The Testimony of Faith—The Aftermath of My Six-Year-Old Son’s Spinal Cancer

By Du Juan

Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).

Whenever I read this verse, I’m overcome with emotion. There was a time when I was desperate due to my son’s serious illness, and it was God that had been by my side all the time enlightening and guiding me, and used His mighty hand to cure my son’s incurable illness. In this experience I truly saw God’s authority and power, while at the same time felt ashamed of my lack of faith. Recalling the events of that time, they are as vivid to me now as they were then …

I remember it was one afternoon, after playing outside, my six-year-old son returned home and limped to me, saying with eyebrows wrinkled: “Mom, my legs hurt.” I then lifted up his trousers to look. Seeing his legs well I thought that he might have twisted them accidentally at play, so I didn’t take it to heart. But a few days later, with a melancholy face he told me again that his legs hurt terribly. As I looked at him closely, I found that he was walking in an unnatural way, stooped over and one-sided. Only when I saw this did I feel afraid. I thought: “He even walks like this. Could it be that he has contracted a serious illness?” I didn’t dare to think further and quickly asked my husband to rush our son to hospital. I had never thought that after a thorough examination, the doctor said seriously: “Your son has spinal cancer and he has to undergo surgery. But since he’s too young, we can’t guarantee that the operation will be successful; he will probably be paralyzed.”

The moment I learned of my son’s condition, tears began to stream down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe that my six-year-old son had contracted such a serious illness. If something happened to him, how could I go on living? At the thought of this, I felt pain piercing my heart. My husband sitting on the bedside also shed tears, and crying, he said: “What’s most important now is to treat our son’s illness. Let’s go and borrow some money from our relatives, and then take our son to a provincial hospital. The medical equipment there is well advanced and maybe his illness can be cured.” Hearing what he said and thinking of how we had no other way to turn, I agreed. After we got the money, we held on to a bit of hope and went to a provincial hospital. When the results of my son’s tests came back, the doctor read the reports and then said resignedly: “Spinal cancer is a kind of disease difficult to cure. It affects the nerves in the whole body. If the operation is not done well, it can cause paralysis. The risks are grave. I’ll prescribe your son with some Chinese medicine, and he can recuperate at home.” Accordingly, we listened to the doctor and then bought some Chinese medicine for our son and took him home. However, after taking all of it, my son was no better. Helpless, my husband had to take him to a large hospital in our city for another examination. Likewise, the doctor there also said this illness was difficult to cure, and he only prescribed some Western medicine and injections that my son would have at home. For the following month, my son had injections, and yet his condition didn’t improve a jot. By then, our family’s money had been almost spent. My husband and I were totally hopeless. Seeing our son lying on the bed every day, my husband was so anxious he sighed all the time and couldn’t eat, and I was also worried and often cried alone in secret. I thought to myself: “Can our son recover from his illness or not? What should we do?” During that month I lived in torment every day. I had become haggard a lot and I only weighed 37 kilograms.

In my pain and helplessness, I suddenly remembered the Lord. I thought: “I just lived in my son’s illness, going everywhere to try to find a hospital where his condition can be treated. How could I forget the Lord?” That was when I came before the Lord and prayed to Him with tears in my eyes: “O Lord! You are almighty. I believe that my son’s illness is in Your hands. May You show mercy and cure my son. …” After the prayer, I thought of the following verses: “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of weak folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, He said to him, Will you be made whole? The weak man answered Him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus said to him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked” (John 5:2–9).

As I contemplated these verses, I found my faith in the Lord. Because of a sentence of the Lord’s words, the man who had an infirmity thirty and eight years immediately recovered from his sickness. The Lord truly has great power and authority! I also thought of my cousin who once had a severe pain in his leg. The doctors in many hospitals failed to diagnose the cause of his sickness, but in the end, his faith in the Lord cured him. So didn’t that mean my son’s illness was also in the Lord’s hands? For all that the doctors said that my son’s illness was hard to cure and he would probably be paralyzed, I should have faith that my son’s recovery was up to the Lord, because He is the source of all life and rules over everything. The thought of these things enabled me to feel much more settled in my heart. I then prayed to the Lord and entrusted my son’s illness to Him.

Although I had such resolve, after being tested by facts, I saw that my faith in the Lord was too small. One day, a distant cousin of mine came to see my son after he had learned about him. My cousin said that one of his classmates was a well-known, skilled attending physician of the orthopedics department in Nanjing and he would definitely heal my son. When I saw how confidently my cousin said this, another hope was then ignited in my heart. As a result, instead of laying emphasis on praying to the Lord, I pinned all my hopes entirely on the doctor, longing for him to heal my son’s illness. Brimming with hope, I sent the test reports of my son to the doctor, looking forward to hearing some good news from him as soon as possible. Never had I imagined that ten days later, my cousin called my husband to say that the doctor diagnosed my son’s illness as spinal cancer according to those reports, and the doctor also said that if my son was to be operated on, we would have to pay more than 100,000 yuan, and that since it was a very risky procedure, it was possible that half my son’s body would be paralyzed. As soon as my husband got off the phone, he started to cry, saying: “Whoever can save our son?” The doctor’s words seemed to give my son a death sentence. At that moment, it felt like a knife had been twisted into my heart, and tears began to flood nonstop down my face. I thought to myself: “More than 100,000 yuan? That’s nothing short of an astronomical number for us. Where can we find the money? We don’t even have 1,000 yuan now; we can’t afford the hospital bills, let alone an operation. We’ve borrowed money from our relatives and friends to cure our son’s illness before, and there is no one whom we can borrow money from …” Faced with these difficulties, I was truly at my wits’ end. In the midst of my hopelessness, all I could do was come before the Lord and pray: “Lord! We have nowhere to turn. We couldn’t find any doctor who can cure our son’s illness. Oh Lord! You hold the power of life and death. Only You can heal my son’s illness. I’m willing to entrust his illness to You and I will no longer think about relying on man. Please guide and help us.” After I prayed, a story in the Bible suddenly sprung to mind: “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living on physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched” (Luke 8:43–44). I contemplated the experience of this woman over and over, and I thought to myself: “She had suffered from an issue of blood for twelve years and had not been healed after spending all of her savings. However, when she trusted in the Lord as her sole hope, and based on faith, touched the border of the Lord’s garment behind Him, she became healed at once. This was all because of her true faith in the Lord.”

Then I started to reflect on myself: Before, although I prayed to the Lord for my son, I had not one iota of true faith in Him. When I heard my cousin say, therefore, that his classmate was an attending physician of the orthopedics department, I immediately transferred my hopes to the doctor—depending on the people, events and things of the outside world instead of relying on the Lord. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “Because of your unbelief: for truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:20). Realizing this, I couldn’t help but feel miserable. I believed in the Lord but denied His authority and power, so how could I see His deeds? However much faith we have in God determines How great His deed we can witness. For example, when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he divided the Red Sea with true faith, so that he successfully guided them to escape the hunting of the Egyptian army. As I thought this, my heart was somewhat enlightened. I understood that my son’s recovery was in the Lord’s hands, and that I needed only rely on my faith in the Lord to experience these circumstances, to entrust my son’s illness to Him. At that time, I no longer felt depressed and heavy, but instead strength returned to my heart.

Afterward, my son was treated at home, and every day he relied on injections and medicines to prevent his condition from worsening. I prayed before the Lord every day and entrusted my son’s illness to Him, and I also comforted my husband and told him to rely on the Lord. After a while, my son still didn’t get better. Tormented by illness, he became thin and extremely weak. Whenever an IV was put into my son, it needed to try many times before getting it in, and sometimes, my son was frightened to look, or cry under his quilt to refuse to get infusions. Seeing my son bearing such suffering, I felt hurt as if a knife had stabbed my heart. I then hurriedly prayed to the Lord: “Oh Lord! Regardless of what happens, I’m willing to rely on You to continue experiencing this situation and not lose my faith in You. I’m willing to obey Your work. No matter whether my son can be cured or not, I won’t blame You.”

In this way, I kept praying to the Lord for over two months. Then one day, out of the blue, my son could leave the bed and walk around, which made me shed tears of delight. I knew that it was the Lord who had heard my prayer and healed my son. I spoke happily to my husband, saying: “The Lord Jesus is the one true God who holds sovereignty over everything and rules over all things. His greatness cured our son’s illness. The doctors can’t cure him, but God made it when we relied on Him.” My husband nodded and said to me joyfully: “Yes. God saved our son. You should believe earnestly in God in the future.”

Later, my husband took our son to the hospital for an examination. After the doctor examined my son, he said that my son’s condition saw a turn for the better, and that in light of my son’s situation, he would be cured from illness after a period of care. Hearing this, every doctor present said in extreme amazement: “Spinal cancer is a nasty illness. It’s impossible to imagine that your son is recovering from it. It’s a true miracle!” After my husband returned and told me this, I was overjoyed and became filled with gratitude toward God I couldn’t express. I silently gave all the glory to God in my heart.

From then on, my son’s body got better and better each day. Half a year later, although he leant slightly to one side while walking, his legs stopped hurting, and he could play with other kids. By the end of the year, he was fully recovered. Seeing that, my relatives and neighbors all said happily: “It must have been the Old Man in the Sky who protected your son.” Then I cheerfully told them: “Yes. God healed my son. All the glory be to God!”
Along this path, after my son fell ill, when I was at my most pained and helpless, God gave me faith. Through praying and relying on God, my son, with an incurable illness, miraculously took a turn for the better. This truly was the great power, care and protection of God. After this experience I truly saw that God is always by my side, guiding me and helping me get through my most difficult days. At my most frustrated, it was God’s hand that guided me through all the troubles of life. I am truly so thankful to God!

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