ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM GOD
Ana Weng — Buenos Aires, Argentina
IT STARTED WITH A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE
It never occurred to me that I
would still have so much to learn about the Lord Jesus and about the truth
behind salvation, since I’ve been a Christian my whole life.
After my mom married my father, he
brought her family the truth about the Sabbath day, as he belongs to the SeventhDayAdventistChurch. Everyone thought
the truth behind Sabbath was good and they all believed.
After a few years and while I was
a young girl, I happened to read a newspaper article that claimed they had the
truth. So I went to my grandmother and said, “Grandma, this newspaper article
says there is a church that’s truer than yours, and it’s called the True Jesus
She turned up her ears and was
very curious about what the article had to say. After I had read her the
article, she decided to go to the church to find out more. After learning that
this church observed the Sabbath and had the Holy Spirit, she decided to bring
her family to attend service.
My uncle and aunt were the first
to follow my grandmother to the True Jesus Church, but they couldn’t accept
that the church preached they are the way to salvation. Then my grandma brought
At first I was skeptical about the
church. When it came time for prayer, I felt uncomfortable after they asked me
to go to the front to kneel with the others.
I went home and told my mom about
the strange prayers at this church, and she was the last person in the family
to go to this church. Incidentally, my mom’s visit coincided with the church’s
spiritual convocation. During those few days of special services, God opened
her heart and when she heard the truth, she was convinced that this was the
She was baptized and also received
the Holy Spirit. At that time, I was still unsure and continued to attend
service and to study the truth with them.
It Lead to the Best Gift
After a period of time, God moved
me to realize that having the Holy Spirit is directly related to our salvation,
so I began to pray diligently to receive it. Half a year passed and another
spiritual convocation was coming up, and I continued to pray earnestly for the
Throughout the convocation, the
pastor also reminded the members to pray for a sister who had scoliosis, which
is an abnormal curving of the spine. Her condition was very serious and she had
to go overseas for surgery. So I put aside my pursuit of the Holy Spirit and
started to pray for her.
But I felt weak and without
strength in my prayers, so I asked God to please give me His strength so that I
could pray. When I prayed with this request, I felt the floor beneath me begin
to shake. After the prayer, I talked with the pastor’s daughter and told her
what had happened.
She turned to the book of Acts in
the Bible, where it recorded the same phenomenon when the apostles were praying
during the Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit came down and filled them. After
hearing this, my faith in God was strengthened. I was baptized during that
spiritual convocation, although I did not receive the Holy Spirit.
After the convocation, I would
pray in the morning, during lunch time, and even in the evening. My mom noticed
that I was constantly going upstairs to my room and she asked me what I was
doing. I told her that I was praying for the Holy Spirit, and she said, “Let’s
We knelt down side by side, and
she prayed to the Lord and asked Him:
God, when she was born I gave this child
everything. The Bible says that if parents would give the very best to their
children, wouldn’t the father in heaven give the Holy Spirit and everything
good for His children? This daughter of mine is newly baptized into You and now
belongs to You. Please give her Your best.
Before she was done praying this,
I received the Holy Spirit! From that moment on, I felt so joyful and I would
love to pray, and I would sing hymns as I walked along the road. I developed a
great love of Bible reading and would even read the Scriptures on the bus. I
truly felt the love and joy of the Lord, and there was no more doubt that I
have come into the house of God.
THE PRESSURES OF MEDICALSCHOOL
I was also preparing to enter
college around that time. Most of my relatives are physicians, so naturally
they encouraged me to go to medical school. I didn’t have that much interest in
medicine but I didn’t know what else to study, so I decided to follow in their
In Argentina, the first year of college is
actually a preliminary year of general courses. Thankfully, the Lord helped me
pass that year quite easily. The second year was when things got tough, where
class sizes were reduced significantly, and many students failed or dropped
The professors gave us a huge list
of expensive textbooks to buy, and each one was very thick. When I saw the
stack of books sitting in my room, I became discouraged and had thoughts to
study something else instead.
But I decided to entrust
everything to God and prayed that if this was His will, He would help me pass
the exams. If He would help me, I decided that I would work for the Lord. And
if He didn’t think that medical school was suitable for me, I prayed that He
would not let me pass the exams and would open a new road for me.
I was very close to God at that
point in my life because I had just received the Holy Spirit, and I put God as
my first priority and school a comfortable second. I was praying and reading
the Bible frequently and I enjoyed the blessing of keeping the Sabbath.
When I couldn’t grasp certain
concepts in class or during my studies, I would kneel down and pray and God
would literally turn on a light bulb in my mind to help me understand. So even
though those were stressful and tiring times, I was very joyful and thankful in
the Lord because He was with me.
I was very nervous as the first
round of exams encroached in sophomore year, and I was very thankful when I
found out that I came in first place in my class. Everyone was wondering, “Who
was this girl who placed first?” I was delighted to tell them that I prayed my
way through the exams.
After my classmates heard my
testimony and saw how well I was doing at school, they went to their church to
pray, too. This opened a channel for me to preach and I was very joyful I could
testify to them.
Forgetting My Priority
Slowly, though, my prayers became
weaker as I put more emphasis on my studies rather than on my relationship with
God. Medical school became increasingly demanding over the years, and I wanted
so much to maintain a high standing in the class. I began to shift focus from
daily Bible reading and prayer to allow myself more time for school.
After a period of time, I even
started to fall asleep after a short “Hallelujah.” I began to feel the burden
of going to church every week, and when I read the Bible I would find the
shortest chapters to read. When exams fell on Mondays, I would struggle whether
I should go to church over the weekend, since all my friends would be studying
at home and making good use of Saturday and Sunday to get ahead.
When the preacher’s sermon went
overtime, I would constantly look at my watch and agonize over when he would
finish. I was very aware that my faith was going downhill; at some point, I
even wondered if God was still with me.
By the fifth year of medical
school, I was depending completely on myself to study, though in theory I still
remembered that our strength comes from the Lord.
That year, I had to take a
microbiology course and it was one of the toughest hurdle in our curriculum.
Many students had to retake it more than once. I think I was probably a little
out of my mind by then. Even though I knew that it was such a difficult class
to pass, I was very determined to pass the class the first time through with a
high grade. I demanded more and more of myself and gave myself a lot of
pressure to perform well.
One time, while I was studying, I
suddenly couldn’t breathe and my heart was beating very fast. I felt as if I
was going to die. I went to the school clinic the next day, and the doctors
told me to take some time to relax and to schedule an appointment with the
psychologist, which I did.
I was skeptical about psychology
but I went anyway since it is quite a common thing in this day and age. I saw a
couple of psychologists but I felt that those sessions did not benefit me at
all. So I went to see a psychiatrist, who prescribed medicine that made me
throw up. Needless to say, that was a terrible time in my life.
One night, I couldn’t sleep so I
opened my eyes and stared at the ceiling for a long time. Then I opened my
Bible and my eyes fell on a passage in the book of Psalm, which reads:
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep. (Ps 127:2)
It comforted me to know that God
grants sleep to those whom He loves and who are close to Him, and it made me
realize how ungodly I had become. I got up to pray that night and the Holy
Spirit filled me, and I was able to go to bed afterwards.
PUTTING THINGS BACK INTO PERSPECTIVE
When our resident pastor heard
about my problems, he paid me a visit and admonished me to shift my focus back
to God, as all things in our life has God’s good will in it. So I quieted down
and reflected on my relationship with God, and I marveled at how far I have
distanced myself from Him. I also remembered the old promises I made with God
to serve Him, and I felt very ashamed and humbled.
Then I realized that our
weaknesses are not a sudden change of character but a slow and subtle downhill
demise. This is also why we need to renew ourselves in the Lord and build on
that relationship day by day. We simply cannot overlook the importance of daily
spiritual cultivation because by the time we identify with the symptoms, we’re
already too far from Him.
I decided to take a semester off
from school, and I spent that time praying and reading the Bible. I asked the
Lord to open a path for me and to have mercy on me, and these were the two
deepest impressions I learned in that time—God’s mercy and His loving good
One night, while I was praying at
home, I asked God to teach me what to do. I was wondering if perhaps God
doesn’t want me to continue with my studies anymore, but in my prayer I was
comforted by God’s answer that His grace is sufficient and His strength is made
perfect in those who are weak. God’s answer was full of compassion and love.
Realizing this, I set the determination that no matter what I do from then on,
I would rely on Him and not on myself.
After a while, I got better and
was able to smoothly transition back to school and the pressures of exams. I had
only three weeks to prepare for the final exam of that dreaded microbiology
class (most people take two months to study for it). In those three weeks, I
prayed diligently every time before studying.
Since I didn’t have much time to
study, I went into the exam with God in my heart. To my surprise, I received
the highest grade in the class. Everyone was flabbergasted at how I could do
this because I only had three weeks to study so much material. But I knew very
clearly that it was God who gave this to me.
Through this experience, I
understand that what God requires of us is to put Him first in our lives and to
love Him—to know to rely on Him and acknowledge that it is through Him that we
are able to do anything.
I have since graduated from
medical school and I’m doing my residency in Buenos Aires right now. Though the academic
period of my studies are over, the lessons I’ve learned about life and what is
important in life are priceless. Indeed, all good things do come from God. For
me, it began with a small little newspaper article.
May all glory and praise be unto
our heavenly Father. Amen.