“Sorry, the subscriber you dialed is power off. Beep—Beep—” Mingyue redialed the same number worriedly, only to hear the same sound from the cellphone. Putting down her cellphone, she frowned with utter helplessness in her deep eyes. This phone number seemed in playback mode. Every time she dialed, she heard the same reply. The apparently flat tone brought her heart-piercing pain.
“Ahem. Did it go through?” asked her husband in the bedroom, coughing a couple of times.
“Power off still!” She went into the bedroom, and said to husband who was lying in bed, “Don’t worry. Perhaps she will come back in a few days.” Although she knew it was unlikely, for fear that his disease would get worse as a result of anxiety, she could not but comfort him in this way.
At the moment, the scene happening before her daughter run away from home recurred to her mind clearly once more:
“Mom, I’ve got a boyfriend!” The daughter told her mother joyfully, “He is my elder by several years, obedient and sensible. What do you think about him?”
Her daughter’s first boyfriend was from another province. At that time, Mingyue had expressed her opinion: Don’t find an out-of-town boyfriend! Nevertheless, her daughter was deaf to her words and insistent on dating that boy. Soon after, they parted because of conflicts. Now hearing her daughter saying so, she asked warily, “Where is he from? Is he also an outsider?” The daughter’s smile disappeared instantly. She took an unhappy glance at Mingyue and snapped, “Yes.”
Mingyue said with a little dissatisfaction, “No. Too far. Isn’t there anyone catching your eyes in such a big city? Must you find the one in other places?” The daughter didn’t speak again, using silence as protest.
Mingyue noticed her own attitude was a bit hard, so she sat beside her daughter, saying patiently in a soft tone, “It’s for your own good. If you marry far away from us, we cannot take care of you. What if you are wronged? Furthermore, you’re our only daughter. If we have trouble, it is inconvenient to call you back …” She talked a lot earnestly and maternally, but her daughter said nothing. At last, the daughter threw the word, “That’s enough! I’ve had enough of you.” Then she stormed into the room. The next day, the daughter went to work early as usual, but never returned.
A week passed; a month wore away; then a year elapsed. There was not any information on the daughter all the while. The only clue was her cellphone number, but whenever it was dialed, her phone was power off. From that on, Mingyue’s mood was always like gloomy rainy days, dull and no longer sunny. Many times she waited next to the phone as if in a trance, hoping her daughter would give them a call. As the minutes ticked by, her hope changed into disappointment, and then despair.
The empty living room echoed with her sad sighs. She picked up the remote control and turned on the television absently. Law Lecture was on television, telling a woman was killed in Guangdong province. The scene she happened to see touched the most fragile part of her heart. She immediately thought whether her daughter would have an accident. The more she watched, the more frightened and anxious she was, so she switched to another channel, only to watch that all participants of a pyramid scheme were arrested, in which there were many young people of the same age as her daughter. She broke out in a cold sweat in her palms. She blamed herself that her previous attitude should not have been so intransigent and then her daughter would have not left home. Yet she was still not resigned to agree that her daughter found an out-of-town boyfriend, for her sick husband needed to be taken care of and all her hopes rested on her daughter. She had been banking on her daughter in adulthood to stay at her side. She asked for no much wealth. Provided her daughter had a happy family and they could meet each other frequently, it was enough. Why didn’t her daughter understand her? At this thought, she would naturally nurse a grievance against her daughter, but as a mother, she had more concern for her alone roving daughter. For this reason, she was in no mood for food and drink all day, wasting away. During hundreds of days and nights, she was struggling in such pain and helplessness, and even awake all night.
The daughter’s leaving made Mingyue reticent. She seldom went out, and almost lost her motivation to live. Until one day after one and a half years, her friend, a Christian, came to visit her and gave her a book of . Her friend told her if she had any problem, the book could offer the answer and then left. Unexpectedly, the words of God in this book brought a favorable turn to her bleak and deathly life. One day, she read the words of God, “Besides birth and childrearing, the parents’ responsibility in a child’s life is simply to provide him or her with a formal environment to grow up in, for nothing except the predestination of the Creator has a bearing on a person’s fate. No one can control what kind of future a person will have; it is predetermined long in advance, and not even one’s parents can change one’s fate.” “When one becomes independent, one begins one’s own journey in life, which leads one step by step toward the people, events, and things related to one’s marriage; and at the same time, the other person who will make up that marriage is approaching, step by step, toward those same people, events, and things. Under the Creator’s sovereignty, two unrelated people who share a related fate gradually enter into a marriage and become, miraculously, a family, ‘two locusts clinging to the same rope.’ … A marriage is not the product of both members’ families, the circumstances in which they grew up, their appearances, their ages, their qualities, their talents, or any other factors; rather, it arises from a shared mission and a related fate. This is the origin of marriage, a product of human fate orchestrated and arranged by the Creator.”
Mingyue’s heart suddenly brightened. The words of God made her understand the role of parents, which merely is to bring up their children and to provide them with a home and an environment to grow up in. As her daughter became an adult and was independent, how she would live her life, what her mission was, how her marriage was, and whether her life would be happy or rough are all predetermined by the Creator, which no one among men has control of. There are various marriages in the world: one of a couple is from the south and the other from the north; or they come from two different countries; or the two are of different ages, places, and nationalities. Yet as ordained by the Creator, they spontaneously get together to be each other’s better halves, gradually understand each other and keep each other company to the end of their lives. It shows that marriage does not lie in the parties’ distance, families, appearances or other objective factors, but rests on the predestination of God. Pondering the words of God, she thought of herself and her husband, they were from distant cities but got together miraculously. Wasn’t it orchestrated and arranged by God? However, she was always interfering in her daughter’s marriage now. Wasn’t it disobeying the orchestrations and arrangements of God? Wasn’t it too irrational?
She saw more of God’s words: “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives.”
From these words, Mingyue realized the source of her suffering: She always wanted to manipulate her daughter’s marriage according to her will. On the one hand, she could often see her daughter and know her daughter’s conditions; on the other hand, it would be convenient for her daughter to look after her and her husband. In view of these factors, she thought a boyfriend of the local city was best for her daughter. Yet nothing progressed in accordance with her idea. Unexpectedly, her daughter just found an out-of-town boyfriend. Because she didn’t know the sovereignty and arrangements of God, she was in constant disagreement with her daughter on the marriage, which made both of them live in agony. Casting her mind back to those long nights of anxious waiting for her daughter’s return, she truly recognized, without the truth and the knowledge of God’s sovereignty and arrangements, how poor, pitiful, and ignorant she was at the time. Under the leadership from God’s words she understood His will. She was willing to accept His sovereignty and arrangements for her and her daughter’s fates, to entrust everything to His hands, and to allow her daughter to take her journey in life according to His orders. And as a creature of God, she was behooved to submit to His sovereignty and arrangements, and should not have her own demands. Only then was it the wisest choice.
Then Mingyue heaved a long sigh of relief, as if a great burden had been cast off, so she felt relaxed and free as never before. She knew in her heart: The steady and calm happiness was not an extravagant hope of man but an original existence when God created man; and after deeply corrupted by Satan, I disobeyed God’s sovereignty and orchestrations, attempting to escape His arrangements, and thus I lived in pain. Now the dark and bitter page was turned. Then Mingyue’s new life started. She began to keep her mind on reading God’s words and pursuing the truth. She was willing to respect her daughter’s decision from her heart. Besides, she believed how her daughter lived during this year away from home was adequately arranged by God and when her daughter would return was controlled by the hands of God as well.
The work of God could always bring surprise to our colorless life.
“Afraid of your anger … I’m sorry to worry pop and you …”
“How are you getting along?”
“Mom, I’m quite well now. I’m with my boyfriend. He takes good care of me, so make yourself easy.”
Before long, Mingyue finally met her long-lost daughter. She acknowledged the out-of-town boy as her daughter’s boyfriend and consented to their marriage. The daughter held her mother in a warm embrace and gave her mother a kiss. A radiant smile spread over Mingyue’s face. She was deeply grateful to God in her heart, for she knew it was blessings from God that she could take the correct approach to her daughter’s marriage and reconcile with her daughter.
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Now, disasters are occurring frequently everywhere. In the Philippines, the pandemic and the famine have not passed yet and powerful Typhoon Molave, Goni and Tropical Storm Atsani have landed. Biblical prophecies of the coming of the Lord have been fulfilled. It stands to reason that the Lord has returned—so why have we yet to welcome His arrival? Will we not be plunged into the great tribulation if this carries on? And just what should we do to welcome the Lord’s coming?