn’t stop coughing. Then I got a high fever and went weak all over. I felt a wave of panic. Ever since I was diagnosed, I hadn’t blamed God and had kept on doing my duty. How could I have gotten even sicker? There wasn’t any medication to treat it, so if God didn’t save me, I was sure to die. The thought of death was really scary for me—I couldn’t resign myself to it. I’d followed God for over 10 years, I’d left my home and job behind, and worked long days in my duty. I’d suffered plenty and paid quite a price. God wasn’t remembering that at all? If I died, I’d never see the beauty of the kingdom or enjoy its blessings. I got more depressed the more I thought about it. I was still doing my duty, but I didn’t have any internal drive, and I got really annoyed when I had more to do. I’d just hurry up to get it done so I could get some rest. Before I used to work on my duty from morning till night, and I thought God would protect me, but now that God wasn’t doing that, I had to think of my own wellbeing and take care of my health. Getting too stressed and tired wouldn’t be good for my recovery. In gatherings, the other brothers and sisters had so much stamina and could fellowship endlessly. But as for me, I started coughing whenever I spoke, and I couldn’t catch my breath when I read God’s words. I felt really upset and couldn’t help but try to reason with God: “God, I’m usually really diligent in my duty, and I’m serious and responsible. Some of the others don’t match up to me in their duties. Everyone else is healthy and performing their duty, so why am I the one with the virus? If this is a trial from You, but there are others in the church who pursue the truth more than I do, why aren’t they facing this? If this is Your punishment, I haven’t done any evil or disrupted the church’s work, or offended Your disposition. God, I still want to do my duty and I like the one I have. I haven’t done enough of it—I want to keep living and doing a duty. Oh God, I’m doing an important duty now and I can still do service for You. Please protect me so that I can go on living and serving You.” When I thought about it that way, a passage of God’s words very clearly came to my mind: “Upon what basis do you—a created being—make demands of God? People are not fit to make demands of God. There is nothing more unreasonable than making demands of God. He will do what He ought to do, and His disposition is righteous. Righteousness is by no means fair or reasonable; 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. … Everything that God does is righteous. Though it might be unfathomable to humans, they should not make judgments at will. If something He does appears to humans as unreasonable, or if they have any notions about it, and that leads them to say that He is not righteous, then they are being most unreasonable” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). Pondering God’s words, I felt like He was face-to-face with me, rebuking me, and every word went straight to the heart. Wasn’t I blaming God for being unfair and unrighteous? Wasn’t I bargaining, making excuses, and setting conditions right in front of God? I’d accomplished some things my years of suffering and expending myself in my duty, so I felt God should protect me from falling into disaster, and that would be His righteousness. But in fact that was entirely my notions and imaginings, and not at all in line with the truth. God is the Lord of creation and I am a created being. Everything I enjoy comes from God, and my life was also given by God. How God arranges my fate and how long He lets me live is all up to Him. As a created being, I should submit and accept that. What right did I have to reason with God and make conditions? But I’d had faith all those years and enjoyed so much of the watering and sustenance of the truth from God, and still had no gratitude. Now that I’d gotten the virus and faced the threat of death, I was reasoning with God and resisting, blaming Him for unrighteousness. Where was my conscience and reason? As I thought about it I felt more guilty and ashamed, and kneeled before God in prayer. “God, I’m so unreasonable! I was created by You; I’m a created being. I should submit to all Your orchestrations and arrangements. That is right and natural. You’ve allowed me to get this virus with a possible danger of death. I didn’t want to die, I didn’t want to submit, so I argued with You, blamed You for not acting properly, and asked You to let me go on living. I had absolutely no submission or reason. I was so rebellious! God, I want to reflect on myself and repent to You.”
Over the next few days, I felt really bad whenever I thought about my complaints and misunderstandings of God. Especially thinking of how, when my condition got more serious, I resisted God, argued with Him, got negative and slacked off, muddled through my duty and dragged my feet, I felt even guiltier and more uneasy. When I wasn’t sick and there was no crisis, I was proclaiming God’s righteousness, and that created beings had to submit to the Lord of creation’s arrangements. Why did I display so much rebelliousness and resistance when I got sick? I read something in God’s words during my devotionals. “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). “In the minds of the antichrists, as long as people are able to perform a duty, pay a price, and suffer a little hardship, they ought to be blessed by God. And so, after doing church work for a time, they start taking stock of what jobs they have done for the church, what contributions they have made to God’s house, and what they have done for the brothers and sisters. They keep all of this firmly in their minds, trying to guess what graces and blessings it will earn them from God, that they might determine whether there is any value to doing such things. Why do they preoccupy themselves with such things? What is it that they are pursuing in the depths of their hearts? What is the aim of their faith in God? Right from the off, their belief in God was because they were chasing after blessings. And no matter how many years they have listened to sermons, no matter how many words of God they have eaten and drunk, no matter how many doctrines they have understood, they will never let go of their desire and motivation to be blessed. If you ask them to be a dutiful created being and accept God’s rule and arrangements, they will say, ‘This has nothing to do with me, it is not what I should be striving for. What I should strive for is: When I have fought the fight, when I have made the requisite effort and suffered the requisite hardship, once I have done everything according to what God asks, God should reward me and allow me to remain, I will be crowned in the kingdom, and will hold a higher position than the people of God—at the very least I shall rule over two or three cities.’ This is what the antichrists care about most. No matter how the house of God fellowships the truth, their motivations and desires cannot be dispelled; they are the same sort of person as Paul. Is there not a kind of evil and vicious disposition harbored within such a naked transaction? Some religious people say, ‘Our generation follows God on the path of the cross. This is because God chose us, and so we are entitled to be blessed. We have suffered and paid a price, and we have drunk wine from the bitter cup. Some of us have even been arrested and sentenced to jail time. After suffering all this hardship, hearing so many sermons, and learning so much about the Bible, if one day we are not blessed, we will go to the third heaven and reason with God.’ Have you ever heard anything like this? They say they will go to the third heaven to reason with God—how bold is that? Doesn’t just hearing it make you fearful? Who dares to try and reason with God? … Are such people not archangels? Are they not Satan? You can reason with anyone you want, but not God. You should not do that, you should not think such thoughts. Blessings come from God, He can give them to whoever He wants. Even if you meet the requirements for receiving blessings, if God doesn’t give them to you, you should not try to reason with Him. The entire universe and all humankind are in God’s hands, God has the final say, you are an insignificantly small human being—and yet you still dare reason with God. How can you be so presumptuous? You’d better look at who you are in the mirror. If you dare clamor against and contend with the Creator, are you not seeking your own death? ‘If one day we are not blessed, we will go to the third heaven and reason with God.’ With these words, you are openly clamoring against God. What kind of place is the third heaven? It is God’s dwelling. To dare to go to the third heaven to try to reason with God is akin to storming the palace. Is that not the case? Some people say, ‘What relevance does this have to antichrists?’ It is of the utmost relevance, because those who would wish to go to the third heaven to reason with God are antichrists; only antichrists would utter such words, such words are the voice in the depths of the antichrists’ hearts, and this is the wickedness of the antichrists” (The Word, Vol. 3. Exposing Antichrists. Item Seven: They Are Evil, Insidious, and Deceitful (Part Two)). I was shamed in the face of God’s revelation and I saw that my years of suffering and paying a price in my duty weren’t at all to consider God’s will and do a created being’s duty to repay God’s love. It was in exchange for God’s blessings, to get into the kingdom and enjoy eternal blessings. I treated doing a duty as a means to escape disaster and be blessed by God, as a counter chip and capital for a transaction with God. That’s why I was inwardly calculating how much I’d done, how many people I’d converted, how I’d suffered, what prices I’d paid. The more I counted, the more I felt like I’d contributed meritorious service, and that I was qualified to gain God’s protection through disaster and be kept. I never thought I’d suddenly get infected with the virus. I blamed and misunderstood God, didn’t seek how to submit to God within my illness. Instead, I thought about what I could do to win God’s approval so God would protect me and I’d get better quickly. So when I saw my condition get worse instead, I got discouraged with God. I blamed Him for not protecting me, for being unfair to me. The facts showed that my faith and my duty were just to be blessed, and I wasn’t genuine toward God. I was just using Him to achieve my own goal of gaining blessings, making deals and cheating God. I was so selfish and cunning! Paul in the Age of Grace went all over Europe to spread the gospel of the Lord, suffering a lot and paying a big price, but everything he gave was just to get into the kingdom of heaven and be rewarded. He said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7–8). That really meant that if God didn’t give him a crown, then God wasn’t righteous. People in the religious world are deeply influenced by these words from Paul. Those who work and suffer in the name of the Lord all do it to go to heaven and be blessed. They argue with God if they’re not blessed. I was just like them, wasn’t I? Then I felt afraid. I never imagined I’d reveal that kind of disposition. If that situation hadn’t exposed me, I still wouldn’t have seen I had such a serious antichrist disposition. I thought of some of God’s words: “I have held man to a strict standard throughout. If your loyalty comes with intentions and conditions, then I would rather be without your so-called loyalty, for I abhor those who deceive Me through their intentions and extort Me with conditions. I wish only for man to be absolutely loyal to Me, and to do all things for the sake of—and in order to prove—one word: faith. I despise your use of blandishments to try to make Me rejoice, for I have always treated you with sincerity, and so wish for you to also act with true faith toward Me” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Are You a True Believer in God?). I could feel from God’s words that His disposition is righteous, holy, and tolerates no offense. God works to save mankind, and what He wants is man’s sincerity and devotion. If people’s efforts contain motives, adulterations, bargaining, or cheating, God not only won’t approve of them, but they nauseate and disgust God, and He condemns them. Just like Paul, who in the end not only wasn’t blessed by God, but was sent to be punished in hell. The way my duty contained the adulteration of a transaction must also disgust and nauseate God. Me getting sick entirely revealed God’s righteous and holy disposition. At that, I fully accepted and submitted to the illness from the heart.
I read another passage of God’s words later on: “As a created being, when you come before the Creator, you ought to perform your duty. This is the proper thing to do, and the responsibility on your shoulders. On the basis that created beings perform their duties, the Creator has done greater work among mankind. He has performed a further step of work on mankind. And what work is that? He provides mankind with the truth, allowing them to gain the truth from Him as they perform their duties and thereby to cast off their corrupt dispositions and be cleansed. Thus, they come to satisfy God’s will and embark on the right path in life, and, ultimately, they are able to fear God and shun evil, attain complete salvation, and be subject no longer to Satan’s afflictions. This is the effect that God would have mankind achieve in the end by performing their duty. Therefore, during the process of performing your duty, God does not merely make you see one thing clearly and understand a little truth, nor does He merely enable you to enjoy the grace and blessings you receive by fulfilling your duty as a created being. Rather, He allows you to be cleansed and saved, and, ultimately, come to live in the light of the face of the Creator” (The Word, Vol. 3. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine: They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part Seven)). God’s words really moved me. Doing a duty is a responsibility and obligation that a created being can’t shirk, and it’s particularly a path to gain the truth and achieve dispositional change. In our duties, God sets up all sorts of situations to expose people’s corrupt dispositions, then through the judgment and revelations of His words, and His discipline, He allows us to understand our corruption and have a change, to no longer be corrupted and harmed by Satan. This is God’s good will. Over the years of doing my duty, I’d shown lots of corruption through the environments God set up. I’d gained some understanding of my corrupt dispositions, then started to hate myself, repent and change, and have a bit of a human likeness. I’d gained so much through my duty, but I still wasn’t grateful. Instead, I used my duty as a bargaining chip in exchange for blessings, a pass from the disasters, and I treated God like I could cheat and use Him. I was despicable! God has expressed so many truths, but I didn’t treasure them, and just thought about how to be blessed, escape disaster, get into the kingdom and be rewarded. I was really evil. I prayed and swore to God that I’d stop doing my duty in order to be blessed, but I would pursue the truth in my duty to repay God’s love. I read another passage of God’s words that gave me a path of practice. “If, in your faith in God and pursuit of the truth, you are able to say, ‘Whatever sickness or disagreeable event God allows to befall me—no matter what God does—I must obey, and stay in my place as a created being. Before all else, I must put this aspect of the truth—obedience—into practice, I must implement it, and live out the reality of obedience to God. Moreover, I must not cast aside what God has commissioned to me and the duty I should perform. Even on my last breath, I must abide by my duty.’ Is this not bearing testimony? When you have this kind of resolve and this kind of state, are you still able to complain about God? No, you are not. At such a time, you will think to yourself, ‘God gives me this breath, He has provided for and protected me all these years, He has taken much pain from me, given me much grace, and many truths. I have understood truths and mysteries that people have not understood for generations. I have gained so much from God, so I must repay God! Before, my stature was too small, I understood nothing, and everything I did was hurtful to God. I may not have another chance to repay God in the future. No matter how much time I have left to live, I must offer the little strength I have and do what I can for God, so that God can see that all these years of providing for me have not been in vain, but have borne fruit. Let me bring comfort to God, and no longer hurt or disappoint Him.’ How about thinking this way? Do not think about how to save yourself or escape, thinking, ‘When will this illness be cured? When it is, I shall do my best to perform my duty and be devoted. How can I be devoted when I’m ill? How can I perform the duty of a created being?’ As long as you have a single breath, are you not capable of performing your duty? As long as you have a single breath, are you capable of not bringing shame upon God? As long as you have a single breath, as long as your mind is lucid, are you capable of not complaining about God? (Yes.) It is easy to say ‘Yes’ now, but it will not be so easy when this really happens to you. And so, you must pursue the truth, often work hard on the truth, and spend more time thinking, ‘How can I satisfy God’s will? How can I repay God’s love? How can I perform the duty of a created being?’ What is a created being? Is the responsibility of a created being merely to listen to the words of God? No—it is to live out the words of God. God has given you so much truth, so much of the way, and so much life, so that you may live out these things, and bear testimony to Him. This is what ought to be done by a created being, and it is your responsibility and obligation” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only in the Frequent Reading of God’s Words and Rumination on the Truth Is There a Way Ahead). God’s words are so moving for me. God is the Lord of creation and I am a created being, so my fate is in His hands. He allowed that illness to come upon me, so whether I lived or died, I should submit to God’s rule and arrangements. That’s the basic reason a created being should possess. And a duty is something a created being should perform. At any time, no matter what happens, as long as I have a single breath, I should do my duty. I’d enjoyed so much of God’s love over the years, but since I didn’t pursue the truth, I always rebelled against Him and hurt Him—I owed God so much. Now as long as I’m still alive, I should do my duty to repay God’s love. In the days that followed, I thought every day about how to do my duty well to satisfy God. The sister I was partnered with was new to the duty and didn’t know lots of principles of sharing the gospel, so a number of problems cropped up. I was online helping and guiding her. I also often quietly read God’s words and sang hymns praising God. I kept coughing and had a fever, but I was no longer held back by sickness, and I stopped thinking about whether I would die. I knew my fate was in God’s hands, and however long I lived was determined by God’s rule. I would try to do my duty well and repay God’s love until whatever day He lets me live to, and I’d submit and never again complain up until whatever day He has me die.
One evening I just couldn’t stop coughing, my throat was full of phlegm, I also had a high fever and my body felt sore all over. I lay in bed, so uncomfortable I was tossing and turning, unable to sleep. I wondered: “Am I about to die? Once I do get to sleep, will I ever wake up again?” The thought of death was really upsetting for me, and thinking that in the future I might not have the chance to read God’s words anymore left me crying nonstop. I got up, turned on my computer, and read this passage of God’s words: “Everyone’s lifespan has been predetermined by God. An illness may appear to be terminal from a medical standpoint, but from God’s point of view, if your life must still go on and your time has yet to come, then you couldn’t die even if you wanted to. If God has given you a commission, and your mission is not over, then you will not even die from an illness that is supposed to be fatal—God will not take you yet. Even if you do not pray, take care of yourself, take your condition seriously, or seek treatment—as if you had delayed your treatment—you cannot die. This is particularly true for those who have received a commission from God: When their mission has yet to be completed, no matter what illness befalls them, they must not die straight away; they must live until the final moment of the mission’s completion. Do you have faith in this? … In truth, whether you try to bargain for more time, or do not take your illness seriously at all, from God’s point of view, if you can fulfill your duty and are still of use, if God has decided that you are to be used, then you will not die. You will not be able to die even if you want to. But if you make trouble, and commit all manner of wicked deeds, and offend God’s disposition, you will die swiftly; your life will be cut short. Everyone’s lifespan was determined by God before the creation of the world. If they can obey the arrangements and orchestrations of God, then regardless of whether they suffer illness or not, or whether they are in good or poor health, they will live the number of years predetermined by God. Do you have faith in this?” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). Reading God’s words, I could feel His love and mercy, and I was really heart-warmed. I understood God’s will a little more. That I could be born into the last days, believe in God and do a duty was determined by God and it’s also a mission God gave me. If my mission were completed, I’d have to die even if I didn’t get sick. Otherwise, I wouldn’t die even if I got an illness that should kill me. I didn’t know what was waiting for me, but I knew I should put my life in God’s hands and follow His arrangements. Thinking that I could die at any time, I really wanted to speak from the heart to God again. I kneeled down and prayed to God, “Oh God! Thank You for choosing me to come to Your house and letting me hear Your voice. Gaining the watering and sustenance of so much of Your words has let me learn so many truths and know the principles for being a person. I feel my life hasn’t been in vain. It’s just that I’m so deeply corrupted, and I’m always rebelling against and hurting You. I haven’t pursued the truth well or genuinely done my duty to repay Your love. I’ve also never given You a shred of comfort. I owe You so much. I don’t know if I’ll have more chances to repay Your love. If I do live, I want to really pursue the truth and do my duty to satisfy You….”
That night, I fell asleep before I knew it. As soon as I woke up the next day, I felt totally relaxed, as if I’d never even gotten sick. My throat felt fine, without any excess phlegm. I rushed to take my temperature and found it was back to normal. I was really moved, and knew this was God’s mercy and protection for me. Although when I got the coronavirus I showed a lot of rebelliousness and resistance, God didn’t treat me in accordance with my transgressions, but still watched over me. I couldn’t hold my tears back, and I offered up my thanks and praise to God.
Two months passed and my temperature stayed normal the whole time. The virus didn’t recur, and before I knew it I’d completely recovered. Lots of people have died in this pandemic, and I survived entirely thanks to God’s wondrous care and salvation for me. Getting infected with this virus laid bare the motives and adulterations in my faith and duty, allowing me to see my vile motive to do a deal with God for blessings, and I gained some understanding and disgust of myself. Also, I gained some practical experience and understanding of God’s holy, righteous disposition, and had submission to God’s rule and arrangements. I experienced some refinement and pain through this situation, but I gained so much, things I couldn’t gain in a comfortable situation. Whenever I think back on what I reaped from this experience, I’m filled with gratitude and praise for God. I give thanks to God for His love and salvation!