“Lord, I thank you for loving an ‘idiot’ like me, who is being silly all the time!”
An 83-year-old female believer named Shi Xueyun said this with a hearty laugh. Her words perfectly summarized her faith journey in the past 30 years: accepting all circumstances without questioning, trusting the Lord completely, having no complaint even in times of trouble, and continuing to long for the kingdom of God.
Shi Xueyun shared the following testimony in Xi'an sometime after Easter this year.
Accept all circumstances without questioning
When Shi was 46 years old, her former neighbor shared the gospel with her. She made the decision to come to Christ in 1986 and was baptized in December of the same year. In 1992, her husband also accepted Jesus as his savior.
After becoming a Christian, she always tried to find opportunities to serve in the church. She and two other female church members once served as parking attendants on Sunday. They would guide the cars of believers to park near the church and keep an eye on cars during the Sunday service. Later on, she also sang in the church choir.
Trusting the Lord completely
Whenever she struggles in life, Shi always prays. Not only does she pray when she has problems herself, but she also trusts in God and prays for others who are in difficulties. Back then, a female Christian had suffered from insomnia for many years and might even sleepwalk during the night. So, Shi began to intercede for her; she would be so deep in her prayers that she would be weeping. Finally, after a period of earnest prayers by Shi, she was free of her trouble and could sleep soundly through the night.
Besides praying, Shi also gladly offers her help when others are in need. Once, a deacon of the church fell off a tree when harvesting his walnut trees without wearing a safety belt. As a result, he injured his head and needed to undergo several surgeries. Therefore, Shi offered the deacon a thousand yuan and prayed for him fervently. Upon her continued intercession, the deacon was eventually healed and returned to health once more.
No complaint in times of trouble
In 1993, Shi experienced the hardest blow on her faith journey when her beloved second son fell from a height while working at a construction site. As he hit a concrete pillar when he fell, he was unconscious and became vegetative. Due to the damage to his brainstem, Shi’s son would experience occasional convulsions; however, whenever that happened, Shi would pray earnestly for her son until he calmed down again. She recounts that during the seven years, she took care of her son after he went into a vegetative state. She never changed into her pajamas when going to bed, and her son never suffered from bed sores.
A couple of years after her second son passed away, the condition of Shi’s husband, who had been suffering from brain infarction, worsened; he became paralyzed and had to stay in bed. Therefore, for more than six years, she needed to take care of her husband.
Yet, in these 14 years, Shi has never uttered a word of complaint. “I don’t grumble, and I have no regrets or frustrations whatsoever. On the contrary, I am a really happy ‘idiot’; I always sing hymns to God while cleaning the house.” She shares the reason for not complaining. “That’s because I am afraid of God. I dare not complain because it is what God told us not to do, so I have never complained about anything. Again, I believe that everything happens by the grace of God.” As both unfortunate incidents occurred two years after Shi’s retirement, she firmly believed that it was God’s will for her to take care of her husband and son.
Although Shi chooses not to complain, she can still feel the pain. When a sore spot is touched, Shi cannot help but be in tears. “Dear Lord, I know you love me. I’m waiting for you to take me home. I want to be home! But, Lord, Your work for me is not yet finished. So, I will do whatever I can and work hard until your time comes.”
Shi always mentions that God has shown a special love for her. At first, she felt that she did not have the ability to cope with all this, but God thought well of her and led her through the process step by step. After going through these trials, Shi has also grown in her life.
Longing for the kingdom of God
At present, Shi cannot move around easily but only walks with small steps. Although she spends most of her time at home, that does not mean she is idle. She gets up at five o'clock every morning and starts interceding for many issues. She prays for the repentance and renewal of the life of people, the development of Chinese churches, believers who are experiencing hardships or have fallen ill, and the marital problems of the young generation.
When she learns that a male Christian, who is a taxi driver, is struggling financially, she adds the issue to her daily intercession. “Lord, I ask You to keep him safe as he drives every day. Please remind him to read your words at home and join the service on Sunday. When he is at work, I pray that You give him the heart to love others and to remain upright, so that he won't be greedy and ask people for extra money. He just needs to pick up a few more customers, then he will earn more, won’t he?”
Besides praying, Shi reads the Bible and books on spiritual help every day, taking time to recite the Bible.
“Lord, I- Your dear daughter- will come to you one day,” Shi is filled with joy and hope as she speaks of the kingdom of God. “I will be so excited to dance around and sing praises to You! Hopefully, you won’t mind me doing that!”
- Translated by Joyce Leung