By Yang Li
The Bible says, “He that believes on Him shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6). Through my own personal experience I’ve realized how very true these words are.
It was November 2017, early winter—the best time to scavenge for medicinal herbs and make a bit of money. One day after breakfast I went into the hills with my tools to look for cangzhu, a kind of herb used in Chinese medicine. I walked along keeping an eye out for the plant, and got to the hilltop around midday. There I saw several cangzhu seedlings just a few feet away and hurried over to harvest them. But just then as I was getting ready to dig them out, all I remember was hearing a buzzing sound coming toward me and then I had a really strange sensation. Turning my head, I saw a swarm of wasps surrounding me. I tensed up and thought, “These wasps are really poisonous. I’ve heard some people have even died from their stings. With so many of them after me, I don’t stand a chance!” Terrified, I panicked and ran back down the hill, all the while praying to God, “Oh God! I’m really afraid of being stung by those wasps. Please guide and help me.” I was breaking off branches, swatting at the wasps as I ran along, but there were a lot of fallen leaves at that time of year, leaving the branches totally bare. I just couldn’t swat the wasps off—they kept on coming after me, stinging me. Aside from my head, covered with a hat, and the other parts of my body covered with clothing, my neck and shoulders had wasps all over them. I was incredibly anxious and never stopped hitting them, but they were also climbing on my hands and stinging me a lot there, too. I was so afraid, thinking, “Why won’t these wasps stop chasing me? Am I going to get out of this alive?” As these thoughts ran through my mind I sprinted down the hill, still closely pursued by the wasps. About halfway down I had finally lost most of them, but I had been stung countless times on my neck and the back of my head. It hurt, it stung, and it felt incredibly hot—I was in agony. Those wasps are really poisonous and their toxins got into my system rapidly. My head felt heavy, my feet felt light, and bit by bit, my entire body lost strength. I lost control of my bodily fluids from both ends, I could hardly breathe, and felt like I was about to suffocate. My vision was also becoming blurry and I was losing control of my limbs; I was slowly losing feeling all over my body. After a few minutes I couldn’t see a thing. At that moment I felt an indescribable sort of fear, helplessness, and pain. I thought, “There’s absolutely no one in these hills. No one will know if I die up here. What can I do?” At the very moment I was about to lose consciousness, I urgently called out to God, “Oh God, save me! Save me!” I then collapsed on the ground and lost all awareness.
After some time, I don’t know how long, I slowly came to and to my surprise, saw a dim light. I also had a bit of feeling in my arms and legs. I realized without a doubt that this was God’s great power, and that it was God watching over me and protecting me. I prayed to Him, “Oh God! I beg You to give me faith and strength so that I can make it out of these hills.” I felt a surge of strength rise up in me after my prayer, so I tried pushing forward for about a meter. When I tried to go beyond that, I suddenly felt dizzy again and was entirely lacking strength. That feeling of the wasp venom working in me was incredibly painful, and I struggled to take each and every breath. There was no question of uttering a single word. I tried to say something in the hope that someone might hear me and come to my aid, but I couldn’t get any sound out. Feelings of terror and helplessness welled up in me again, and all I was able to do was call out to God, “God! I’m really suffering now and I feel like I’m about to stop breathing. I’m so scared of dying on this hill. God, may You enlighten and guide me….” These words from God occurred to me just then: “God created this world, He created this mankind, and moreover He was the architect of ancient Greek culture and human civilization. Only God consoles this mankind, and only God cares for this mankind night and day” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind”). The enlightenment and guidance from God’s words came at the perfect time, giving me something for my heart to rely on. It’s so true—all things in heaven and on earth were created by God and are ruled by Him. He is the source of all life, so how could our life and death not be in His hands? God allowed those wasps to sting me that day, and when faced with that life-and-death situation, all I could do was rely on God, look to Him, seek His guidance, and submit to His rule and arrangements. After that occurred to me I slowly calmed down and no longer felt quite so afraid.
After a little time passed I felt that I was able to move my hands and feet, so I slowly started crawling forward while silently praying to God over and over. After I’d gone about 30 meters, the venom got to me again; I was vomiting nonstop and my heart felt like it was about to burst. I lay down on the ground, unable to move. My head was lolling—I was at death’s door. At that point I couldn’t help but feel some internal weakness. I thought, “So it seems I really am going to die on this desolate hill today.” Then I suddenly realized that my weakness and negativity was entire Satan’s disruption. Just as God’s words say: “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” (“Chapter 6” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). Satan was giving me those thoughts so that I’d be mired in negativity and lose faith in God, then just passively wait for death. I couldn’t fall for Satan’s tricks. I had to pray to God and lean on Him; I couldn’t distance myself from Him, but allow Him to rule within my heart. I once again called out to God, “God! It feels like a thousand arrows are piercing my heart and I feel like I can’t hold on much longer. Oh God, I beg You to guide me, and no matter if I live or die, I am willing to submit to Your arrangements.” After praying these words from God occurred to me: “If you have but one breath, God will not let you die” (“Chapter 6” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). God’s words are so full of authority and power, they really bolstered me with faith and strength, giving me hope to continue on living. It is God who rules over man’s life and death, and He has already determined the time of our birth and of our death. Some people are really strong and robust, but for whatever reason something unexpected happens and they’re yanked from the land of the living. Some are weak and feeble but live really long lives. There’s no doubt about it! I thought again of how Job was tempted by Satan in the Bible. He got terrible sores from head to toe and he was in extreme physical pain, but without God’s permission, Satan didn’t dare endanger Job’s life. I then realized with even more clarity that people’s lives are in God’s hands, and no person, event, or thing can surpass God’s authority. I thought of how after I was stung, even though I had lost consciousness because of the venom, I had still miraculously come to again. As the venom went deep into my system I was vomiting nonstop and I was completely lacking strength, but I had been able to slowly drag myself forward. Wasn’t that all God’s great power? When I felt negative and weak and didn’t have faith in God, He enlightened me and guided me with His words, giving me faith and strength as well as the hope to go on living. Didn’t I personally experience all of those things? I must have faith in God; I should rely on and look to Him more, and submit to His arrangements. So, I made a prayer of submission to God: “Oh God! My body is weak and the pain is unbearable, but I know that life and death are up to You. I am leaving my life in Your hands. I believe that without Your permission, no matter how badly I may be stung by wasps I will not die, and if that if I do die, that is Your righteousness and Your wonderful will is within it. I only wish to submit to Your arrangements. May You lead me, guide me so that I may do Your will.” After this prayer, I slowly became able to raise my head and I was able to scoot myself forward. I tried to crawl ahead and surprisingly, was slowly able to stand up. How wondrous! I thanked God over and over, “God, this truly is Your wondrous doing!” I staggered forward ten-odd meters, and when I could go no farther I stopped and silently prayed to God. I then felt I had a bit of strength and once again got up to stumble along. I went on this way praying and praying to God, and with His guidance I finally got out of the hills and came to a home by the side of the road. When the woman there saw my haggard, pained look she rushed to get me a cup of water, but I couldn’t get a single drop in. Just then one of her neighbors was passing by, on his way home from a day of work in the fields and saw the state I was in. He hurriedly got me in a rickshaw and took me to the village hospital.
When I got to the hospital, the doctor saw how serious my condition was and didn’t even want to admit me. Seeing this, one bystander called the county hospital, another helped find a car for me, and still another got in touch with my family. One after another, everyone lent a hand to get me to the county hospital for emergency treatment. All this time I never stopped praying to God and relying on Him; I knew that all of those complete strangers stepping in to help me out had been arranged by God, that it was God providing me with a way out. I gave thanks to God in my heart! Because one of the local people had called the hospital ahead of time, when I arrived a doctor was ready with an anti-venom IV for me, then carried out all sorts of exams and asked me about exactly what happened and when. While rubbing ointment all over the places I had been stung, the doctor told me that my condition was really serious and that if I had come just ten minutes later, it would have been a lost cause. I was then transferred to the ICU.
The doctor told my daughter, “We once had a young man here who had been stung by wasps 38 times, but we couldn’t save him. He died. There was another elderly man who was stung more than 30 times, and he died too even though he got to the hospital and was treated really soon after. The exams performed on your mom show that the toxins didn’t get into her liver or kidneys, but her wounds are more serious than those other patients’ were. She was stung 46 times and is really in a precarious condition. I hope you’re able to prepare yourselves, just in case.”
The doctor gave me follow-up exams that evening to see if I still had signs of possible survival. I was alert and could feel that the places I’d been stung were all swollen up, but I was in so much pain all over my body that I couldn’t move. I felt very calm knowing that whether I lived or died was in God’s hands, that it was His rule and arrangement. I continued silently praying to God and handed my life over to Him.
The next morning, the doctor transferred me from the ICU to the observation room. Seeing me lying there in the hospital bed, my daughter couldn’t help but cry out, weeping bitterly. The doctor comforted her, saying, “Your mom is recovering pretty well. She’ll get better after some time. This is the first miracle I’ve encountered in over 20 years of practicing medicine!” Hearing this, I was very moved and knew that it was entirely God’s miraculous doing. If it weren’t for God’s salvation I would have already died out in the wilderness—there’s no way I would have made it that far. Soon after, my sister and her husband came to see me too, and when she saw I wasn’t able to move and wasn’t eating, she asked me, “You were stung so badly. How on earth did you get out of those hills?” I said, “It was all God’s love and care.” Overhearing that, the others in the same ward all exclaimed that I was extremely lucky. But I knew in my heart that it wasn’t that; it was God’s care and protection, and it was God saving me as I was at the precipice of death. I thought of a man from my area that had been stung by wasps—his wounds weren’t as bad as mine, and he was treated in the hospital for a week. But he still died in the end. Although I was stung 46 times I had the good fortune to go on living—it truly was God’s miraculous doing. Pondering God’s love and salvation for me, my heart swelled with gratitude to Him.
I was discharged after six days. Twenty days later the doctor checked up on my condition again and said that I had recovered very well, and that I really was a special case, the first miracle he had ever witnessed. Hearing him say this, I silently offered up my thanks and praise to God. I knew very clearly that the only thing special about me was that I had leaned on God, and God had saved me at the juncture between life and death. What God did created this miracle of life. Through this incredible experience, I learned a profound lesson about God’s love; I felt His authority and mightiness. Even though I was preoccupied with money, and money had taken over my heart to the point that I almost lost my very life to wasp stings while trying to dig up wild herbs, God cared for and protected me all along. When I genuinely prayed to God and relied on Him, He used His words to enlighten and guide me, giving me the courage and faith to go on living. He got all sorts of other people to help me, allowing me to come out from that danger, one step at a time. Throughout this course of events, I not only came to grasp God’s unique authority and power, but I also saw His benevolent essence. I gained some understanding of God. Looking death in the face, I truly experienced that money, name, and status cannot save people and they particularly cannot bring us life. In a crisis, God is man’s only pillar, our only salvation. As long as we truly lean on God we will be able to see Him work. Just as God’s words say: “Be quiet within Me, for I am your God, your only Redeemer. You must quiet your hearts at all times, live within Me; I am your rock, your backer. Have no other mind, but wholeheartedly lean on Me and I will certainly appear to you—I am your God!” (“Chapter 26” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). I give thanks for God’s salvation for me, and from now on I am willing to rely on God and look to God more in my experiences. I will seek the truth and repay God’s love!