Grace’s World

Written by Lin Jia-Ying

The first time I met Grace I was impressed by her gentle eyes and quiet smile. Her contorted arms and legs, and her deformed hands didn’t quite go with her young and delicate face.  I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for her, and wondered if her condition was congenital.   I never did inquire about it, until one day I found out that we were working for the same medical organization: I was in the computer department, and her job—to my surprise—was serving the weak and handicapped patients as a physical therapist!  That kind of work requires much strength from both the hands and the body.

I was curious to know how in the world Grace was able to overcome her own personal handicaps and to serve others in pain? Was it human power? How could someone who appeared so fragile and in need of care take up the responsibility of caring for others?  This illogical scenario attracted my attention.  Later, Grace shared her testimony with me.

Never-ending suffering

Born in a Christian family, Grace grew up in a harmonious environment.  Although she had always been weak, she never got really ill.  By age 30, she had a brilliant husband, a lovely son, enjoyable work, a promising future—everything was wonderful.  A month after she gave birth, things changed.

She began to experience a painful illness.  It started with unbearable back pains.  Then her entire body was in excruciating torture.  She was not at all prepared to face this condition.   She kept thinking that the pain was due to tiredness or childbirth and that it would go away in a while.  But the pain persisted and became a daily trial.

In 1980, Grace came to California and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis—a cureless disease that causes the patient to suffer severe pain and results in body contortions.  Up until then, Grace had always hoped that she only had common arthritis.  Yet now, the doctors’ diagnosis seemed like a death sentence to her—she was horrified and completely broken down.

How was a woman as weak as herself going to fight against such brutal, daily torment?  Devastated and helpless, she cried out, “Lord, where are you?”  She felt abandoned by God, not able to find His face or hear any loving reply from Him. In desperation, Grace sought medical treatment everywhere, trying to battle the infirmity.  However, the attempts only brought more torment on her body and weakened her both physically and emotionally.  Watching her hands, once beautiful, gradually becoming deformed, she was in great distress but was powerless to do anything about it.  She was so bitter towards God that she felt she could not pray.

Year after year, as Grace suffered unbearable pain, it became more difficult for her to handle the responsibilities of daily living.  Seeking medical treatment in America, she was separated from her husband, who eventually asked for a divorce.  Unable to deal with this double blow and feeling forsaken by the God, she overdosed herself on sleeping pills one afternoon.  Fortunately, her parents found her in time, and her life was spared.  Having lost all hope in life, Grace lived like an empty corpse, waiting for death to end her sufferings.

Spiritual healing

One day, a pastor learned about Grace’s condition, began to look after her and took her to church.  After being away from God for a long time, Grace began to slowly pour out her grievance and pain to Jesus.  In prayer, she realized that Jesus had never left her—even during all those painful, sleepless nights.    He was there with her—it was she herself that pulled away from God.

She knew that God had always been waiting with open arms for her to return to Him.  She experienced such warmth and the sweetness of love from God that her heart was really encouraged.  She recognized that even though she had lost her health and her husband, she still had parents who loved her, a good son, and most importantly, she has a treasure that no one, nothing can ever take away—the love from the Lord Jesus!

Because of God’s love, Grace’s life became full of new hope. She prayed earnestly, asking the Lord to lessen the pain in her body.  Gradually, the torturing agony no longer seemed endless.  The Lord also worked on her circumstances and Grace was able to use a medication from China which decreased her suffering.  She also received surgery to replace her damaged joints.  After such trying times, she now finds herself without physical pain for a long period of time—she is so full of thankfulness to the Lord and to those around her!

Having experienced such wonderful realization and transformation, Grace now lives her life with vigor and enthusiasm.  Though the work is not without difficulties, she has been so motivated that she became a certified physical therapist!  Strengthened by God, she surpassed the other applicants and got a position at a well-known hospital.  She could not hold back her praises to God.

Encouragement from patients

In the family therapy department of Caesar Hospital, Grace is in charge of twenty to thirty patients.  She gives them incredible compassion and care because she can truly understand their needs. Hard-working and never careless, her gentleness and humility, her strength and sincerely are evident to all.  Not only is she competent, she is also a living model for her patients.  They tell her: “You—Grace—are our greatest encouragement!  Just looking at you, we know that nothing is impossible!”

Grace’s world is no longer dark and depressing.  She sees her own pain and sickness as a reminder that God’s grace is sufficient for her. Given a choice to have a healthy body without a revived spirit, she would rather choose to have physical illness yet able to be so close to the Lord and receive His comfort.  She truly realized that God is a true and living God who listens to our prayers and knows our every need because He is the Heavenly Father who created us.  Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God.

Are you searching for perfect love? Do you wonder if you will ever find fulfillment? You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Saviour and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of woman you want me to be.

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, pray it right now and Christ will come into your life as He promised. If you invited Jesus Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.

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