By Jingxin, the United States
On June 23, 2015, I came to America. Before going abroad, I had dreamed that the environment and various aspects of life in America should be very good, and in the future, I would live a comfortable life. Nonetheless, when I arrived, I felt very disappointed about my living environment. In an apartment lived eight households, and we shared a kitchen and a bathroom. What’s more, what I couldn’t bear the most was that almost nobody did the cleaning here and that the apartment was a mess. Seeing all this, in a flash I had a feeling of falling from the sky to the ground. In China, I lived alone in a 60-square-meter home. Although it was not large, it was comfortable and capacious for me to live alone in that house. The more I thought, the more I was unwilling to stay here. However, I couldn’t come back to China, because I had to stay here to look after my husband. Therefore, I had to continue to live here regardless of how bad the environment was. Having no choice, I had to do the cleaning, such as cleaning the stool and bathtub, mopping the floor, cleaning the kitchen and throwing away the garbage…. From then on, I did the cleaning all the time. If I didn’t do it, no one would do it. If I did it, I would feel choked in my heart. I was really upset.
Every day, I was least willing to enter into the kitchen, because on the floor there were women’s fallen hairs, their fingernail clippings and household waste, which I had to clean. Therefore, I was morose almost every day. The classmate who studied English with me asked, “Why are you in low spirits every day?” I thought to myself: I live so miserably every day. How can I be happy? If I return to China, that also will not do. I want to change the apartment but don’t have enough money. When is all this going to end? I was so worried that I couldn’t eat or sleep well. In addition, my husband pulled a face every day and always found faults with me and nagged me. Facing this environment, I really couldn’t stand it.
In December 2016, I accepted the work of God in . After believing in God, through attending gatherings, singing hymns and praising God and communicating about God’s words together with my brothers and sisters, I felt how fortunate I was that I could accept God’s work. I also felt particularly happy. Meanwhile, I also understood that all things are in God’s hands and that God’s words can solve any difficulty we meet in our life. I felt I had something to rely on in my heart.
In a gathering, I told a sister my distress in my life and then the sister played me the hymn of “God’s Aim in Arranging the People, Events, and Things Around You,” “1. If you believe in the dominion of God, then you must believe that the things that happen every day, be they good or bad, don’t happen accidentally. It is not that someone doesn’t get on with you or opposes you on purpose; it is actually all arranged by God and He orchestrates everything. What does God orchestrate everything for? What for? It is not to reveal your shortcomings for everyone to see or to expose you, it is not to reveal your shortcomings for everyone to see or to expose you; exposing you is not the final aim. The aim is to perfect you and save you, to perfect you and save you. How does God perfect you and save you? Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, your own nature and essence, your own shortcomings and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you cast them off-this is a God-given opportunity. You must learn to seize this opportunity and know how to seize it; don’t lock horns and don’t resist.
2. If you are always competing with the people, events, and things that God has arranged around you, if you are always trying to extricate yourself from them, always feeling dissatisfied, always harboring a disagreeable mentality and always misunderstanding, then you will find it very difficult to enter into the truth. Through obeying, seeking, praying more, retreating to your spirit and coming before God then, unbeknownst to you, a change will happen in your inner condition. During this time, the reality of the truth is being wrought in you, and you will then progress and will see a change in the conditions of your life. When you have this change, and this kind of reality of the truth, then you will have stature, and with stature comes life, with stature comes life.” Then she fellowshiped to me, “Actually the things that we encounter are all arranged by God. is to save us and change us. God examines the bottom of man’s heart.He knows the most what each of us lacks. So when we encounter things that are not in accord with our conceptions, don’t resist but obey first and come before God to pray to Him, and gradually God will enlighten us to understand His will.” Through her communication, I understood God knew my ability to bear was weak, and that when I encountered things, I always wanted to escape. Through this circumstance, God wanted to temper and perfect me, and allow me to learn to adapt to the environment. Having understood God’s will, I felt comfortable and clear and was also willing to obey.
Afterward, she also played me the hymn of God’s word “Only if One Lives Out Reality Does He Have Testimony,” “You are possessed of actual living out and your every action is looked upon with admiration by others. Your appearance is unremarkable, but you live out a life of the utmost piety, and when you communicate the words of God, you are guided and enlightened by Him. You are able to speak God’s will through your words, communicate reality, and you understand much about serving in spirit. You are candid in your speech, you are decent and upright, non-confrontational and decorous, able to obey God’s arrangements and stand firm in your testimony when things befall you, and you are calm and composed no matter what you are dealing with. This kind of person has truly seen , has truly seen God’s love, has truly seen God’s love.” After hearing the hymn, I understood immediately: The things in my daily life all involve me witnessing to God. I must practice according to God’s requirements and use my actual living out to bear witness to God. In the following days, I still continued cleaning the apartment. Yet I knew I was practicing the truth, facing God to do things. And my heart brightened up. Later, one of my neighbors said, “Thanks to you being here!” A newcome neighbor also praised me by saying I really did the cleaning very well. I knew it was God’s words that brought me the changes. Thanks be to God!
Soon, summer came. Because the room was not well soundproofed, and every night the noise of my neighbor’s electric fan was like that of an engine, I couldn’t fall asleep. So, I moved the bed to another spot in the room. But after that, I could still hear the fan humming. What I couldn’t bear the most was that my neighbor still phoned after 11:30 every night. In our room, my husband also used the air conditioner. Because I had serious rheumatism, as soon as the wind blew to my head, I couldn’t bear the pain. When it was more serious, I had to take some medicine to ease it. I felt too pained. It wasn’t only this, my husband also smoked and played computer games. His smoke and the noise of pounding the keys made me not want to continue to live here for a moment. I hated my husband in my heart and felt he was uncaring toward me at all. I remembered I had my own house and my own space in China before, without anyone bothering me. Ordinarily if I was free, I would visit my friends and relatives and there wasn’t any pressure in my life. By comparison, the living environment here was too bad. Sometimes it was hard for me to obey in my heart.
In suffering, I prayed to God, “Oh, God! I really can’t bear this. I really feel I’m lonely and helpless. I don’t know what Your will is.” During a meeting, the sister sent me two articles “The Snores of My Colleague,” and “The New Neighbor Downstairs.” Through the articles, I saw my sisters also met many things in their life, but they all could obey the circumstances that God arranged and learn to experience God’s work under the circumstances, finally seeing . The sisters’ experiences made me find the path to practice. I also should study to experience God’s work, adapt to the environment and be tolerant and patient with others, and shouldn’t always want to change others. I also read God’s words, “Suppose God arranges an environment for you. You say, ‘I love cleanliness; I don’t like there to be any odors, I don’t like people who are filthy, and I don’t like looking at disgusting things.’ However, those people living with you snore and talk during sleep, smack their lips when having their meals, and have other bad living habits. What happens to you is exactly what you dislike. In this case, what do you do? Is it right for you to hate people? You lovingly, patiently help these people change their bad habits; is this right? Is this purpose or intention of yours correct? (No.) So what should you do? You must have the correct attitude. What attitude is that? (Submission.) How do you submit? How do you have to think in order to submit? What do you have to do in order to have the reality of submission? (Don’t complain.) You say you will not complain, but at mealtime, when you hear them smack their lips, you say, ‘Can you stop doing that so much? Change your bad habits; every time I hear you smack your lips, it turns my stomach.’ Is this the right way to handle this situation? Though you are being quite direct, and speaking honestly, your words are rather hurtful and not beneficial. Those people even feel that there is something wrong with you if you do not smack your lips, and that you are trying to act prim and proper. When you encounter this sort of situation, both parties should adapt to each other; none of these are actual shortcomings. People live for so many years, and are unhappy with eighty or ninety percent of what they encounter. You frown upon this and disapprove of that, but what do you dislike? Some of these things are actually your own problems, so you should not make a big deal out of them. When people get older, they realize that they are not noble, and that they are no better than others. Do not think that you are superior to other people, or more dignified and distinguished than they are; you must learn to adapt to your environment” (“The Five Conditions People Have Before They Enter the Right Track of Believing in God”).
I felt what God said is right: In fact, it is I who am too picky and have too many problems. Now, it’s hot and it’s normal for others to use the electric fan or the air-conditioner. However, I only took into account my condition and didn’t put myself in others’ position. I was too selfish. Moreover, everybody’s bedtime and rising time and living habits differ, but I asked others to change themselves, and let them care for and accommodate me. I was really unreasonable. I see the environment God arranges is too beneficial and that God’s intentions are to change my various flaws, and to let me live out normal humanity, get along with others relying on love and not find faults with others. Having understood God’s will, I learned to practice according to God’s word. When the neighbor’s electric fan annoyed me and made me unable to sleep, I prayed to God, “Oh, God! I should adjust myself to the environment and shouldn’t make unreasonable demands of others.” After the , I didn’t complain against my neighbor. With regard to my husband’s smoking in the room, before sleep, I opened the door to make the air get a chance to move and circulate, and then went to sleep. Unconsciously, regardless of how great the noise of the electric fan was or how much smoke there was in my room, I could fall asleep. Hereafter, when I didn’t heard the noise of the electric fan of my neighbor, I actually was not accustomed to it.
Later, because the weather got hotter and hotter, a big air-conditioner was used at our gathering point. Thinking of learning to adapt to all kinds of living environments, I just sat in a corner and covered my legs and waist with clothes. Nevertheless, I still felt the cool wind was blowing, and it made my legs and waist hurt so that I was unable to be at peace in my heart to communicate about God’s word in all the gathering. Afterward, I found every time after I got to the gathering point, in order to look after my health, the sister hurried to turn off the air-conditioner. During the gathering, I saw my brothers and sisters continuously wiped the sweat but still insisted on attending the gathering. Just then, their act moved my heart, and I truly realized: God’s work has changed each of my brothers and sisters. Today actually it is God who has changed us, otherwise we won’t consider others for our nature is all selfish. Through this experience, I’m more willing to gather with my brothers and sisters and moreover, I don’t miss even one gathering. I’m thankful to God!
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