It was very comfortable to walk by the river, breathe the fresh air, and enjoy the cool breeze on a summer morning. However, the tearful complaint of her sister in the phone call last night made Liu Yubing feel mixed emotions, which was beyond description.
Liu Yubing had a twin sister named Liu Yuqing. In Liu Yubing’s memory, they had different fates. Her elder sister was beautiful and compliant while she was plain-looking and bad-tempered, so their parents preferred her sister, whereas she was like a fifth wheel in the eyes of her parents and other elders. What haunted her most was that when she gained entry to a key senior high school with excellent grades, her mother said to her, “Now we’re poor, so you don’t go to high school. Go to a technical secondary school and then find a job early to help the family.” She was enraged at her mother’s words and quarreled with her mother, “Why can’t I go to high school? I’m doing better in study. Why do you ask me to go to technical school, not my sister? You’re biased. You only have eyes for her. If you don’t like me, why did you give birth to me?” Liu Yubing felt so aggrieved that she even wanted to die. She kept thinking in her mind: Why do all good things come my sister’s way and all unfortunate things my way? However, no matter how she fought against her family, the result was that her sister entered high school while she went to technical school. Liu Yubing started to work right after graduation. Though working from dawn to dusk every day and toiling in the sun and rain, she could only earn hundreds of yuan a month. By contrast, her sister had an income of thousands of yuan every month easily and comfortably, because she was arranged into a public institution through personal connections by her family after graduating from college. The sharp contrast made Liu Yubing feel greatly aggrieved. She complained that her family was unfair to her and that her life was difficult.
In order to leave the place where grieved her heart, Liu Yubing married a man and lived hundreds of miles away from her home at an early age. After marriage, believing that “One’s destiny is in his own hand”, and “You must win your own happiness,” she was full of confidence about her future life. She worked terribly, believing that she would surely live a happy life in this way. However, no matter how much she expended, she still lived an ordinary life, while her sister Liu Yuqing married a decent man and lived in clover. Each time she went to her mother’s, she would meet her sister. Seeing that her sister was in brand names while she dressed in nondescript clothes, she felt sore. Once her sister put her hand before Liu Yubing and asked excitedly, “Guess how much the diamond ring.” Seeing the shining diamond ring on her sister’s finger, Liu Yubing put her hands into the coat awkwardly. She really wanted to have a good cry, but with assumed tranquility, she then replied, “I’ve no idea. It must be very expensive.” Her sister said happily, “Of course. It’s very expensive. It’s worth thousands of yuan. This is a birthday gift given by my husband, your brother-in-law.” Seeing her sister’s happy expression, Liu Yubing felt really thrown off balance. So, she had a huge fight with her husband after she got home, complaining that he was unable to make more money to buy her a ring. She firmly believed that this was all resulted from her mother’s partiality. She thought: If she hadn’t stopped me from going to high school, I should be the happy one who had been to college, got a high salary, and wore famous brand clothes and a diamond ring today. The more she thought, the angrier she was, so that she couldn’t help crying. When she calmed down a little, her husband said, “Alas! This is your destiny. Once hearing that you will go to your mother’s, I will be frightened. Each time you come back from there, you will get mad at me. You always compare yourself with your sister. Comparisons are odorous, so just go with the flow. Don’t be too hard on yourself.” However, Liu Yubing didn’t think so. In this acquisitive society, her longing happiness was to live a rich and powerful life.
In order to pursue such happiness, Liu Yubing and her husband spared no efforts to work. When others were still sleeping, she had to get up to work, and got off work when others had gone to bed. To earn money, she worked overtime to do business with her husband. However, no matter how hard they worked, they lived an ordinary life all the same. Just when Liu Yubing was disappointed and perplexed, her mother preached God’s work ofto her.
After accepting God’s work of the last days, Liu Yubing often gathered with the brothers and sisters, reading God’s words, singing and dancing. She felt secure and happy in her heart as never before.
One day, Liu Yubing read God’s words: “No matter how well you eat, how nice your house is, how good your clothes are, how comfortable your life is, or how many of your desires have been fulfilled, this is all empty. After that, you look for death—the final outcome is death. Would you say that the happiness pursued by unbelievers is true happiness? Actually, it isn’t. It is what people imagine happiness to be, and it is a depraved method, a path that makes people depraved. People’s pursuit of this is not the objective that normal humanity ought to have, it is not the value in living. What was planted by Satan has caused people to make this their objective. Satan has used this means to benumb people, to corrupt, attract, entice, and beguile them, making them think that this is happiness, making them chase that goal. People think that this is happiness, that only when they gain this will they be happy, and so, regardless of how much effort it takes, they chase that goal—and the result is, once they’ve achieved it, they still feel that they haven’t gained true happiness, yes? (Yes.) This proves that this is not the right path, that it is the path to death” (“Only With the Truth as Their Life Can People Live a Life of Value”). Reading these words, Liu Yubing was moved. It turns out that the life she had been pursuing—having money, status, and good food, dress, house, and enjoyment—was not a true happy life, but a depraved life, only leading her to death. Through the revelation of, Liu Yubing realized that though her sister lived in luxury, she was not happy. After her husband was promoted to be the factory director, he indulged in eating, drinking, and merry-making outside all day. He always didn’t go home until late at night, and even stayed out all night. The couple were either clashing with each other or seeking a divorce. They had become strangers in a room. She seemed magnificent outwardly, wearing expensive famous-brand clothes and rare jewels, but she always looked worried. Even high-grade cosmetics couldn’t cover her emaciation. What was more, she was very weak, and needed to take medicine frequently. There were several times that she called suddenly in the midnight, weeping out the pain in her heart to Liu Yubing. She said that she was too miserable, nearly breaking down, and she felt it was really meaningless to live on. Money, fame and gain, eating, drinking and having fun were all empty…. When Liu Yubing heard this, she thought: Yes! People nowadays all live for money and power, which deprave man and enable man to fulfill the lust of the flesh, such as having affairs and abandoning the wedded wife. In this acquisitive society, people are struggling for the so-called happiness, and thinking that having money, power and high-quality material life is happiness. However, after getting them, people feel even emptier within. Thus, they start to look for excitement to fill the emptiness in their hearts and hence become more and more fallen. My sister is the best example. Liu Yubing had totally new knowledge and understanding of the definition of happiness, and meanwhile, she thanked God for picking her up in the vast sea of humanity.
Under the guidance of God’s words, Liu Yubing realized that status, fame and gain, wealth, and carnal pleasures, eating and drinking were all chains used by Satan to corrupt, seduce and bind people, which led man to death in the end. Regarding these as the sign of happiness, she had suffered a lot both mentally and physically to gain them, but ended up in failure. There were so many times that she had complained about the partiality of her parents and her fate. She thought: It turns out that this is God’s protection to me. If I really had gotten these things, I might have walked toward the painful abyss as my sister, and would never come before God. At that time, Liu Yubing thanked God for His special grace and protection, and she made up her mind not to rack her brain to pursue the so-called “happy life” any more. She felt the joy she had never felt before. She was finally released after having been oppressed for so many years.
She saw God’s words said: “And why do those whonot walk upon this path? And what is the happiness felt by believers in God like? … nothing brings greater comfort to their hearts, and there is no greater thing in life, than following God, walking the path of pursuing the truth, and expending for and devoting one’s life to God; that nothing brings greater happiness than gaining God and gaining the truth, nothing makes people’s hearts more steadfast” (“Only With the Truth as Their Life Can People Live a Life of Value”). From God’s words, Liu Yubing understood that true happiness is from God. Only believing in God, worshiping God and walking the path of pursuing the truth is the happiest thing in man’s life. At that time, she remembered when gathering with the brothers and sisters, she could see from their experiences that when they encountered things, they feared God, honored God as the greatest and practiced the truth to satisfy God. Their faith in and knowledge of God all increased and they had happiness and enjoyment in their hearts. Though they looked simple, and had no high position or material pleasures, they lived out a pious life, and their mental outlook was different from worldly people’s. Living under the guidance of God’s words, they were released in their hearts. It was happiness to live this way. Just as Adam and Eve, before tempted by the snake, in the Garden of Eden, they listened to God’s words, had God’s guidance so they lived happily. That was true happiness.
Through a period of reading God’s words and fellowship in the meetings, Liu Yubing knew that God’s sovereignty and arrangements are the best for us. Submitting to God’s predestination and arrangements is practicing the truth, so she was unwilling to pursue the happy life she imagined before anymore, but put her effort into God’s word to practice and enter the truth. Afterward, her husband said, “After you believed in God, you don’t quarrel with me, or complain that I’m incompetent to earn more money. Especially when returning from your mother’s, you don’t say envious things about your sister or complain about your parents’ bias. You seem to be a different person. Only God can change you, so I support your belief in God.” Hearing this, Liu Yubing secretly thanked God for His salvation in her heart.
Afterward, she read God’s words: “Whendescribes the feasting of Job’s sons and daughters, there is no mention of Job; it is said only that his sons and daughters often ate and drank together. In other words, he did not hold feasts, nor did he join his sons and daughters in eating to extravagance. Though affluent, and possessed of many assets and servants, Job’s life was not a luxurious one. He was not beguiled by his superlative living environment, and he did not gorge himself on the enjoyments of the flesh or forget to offer burnt offerings because of his wealth, much less did it cause him to gradually shun God in his heart” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II”). In Job’s case, Liu Yubing had deeper knowledge and understanding of the definition of happiness: Job was the greatest of all the men of the east in that age. Though affluent, he didn’t love the fleshly enjoyments or pursue luxurious life. Instead, he feared God and shunned evil in his daily life. He lived before God all the time, fearing he would do something wrong to offend God. Because he always exalted God in everything, he finally received God’s approval, saw His appearance and lived a peaceful and happy life. Thinking of this, Liu Yubing saw for her. She thought: If my life goal had been accomplished as I wished, I might have already fallen into the world trend and been unable to extricate myself, let alone come before God to accept His life supply. What great happiness it is that I can come before God, give up fleshly eating, drinking and merry-making and break free of the shackles of Satan. Only she herself knew how much pain she had avoided in such life. It was the first time that she felt happy.
In fact, true happiness is not about wearing famous brands nor living in luxury house or enjoying good material life. It’s about coming before God, fearing God and shunning evil just like what Job did, exalting God in our hearts, and living constantly in His light. This is the true happy life. Liu Yubing has finally found the secret of human happiness.
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