Great Is God’s Faithfulness
Daniel Chu—Pacifica, California, USA
I thank God that I can share His
great mercy and blessings. Life is sometimes difficult, and we may face dire
situations. But God’s word tells us that He’s always by our side, helping us
walk this path.
In mid 2007, when I was living
in Taipei, I had a chest exam to inspect some flu-like symptoms I had been
experiencing. During the exam the doctor asked me, “Hasn’t anyone
told you that you have a congenital heart defect?” I was surprised because I
had never been told that I had a heart problem. I had only recently felt some
discomfort in my chest.
After several tests, the doctors
confirmed that I had a condition called partial anomalous
pulmonary venous return. Normally, the pulmonary vein brings
oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the heart, and this blood vessel is
connected to the left side of the heart. However, in my case, the pulmonary
vein was connected to the right side of my heart.
So for forty years, my heart had
been relying only on the right side to pump blood. The doctor was very
surprised that I had lived so long with this condition. Congenital pulmonary
venous defects are usually detected and treated during infancy.
I was basically functioning with
half of a heart, and, as a result, my blood oxygen level was quite low. The
doctor told me that people with such low levels of oxygen are typically unable
to walk or sing and suffer from frequent fainting. But I had never experienced
any of these problems.
The doctor was amazed and said that
it was a miracle that I had lived so long without suffering any of these
symptoms. However, now that my condition had been discovered, it was necessary
to have surgery to connect the pulmonary vein to the left side of my heart.
God’s Compassions Do Not Fail
After flying to San Francisco
for further exams and follow-up, my wife and I decided to have the open heart
surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. My surgery was
scheduled for March 3, 2008, a Monday. The operation would
involve cutting my heart in half so that my pulmonary vein could be rerouted
from the right side to the left. The shortest distance was through the middle,
which was also the fastest and safest method.
As with other open heart
surgeries, the operation would involve stopping the blood flow to the heart and
lungs and sending it through a heart-lung machine, as well as stopping my heart
from beating. The surgeon told me that my surgery carried a much higher risk
than other heart surgeries and that it was possible I would not survive the
I took time off from work after
the surgery was scheduled, and I started to wonder why I even needed to go
through surgery. God had protected me for forty years already—why wouldn’t He
continue to protect me?
Everyone, Christian or not, wants
to receive healing and recover from illness. We want peace and a trouble-free
life, but difficulties are part of life. I had a lot of questions and doubts as
the day of surgery approached.
On Saturday, March 1, I
saw the sermon title “Great Is Your Faithfulness” when I stepped into the
chapel. God moved me to understand that this was the answer to all my
questions. During the sermon, the speaker cited Lamentations 3:22:
Through the LORD’s
mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
When I read this verse, I felt
peace in my heart. And my prayer that Sabbath morning was very strong and full
of power. My worries disappeared as I was filled with the Holy Spirit.
My heart was still satisfied
and joyful when I got home after Sabbath service. However, as I was
showering that evening, I suddenly felt a strong cold wind
blowing. My body was covered in goose bumps. It was strange because the
bathroom didn’t have windows and the door was closed. When this wind blew upon
me, my mindset changed.
This thought entered my mind:
“Why don’t you give up? This God is not worthy of your belief. You keep His
commandments and worship Him in His church, but He still hasn’t protected you.
Just give up.”
As I heard these words,
I started to think, “Yes, this is true. I’m quite pitiful.” At this moment,
another voice told me, “God is faithful. His compassion will not leave us. We
must hold tightly onto God and He will never fail us.” Then I thought, “Yes,
this is correct.”
Within three seconds, I had heard
three voices: The first told me to give up on God, the second told me that God
is faithful and that I should trust in Him, and the third was my own voice. So
I decided to trust in God, and the cold wind disappeared.
The next afternoon at four
o’clock, I felt moved by the Holy Spirit to kneel down and pray. This wasn’t a
time that I normally prayed, but I knelt down and prayed because of this
compulsion. I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I later found out that there was
a group of brothers and sisters in Vancouver who were praying for me at the
Although we didn’t know it at the
time, the Holy Spirit compelled us to pray to prepare for the forthcoming
Entrusting My Life to God
That evening, around seven, I
gathered my family to pray for strength before my operation early the next
During that prayer, I again felt
a cold wind surround me. As it swirled around me, I heard the thought, “This
God is not worthy of your belief. You should just give up. How did you get to
this point? It’s a difficult and pitiful path. Just give up.”
I wanted to live, to receive
healing and be healthy. I knew that God wanted me to give my burdens to Him.
Yet, I had such a hard time letting go because I had so many thoughts of “What
if?” And God and Satan both knew I needed more faith.
I was still worried about the
risks of the surgery and how my situation was even more complicated than
typical open heart surgery. But because of my experience the previous evening,
I knew that I needed to entrust my life to God when I started to doubt again. I
prayed loudly to God with the help of the Holy Spirit.
I told God, “I entrust my life to
You. No matter what I will face, I know that what You do is right.” The moment I truly entrusted my life to
God was when I learned the hardest lesson of my life.
When I faced a life-and-death
situation and handed my life to God, He sent angels to comfort me. During
the prayer, I saw hundreds of angels surround me, and I knew that God
was pleased with my prayer. These angels protected me from the cold wind—it was
still there, but I was shielded from it by the angels that were around me.
I realized afterward that Satan
wanted me to feel doubt and fear. I believe that when we concentrate on our
difficulties and allow them to take over our thoughts, we lose sight of what we
should be focusing on—entrusting our problems to God. To be victorious, we must
remember God’s faithfulness and banish fear and doubt by relying on Him.
PEACE AMIDST DANGER
On March 3, I was wheeled into the
operating room at 6:00 am. By the time I was aware of my surroundings, it was
2:30 am on March 5.
When I woke up, my first thought
was, “Where did all the people go?” I didn’t know the day or time and was not
aware that I had just woken up from a very vivid dream.
While I was unconscious, I saw a
beautiful green pasture, where thousands of brothers and sisters were praying.
There were so many of them it was impossible to count. It was a beautiful
I moved close to one member and
asked what they were praying for. He told me, “We are praying because we are
about to fight a spiritual battle. We are waiting for God’s time.” I asked,
“May I join this prayer?”
I found a space to kneel down and
pray with them. When I started praying, I realized that they were all praying
for me. I had no concept of time while I was in this dream, but it took place
while I was unconscious for almost two days.
While I was enjoying my time
praying with other brothers and sisters and being filled by the Holy Spirit, I
was unaware of the two critical moments I had endured physically.
During surgery, everything had
gone according to plan. After completing the rerouting of my pulmonary vein, I
was taken off of the heart-lung machine and my heart started beating again.
However, my heart was not beating
regularly. The top half and bottom half of my heart were beating at different
rates. Because the left side of my heart had been inactive for forty years, it
was very small and weak. And because the blood vessels on the right side had
been working extra hard for forty years, they were enlarged and pumping too
much blood. So my heart was not able to beat correctly.
The surgeon’s backup plan, in
case the planned surgery did not work, was to put a device in my heart to
regulate the heartbeat, but I would have to rely on the device and medications
for the rest of my life. At that moment, when he had to decide what to do, he
had an inspiration.
They stopped the blood flow, put
me back on the heart-lung machine, and stopped my heart again so that the
surgeon could correct the irregular heartbeat. Instead of putting in a device,
he enlarged the left side of my heart and made the blood vessels on the right
side smaller. Then, they started the blood flowing again, and my heart started
The surgery lasted twice as long as
expected because of this complication, but it was a success. The surgeon told
me later that he didn’t know how he came up with the idea to enlarge the left
side of my heart and narrow the blood vessels on the right side. It was a
Everything truly is in God’s
hands. During a critical moment, while I was unconscious, without prayers for
this specific situation or my family’s awareness, He inspired the surgeon
according to His will.
The surgery was completed at 1:30
pm, and I was sent to the intensive care unit (ICU) to recover. At 5:00 pm, my
wife was about to leave the ICU and take her dinner break when several doctors
suddenly ran to my bed. She heard the heart monitor beeping and was told that my
blood pressure had suddenly dropped very low, which was of grave
concern after heart surgery.
While they worked to
stabilize me, my wife sent out a prayer request to the
church because the doctors said my situation was dangerous.
They did not know why my blood pressure had dropped and could only monitor me
and wait for me to recover.
Thank God, after
one hour everything was back to normal and I was fine.
Peace from God
Two days later, when I became
conscious, I realized how God gives us peace when we are completely helpless
and unaware. While I was unconscious, unable to think or feel, I was going
through a dangerous time physically. Yet spiritually, God allowed me to enjoy
prayer together with others. It transcends what we can understand.
God gives us strength even when
we have no understanding, feeling, or memory. The people around us are
aware—they see that the situation is dangerous and they worry and are afraid.
But for me, the one who was going through these critical moments, I was
actually unaware. I was going through a battle of life and death, but God gave
me peace in spirit. This is a very important understanding of faith.
The evening of March 5, the first
night I was conscious after the surgery, I felt that I was unable to go on.
Despite the painkillers, I still felt a lot of pain from the incisions each
time I took a breath. I knew that I was breathing, but I felt no air coming in.
It felt like I was suffocating.
At that time, Lamentations 3:22
and the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” came into my mind. Immediately, I felt
much calmer, even though I still had trouble breathing. I remembered the lyrics
of the hymn and how they described God’s faithfulness. When I heard the melody
and recalled God’s mercy and love, I felt great peace.
After this, I started to recover
quickly. On March 7, the doctor removed the chest tubes, which had been placed
to remove excess blood after the surgery, and I went home the next day.
FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD
When I got home, I realized that
normal activities were quite difficult. Simple things such as smiling, turning
on the tap, drinking water, and talking on the phone were all so hard to do. I
experienced how an illness can make us appreciate how great a blessing it is
for us to be able to perform everyday activities.
That first night back at home, I
was reclining on the couch because I was still too weak to lie down on a bed.
Suddenly, I saw three dark figures appear before me. In the past when I heard
testimonies about members seeing evil spirits, I always thought that trying to
scare people this way was a very old-fashioned tactic.
When I saw the spirits, I
understood what they were. Miraculously, I was not afraid at all.
The three figures gave me the same
message that I had heard before the surgery: “Just give up. What’s the point of
struggling? Don’t you see how difficult it is for you? If you give up, we will
take you away. You’ll be happy, okay?”
At this point, I was so weak from
the chest pain that I couldn’t speak. So I thought in my heart, “Don’t touch
me, I have God.” Although I hadn’t spoken out loud, they understood my thought
and told me, “Then cry out loud. But you can’t even speak and you’re calling
out to your God?”
As they said this, one grabbed my
neck, one pushed my back, and the other pulled my legs. They said, “Let’s go.
Just give up.” I summoned all my strength left and said, “God, please save me.”
The three spirits disappeared.
After this appearance they never
bothered me again. Their message was clear: They wanted me to give up. Whether
through a thought, fear during prayer, or by appearing before my eyes, their
message was for me to give up.
When we go through difficult
times, we sometimes do just want to give up. But God wants us to trust in Him
with all our heart and soul. Hard times are a process, not the conclusion. We
will pass through and overcome.
It is difficult to battle
constantly before we reach the end. But we must show God how much faith and
trust we have in Him. He has already determined the result, when He will be
with us forever. What He wants is for us to prove our faith during these
I experienced God very deeply
throughout this period, but, even more, I understood that I had to share with
brothers and sisters that God is real. The Holy Spirit is always strengthening
us, especially in matters of life or death, and it happens not only when we
pray by ourselves but also through the intercession of others.
Most of us probably don’t spend
much time interceding unless we know the person very well. But even brief
intercessions are very effective. When I saw the vision of thousands of members
praying for me, I believe that it was a representation of all the people who
had interceded for me.
Every prayer, no matter how short,
truly comes before God. If God opens our eyes, we would see that He is always
there fighting for us in spirit. We may be suffering physically, but God is leading
us through battle in the invisible spiritual realm.
I hope that, when we share God’s
beautiful blessings, we all remember what God wants us to learn in our faith. God
truly strengthens us step by step. We may not see Him with our eyes, but He
tests our faith by what we can see and feel.
God is faithful. Through
trials and tribulations, God always wants us to learn and to be rooted more
deeply in faith. Be courageous and trust in Him, for He is always with us.