2003 年4月27日，我因盲腸炎入院作切除手術。感謝神的保守和憐憫，因為自己在家已忍了一週之久，病情在很嚴重的時候並沒有惡化，否則就有生命危險。在醫院住了17天，神不但救我脫離了肉體上的痛苦，更藉著這次苦難提醒我做為一個神的兒女所要追求的事──「你們要思念上面的事，不要思念地上的事。」（西三 2）。
◎撰文／奧克蘭教會 郭煥然 ◎期數:352期 ◎2007.01號
What A Wonder—Gods Love
Hallelujah, in the name of the Lord Jesus I bear testimony.
I personally feel that being able to believe in Jesus, and come to the True Jesus Church to be baptised in His name is indeed a great blessing, an awesome grace, and also a major miracle. Before I came to believe in Jesus, I was totally against it. I remember around a decade ago, my wife strongly wanted to believe in Jesus. She thought that all the other religions could not satisfy her, as many of these religions were actually superstitions. She even told me that from a young age, she had resolved to believe in Jesus, but she was waiting for the appropriate time. When I heard this, I scolded her because this was not in our tradition - I thought Jesus is only the Saviour of the foreigners!
Back then, things in my life were not going smoothly, I was not feeling happy. Conversely, I saw that my wife and our children were happy with their lives. Before every meal, they would say grace and when I saw this I would say, "Would there be any food on the table if I didnt go and work?" Afterwards, to avoid my scolding, they would say grace before I got to the table. Looking back, I can not help feeling that I was very ignorant and proud of myself. Now, I understand that God is our only reliance regardless of what we do or matter concerning our health. It is only through His protection and mercy can we have peace and blessing.
After some time, many of our unresolved things were cleared up, and I stopped my silly idea of going against those who believe in Jesus. However, I still did not accept Jesus myself. At that time, my wife allowed the children to take Christian education lessons at primary school. I often saw my children bringing home the good news - the gospel, and every time the children talked to their mother about Jesus, they would be very happy. My attitude towards Christianity changed from being against it to being neutral on the matter. I thought about just taking a look at what might happen from here.
Not long after, in July 1994, the grace of God truly came upon my family. After knowing Sister Chong (my childrens Chinese language teacher) from True Jesus Church for about half a year, we finally had the courage to ask about matters concerning belief in Jesus. Matter like whether or not believing in Jesus means that you will not be showing honour to the parents. Through Brother Chen, Sister Chongs husband, we were given a clear and careful explanation. From there, we had a basic concept of believing in Jesus and accepted an invitation to join in the afternoon service that Sabbath day. Thanks to Gods wonderful grace that at the end of that service, we accepted the True Jesus Church way of praying easily and during the prayer my wife received the Holy Spirit. What was more, my wife who was feeling ill on that day felt a lot better after the prayer!
On the way home from church our car was involved in an accident. My wife asked me, "Do you regret coming to this church?" Straight away I replied, "No, I dont." The believers said that this whole incident was a stumbling block to us as the fifth day after the car accident we were to move house. Since it would take three weeks for our car to be fixed, we had great inconveniences with transportation. However, the church brethren were very helpful, we were given much love. This moved us greatly - we could really feel the warmth in Jesus.
After five months of truth-seeking and diligent study of the Bible, we came to understand the Word and gain faith on the One True God. So we, a family of four, received baptism on the 23rd December 1994. From that time on, we repented wholeheartedly and asked God to guide us in doing what He requires of us - to do good, love God and love man.
I myself experienced firsthand the benefits of believing in Jesus. Before believing in Jesus, my body was very weak as I was inflicted by gastric problems. Everyday I was troubled by stomach, oesophagus, and chest pains. Doctors also said my heart was enlarged. These health problems affected my mood daily and so I often lost my temper on my family members. My family doctor once prescribed to me medication for my heart and furthermore, it was dictated that they be taken for the rest of my life. I had never imagined that my ailments could recover in such a fast pace through faith in Jesus, that in a short period of time I stopped taking the medication altogether. My experience is an example of what is recorded in the book of Matthew chapter 21 verse 22, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Six months after baptism, through the grace of God, He bestowed the Holy Spirit on me. I could never forget that joyous moment in my life. At first I saw a gentle white light and I felt a warm sensation flowing from the top of my head to my chest. My whole body felt very relaxed. From my heart came a type of joy and happiness which is beyond words. Furthermore, the baldness I have had for six years disappeared; and I have kept my hair until today! This is truly a bonus of His blessing on me. From this incident, it shows how much God loves His children. Although I did not dare ask God for this, our heavenly Father even improved my appearance according to His good pleasure!
On 27th May 1996, through a gastroscopy I was found to have a growth in my oesophagus. I was extremely worried. Doctors said that they had to take an x-ray, and then probably operate to remove it. I told the church about this and so everyone prayed for me with love. On 8th July according to what the doctors dictated, I had an x-ray and ten days later the results came out. Thanks to the True God that because of His mercy, the growth in my oesophagus disappeared. The doctors thought that this was strange, and were unable to understand what had happened to it. I had no doubt about the diagnosis of the doctors because it is as recorded in the book of Matthew chapter 19 verse 26, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
But that was not to be the end of Gods mercy on me and my health problems. On 27th April 2003, I had to undergo an operation for my appendicitis. Thank God for His mercy that although I had suffered the misery of pain at home for that whole week prior to my operation, nothing serious happened to endanger my life. I was hospitalised for seventeen days and had seen the abidance of God with me. Thus, I was taught a lesson: to seek first His Kingdom and righteousness and "Set you minds on things above, not on earthly things." (Col 3: 2)
In the past I used to have many hobbies such as keeping cats, dogs, chickens, and fish as pets; planting flowers, trees, and other plants. Actually these are not unacceptable, the problem is that I had put too much time and effort into these hobbies and overlooked what was more important - things like praying and reading the Bible, sharing time with my family and caring for my childrens daily lives. But perhaps the worst thing about me was that I had a habit of only half-heartedly observing the Sabbath day at church. In the afternoon I would go away and took a long time looking for pets and the accessories for them. Because the traffic would be quite heavy and my eyesight was not what it used to be, it was a thing of concern for my wife and children. During my stay in hospital I reflected on things I did in the past and pondered about what is recorded in 1 Corinthians 10:23, "Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive." Then strangely, once I realised that I had fallen short of Gods expectations and was willing to repent, my health was quickly restored. After being discharged I had to go through some more struggles in containing myself before I finally resolved to listen to Gods commands by changing my bad old habits. In exchange, the habit of praying and reading the Bible consistently, showing more concern for the family, and paying more attention in the church services became the centre of my life.
As a matter of fact, if we are willing to humble ourselves before God, then His power and glory will be manifested on us. Gods great power has existed long before time began, but poor mankind, powerless as we are, often act foolishly and arrogantly - not willing to repent and confess our wrongs, not knowing how to glorify God, and so this is how the blessings of God were kept far away from us. I now know that the God we worship is omniscient and omnipotent, willing to lavish His love on His children.
Here is something I have also come to understand: the sooner you come to know God, the sooner you can receive His blessings. If you do not come to know God, then you will never receive His blessings. Keeping this in mind, I have also learnt that if something we gain is not a blessing from the True God, then it is merely something worldly. How then can something like this compare with joy and hope that is everlasting in Jesus Christ?
I believe the members of True Jesus Church would agree with what is recorded in John 21: 25, "Jesus did many other things as well. If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written," because the lives we live everyday are indeed a blessing, a grace and a miracle of God.
There are still many other testimonies for me to witness. We must pass these down to future generations so that they too can know about Gods wonderful love and mercy.
May all the glory, praise, and thanks be to our great True God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.