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THE LORD JESUS ONLY TAKING UP IMPOSSIBLE CASES

Jul 21, 2009

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THE LORD JESUS ONLY TAKING UP IMPOSSIBLE CASES

!!!(From Watchman Nee)


Once I met a brother in Chefoo who was going through the overcoming experience. This brother came from Manchuria and had been an army doctor for over ten years. Some brothers brought him to the Lord when he was in Manchuria. After he believed in the Lord, he moved to Chefoo, where he practiced medicine for over a year. When I was in Chefoo for a one-week conference, he was also there. During that conference I spoke on the subject of overcoming. One day he came to me in a desperate manner and asked if he could have a time with me the next morning. I told him that I was busy the next day and that it would be better if he came to see me that evening. He said that it was something very important and that there was not enough time that evening; he needed a long time to talk about his problem. Subsequently, we made an appointment for the next day. He reminded me that he would come at 9:00 a.m. and that I should not have any other appointments that morning so that I could give the whole morning to him because his problem was serious. He looked very much like a military man; he was tall, strong, and husky. We made an appointment to meet each other at Brother Lee's house. Before 9:00 a.m. I arrived and found him already waiting for me there. Immediately after we sat down he said, "Brother Nee, I have a long story to tell!" He proceeded to tell me about his days in the army, how he came to know the Lord, and how he moved to Chefoo. He told me how he had overcome many sins and how he had stopped all the sins he used to commit when he was in the army. But there was one thing which he was unable to overcome. When I heard this, I was overjoyed again. Here was the "one thing" again. There is always one thing. No one can say that he does not have one thing. I asked, "What is this one thing?" He showed me his hands and told me that it was cigarettes. He said that he had overcome all kinds of serious and gross sins. But he could not overcome this one sin. He had been smoking for ten years and had been a Christian for three to four years. He came to Chefoo over a year ago. During those three to four years, he had tried seven to eight times every year to quit smoking but could not make it. He complained, saying, "It is a big suffering for me to smoke here. Chefoo is such a small place, and there are so many brothers and sisters. If they found out that I smoke, it would be disastrous. Therefore, I can only smoke in secret. I cannot smoke at home because my wife is also a sister in the Lord and constantly watches over me. If I smoke outside of my home, I am afraid that the brothers and sisters will see me. I cannot smoke openly and have to put my cigarettes inside of my pocket. If I am in the hospital where I work, I can smoke in my office. But I cannot smoke openly; I can only do it when I stand by the door. Whenever someone comes, I secretly try to put out the cigarette. I am afraid that the nurses in the hospital will find this out and tell the brothers and sisters about it. If my wife sees me smoking, there will be trouble. It is a big suffering for me to smoke. The brothers and sisters are all very warm, and they come to see us all the time. If they come while I am smoking, I have to put herb pills in my mouth so that they will not detect the smell of cigarettes on my breath. During the past year in Chefoo, I have suffered so much from cigarettes. I do not like to smoke, but I cannot quit, no matter how hard I try." He was sitting in front of me; his great and husky stature giving a perfect image of a soldier. But while he was speaking, he was crying like a little boy. I told him that this was something to rejoice about and that he should thank and praise God for it. He answered, "You do not understand. Others can quit smoking, but I cannot. If you had seen how I tried to quit, you would have realized my suffering. Once I succeeded for three days. I did not smoke, and I did not carry any cigarettes with me during that time. But my mind and my brain were filled with cigarettes everywhere I went. Eventually, I gave in and smoked again. I hate myself, but I cannot help it." I said, "This is a happy thing. This is something worth rejoicing about." He asked what I meant by this. I answered, "Dr. Shi, you are a doctor, and you have earned a great name in your profession. However, you have nothing to do with me because I am so healthy. You are the best doctor in Chefoo, and I am the healthiest person in Chefoo. I have no need of you, and you have no need of me. If you could quit smoking today, you would be to the Lord like I am to you; you would not need the Lord. But if I am weak and sick and no doctor can heal me and if you are a famous doctor and I come to you, you will have the opportunity and the chance to demonstrate your skill. Dr. Shi, would you dare to put up a sign outside of your clinic that said, `Terminal Cases Only'?" He said "Of course not. What if I could not take care of them?" I said, "Yet the Lord Jesus will not take any case unless it is terminal. The Lord Jesus will only heal the impossible cases. Are you an impossible case today? For you, quitting smoking is an impossible case." He agreed that it was an impossible case. "For four years, I have tried seven or eight times a year to quit. But I have not succeeded. If this is not an impossible case, what is it?" I said, "Very well. In that case, the Lord can heal you. Is that not something to rejoice about? You should thank the Lord because you are qualified to be His patient. Your case is a terminal case. You have to tell the Lord Jesus, `Lord, I cannot quit. I have no way to quit. Lord Jesus, I commit myself to You.' The Lord will accept such a patient. This is why you have to rejoice." He told me, "Brother Nee, don't make fun of me. You have to realize that I am completely helpless." At that point, he broke out in tears again.

Later I opened 2 Corinthians 12:9 and read to him. I asked, "What should you do about your weakness? Should you weep? There is no need to weep. What then should you do? You should rejoice in your weakness. You should boast in your weakness. You should be happy to boast about your weakness because when you are weak, Christ's power will tabernacle over you." Then I challenged him, saying, "Can you go to the Lord Jesus today and say, `Lord Jesus, I have been smoking for over ten years. I thank you that I cannot quit smoking. Lord Jesus, I have tried to quit smoking for four years and have completely failed. I thank and praise You because I tried to quit seven or eight times last year without success. I thank You because I can do nothing. I thank You because I am weak. I thank You because I cannot make it. Lord Jesus, I thank You because I smoke. From now on, I cannot quit smoking, and I do not intend to quit smoking. I pray that You will quit for me. If You do not quit for me, I cannot quit by myself. I will not use my own strength to quit anymore. I simply let You quit for me. Thank and praise You, because Your power is perfected in my weaknesses.' What if we kneel down to pray right now?"

He agreed and said, "All right, let's pray." He acted like a soldier and dropped abruptly to his knees. First I prayed, "Lord, I thank You because this is another opportunity for You to manifest Your power in a terminal patient. Here is a helpless person, and we want to see You perform a miracle on him." After I prayed, he also prayed. His prayer was excellent. He said, "I praise You because I smoke, and I cannot quit smoking. This is why I am coming to You. Lord, from now on, I will no longer try to quit. You quit for me. I will not try to quit anymore. I commit everything into Your hand. Thank and praise You. You are able." After the prayer, He was very happy. He got on his feet, picked up his hat, and was about to leave. I said, "Wait a minute. I have something more to say to you. Will you still smoke from now on?" He gave me a very good answer: "I will. Of course, I will smoke. I, Tsai-lin Shi, will smoke. But the Lord Jesus will quit for me." At that word, he left.

The next evening, he came to the meeting again. He testified that he had told his wife, "For over a year, you have been complaining and have been telling me that smoking is wrong. But I could not quit. Yesterday morning I went to God, and in half an hour, I quit. There is no need for you to complain anymore. All that I needed was to go to God for half an hour." I asked whether he would still smoke. He said, "Of course, I will." I then asked what he would do. He said, "I will always smoke. I, Tsai-lin Shi, will always smoke, even five or ten years from now. It is the Lord Jesus who will quit smoking for me." When I heard this, I became peaceful. I knew that the matter was settled. This man knew himself, and he knew God. He knew that the change did not come from him but from the Lord Jesus. Two months after I left Chefoo, I learned that he had not smoked even once. All the brothers testified that he grew and advanced in a quick way.