By Titie, the United States
After I got married, my husband was always dissatisfied with me. He usually said to me, “See! You are useless.” At his words, I was very sad and defiant. From then on, I thought I had to work hard on my own and couldn’t let others look down upon me. Because my husband worked in other place, the heavy burden of my house completely rested on me. Even if I was often tired out, I wouldn’t complain to my husband at all, but still clenched my teeth and held on. In this way, I lived my life for more than ten years …
Eventually, my children grew up, but some misfortunes happened one after another. My daughter’s disease and my husband’s death forced me, who had been weary in body and mind, to support my family alone. Afterward, I came to America to work. The money I earned was almost spent in treating my daughter and looking after my parents. Even if there was some spare money, I had to save it for my son’s wedding. The people around saw I was very tired and advised me to marry again. Regardless of their advice, I still believed I would rather rely on myself than others. In fact, although I was strong on the outside, I often shed tears alone in secret at night and didn’t know who I could tell the pain in my heart. The only thing that delighted me was that my son got married in July last year, so I felt much more relaxed. However, another thing worried me. That is, after my son married, it was inconvenient for me to live with him and his wife. Alas! Thinking that I was old yet had to find a place to live, I could not but feel desolate and sad. Later, in order to find my own way, I pinned all my hopes on the US. Citizenship test. If I could pass the test and become a naturalized citizen of the United States, my life would be assured. Thus, every day, I busied myself having the classes, learning English and reciting historical questions. I almost devoted myself to this test.
Once I happened to meet Sister Shanshan in a supermarket. We had a good chat just like two old friends meeting again. Besides, she had the same misfortune as I and her husband also died of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Talking of our sad things, we cried. Later, she told me that since she believed in God, she hadn’t felt pain for these things. Through reading God’s words, she knew that the heavens and earth and all things were created by God and that people’s fates were also in God’s sovereignty and arrangements. Accordingly, she gradually didn’t care for those and had something to truly rely on in her life, thus feeling assured in her heart. What’s more, she fellowshiped to me, “The reason that we had so much pain and trouble in our life was because we humans were corrupted by Satan. Originally, mankind enjoyed in the Garden of Eden and lived a happy life with God’s presence and blessings. After we humans listened to Satan’s words, betrayed God and left the Garden of Eden, we could no longer see God nor hear God’s voice, as if falling into darkness. From then on, we have lived a painful life of sweating and laboring to provide for our families. God has done three stages of work so as to save humans from Satan’s affliction. In the Age of Law, God did the first stage of work and issued the laws and commandments to lead people to live on the earth. Then, because people were corrupted by Satan more and more deeply, they all faced the danger of being put to death for breaking the laws. Therefore, God incarnated and did a stage of redemptive work to save mankind from sin. Through the ’ redemption, our sins have been forgiven, but the root of sin is not taken away. So we still live a life of sinning and confessing and are fooled and afflicted by Satan. Thus, in God has taken on human flesh again to express the truth and performed the work of judging and chastising mankind in order to make us utterly break free from the shackles of Satan and return before God.” When I listened to her communication, my numb heart regained a bit of feeling and I seemed to see the light and hopes. Although I didn’t understand many truths yet, I was very interested in God’s work. I was willing to learn more about God’s work and so promised to attend a meeting.
Unexpectedly, after I attended meetings twice, one of my friends introduced a job of nursing to me. I worked seven days a week and was provided with food and accommodation by the householder. This job suited me very well. By doing it, I not only could earn money, but could live there. However, on the seventh day, the householder was picky for little things and lost her temper with me. To keep this job, I had to endure and explained to her patiently, but she said that I emphasized a reason. Whatever I said, she blamed me all the time. Later, she got angrier and angrier, so I made an apology to her. But the next morning, when I had just cleaned the house, her daughter called to ask me to pack my things and gave me the push. Having no choice, I came back to my rented house. After that, I was dispirited as if I had suffered from a bad illness. Several days later, Sister Shanshan gave me a call and asked me to attend the gathering.
At that meeting, I saw the following passage of The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature? In short, regardless of how God works, all His work is for the sake of man. Take, for example, the heavens and earth and all things that God created to serve man: The moon, the sun, and the stars that He made for man, the animals and plants, spring, summer, autumn and winter, and so on—all are for the sake of man’s existence. … The destination of man is in the hands of the Creator, so how could man control himself? , “”
Sister Shanshan fellowshiped to me, “The fate of each of us is in the hands of God, and anyone is incapable of controlling his fate and future prospect. Even if we have made efforts for our life, the result isn’t orchestrated by us and lots of things will not be accomplished in accordance with our imaginations. This is because everything of us is in the hands of the Creator, only God knows what we need and He will arrange everything for us. Although when plenty of things come upon us, we cannot see them through, yet all that God does is for the sake of saving us. As long as we treat the people, matters and things coming upon us with a heart of obedience to God, we can feel God’s good intentions and salvation. Thus we must believe that God’s good intention is there in everything, and we should look up to and rely on God more but not depend on ourselves.” Hearing her fellowship, I realized that my being dismissed from the job was due to God’s designs and arrangements. If the job had gone off smoothly, I wouldn’t have come to attend the meeting nor read God’s words and I would have become farther and farther from God. Although I didn’t understand completely, yet God’s good intention was present in all things. Pondering God’s words, I was enlightened in my heart and had some practical experience of God’s sovereignty and His intentions of saving mankind.
From then on, I started to attend gatherings and read God’s words. Yet I still had to face some difficulties in real life. In the house I rented, my room-mate always smoked and drank, which caused me not be able to quiet my heart to read God’s words, and I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay my rent and cost of living. I didn’t know how to resolve these problems, so I had to pray for God’s help, “Oh, God! I want to U.S. citizenship test was approaching seriously, but when I face these difficulties, I don’t know what to do. I only can give them up to You … ” A week later, an agency suddenly called me, “There is a job to serve as a nurse in other state, and it takes about twenty hours to get there by bus.” Thinking that the job was too far away, and the , so, I refused the job. But the boss of the agency kept asking me to go work there, and I finally agreed. After I got there, the boss was satisfied with me, and I was satisfied with the job. And so, I looked after a child in the day and read God’s words in the evening. On Saturday I attended gatherings online. My life was very regular. However, I was still somewhat worried: What if after I had worked for only several days, and then was notified to go to have my fingerprints taken? Will I not get my salary? For that reason, I prayed to God and entrusted all this to God. Later, after working for 17 days, I received a call from the nursing company, telling me to go for fingerprinting on Sept. 5. I estimated how much time was left before that, and happily found that I would have worked exactly for 24 days, thus I would be able to make enough money to cover my rent and living expenses, and at that time I could also get my nursing certificate. Besides, wait till I was finished with this job, I could also go on attending meetings. Everything was arranged perfectly. Later, when I returned home, I got another temp job as a caregiver. As one of my friends was going back to China and stay there for a month, she asked me to fill in for her during her absence. I needed to work for seventeen hours every week. It seemed that everything had been arranged for me properly. I knew all this was God’s deeds. When I entrusted everything to God, I felt much lighter and lived so easily.
Soon, the day of the test came. Although I prayed to God saying that I was willing to obey God’s orchestrations and to accept any result, yet when I failed the exam, I couldn’t help complaining about God: Others could pass it. Why did I fail? For the sake of the test, I’ve paid a huge price and suffered a lot. The more I thought, the more pained I felt. When the sisters heard of that, they gave me a call to comfort me and read this passage of God’s word, “Job did not talk of trades with God, and made no requests or demands of God. His praising of was because of the great power and authority of God in ruling all things, and was not dependent on whether he gained blessings or was struck by disaster. He believed that regardless of whether God blesses people or brings disaster upon them, God’s power and authority will not change, and thus, regardless of a person’s circumstances, God’s name should be praised. That man is blessed by God is because of God’s sovereignty, and when disaster befalls man, so, too, is it because of God’s sovereignty. God’s power and authority rule over and arrange everything of man; the vagaries of man’s fortune are the manifestation of God’s power and authority, and regardless of one’s viewpoint, God’s name should be praised. This is what Job experienced and came to know during the years of his life. … Job made no demands of God. What he demanded of himself was to wait for, accept, face, and obey all of the arrangements that came from God; Job believed this to be his duty, and it was precisely what was wanted by God.” Pondering God’s words, I felt ashamed. When Job was robbed of his property, he only bowed himself and worshiped God but not complained slightly. Because he realized that what he possessed was all from God, he said such a typical word, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” This word represented Job’s real submission to and reverence for God. As for me, although I didn’t ask God to help me pass the exam with my mouth, I had personal desires and requirements for God in my heart. Therefore, once God didn’t satisfy my demands, I began to blame God in my heart, without true obedience. Though I haven’t encounter a trial like Job’s yet, I still shall stand testimony in this circumstance and wait for God’s arrangements with a heart of obedience.
Afterward, in my spiritual devotion I saw 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. … The sadness of man is not that man seeks happy life, not that he pursues fame and fortune or struggles against his own fate through the fog, but that after he has seen the Creator’s existence, after he has learned the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate, he still cannot mend his ways, cannot pull his feet out of the mire, but hardens his heart and persists in his errors. He would rather keep thrashing in the mud, vying obstinately against the Creator’s sovereignty, resisting it until the bitter end, without the slightest shred of contrition, and only when he lies broken and bleeding does he at last decide to give up and turn back. This is true human sorrow. So I say, those who choose to submit are wise, and those who choose to escape are pig-headed.” Through reading God’s word, I suddenly realized: Actually, I have been controlled for many years by these Satan’s poisons of, “One’s destiny is in his own hand,” and “I would depend on myself rather than rely on others.” I always thought that only I was reliable, so I desperately tired myself out on my own. Even though I had been exhausted, I still stubbornly persisted, so that I had lived in pain all the time and felt extremely tired in my heart. Since I believed in God, I have seen God’s deeds in my experiences and known that God has sovereignty over our humans’ fate. Yet my wrong life perspective hasn’t changed: I thought that my life would be assured as long as I passed the exam and I still grasped my fate firmly in my hands but not believe in God’s sovereignty. Therefore, when my desire wasn’t satisfied, I came to complain of God’s arrangement and fell into pain again. Every sentence of God’s words gripped my heart and made me feel ashamed and embarrassed. I decided that I would no longer feel sad for this matter and that I wouldn’t shun God nor complain to God. Thus, I prayed to God silently in my heart, “Oh, God! I’m willing to commit my life into Your hands and obey Your orchestration and arrangements. No matter what You do, I will not leave You.”
From then on, my will to believe in God was more resolute. What’s more, by living a church life and communicating about God’s words with my brothers and sisters, I felt that my heart became closer and closer to God, sensing unprecedentedly released and free.
Meanwhile, I entrusted my difficulties in work to God. To my delight, three jobs unexpectedly came upon me in three days. However, I had some difficulties in choosing a job. One job was $3,300 a month and a second, $2,500, both of which were easy but in other states. A third one was more than $1,000 a month, near my house. This time, I didn’t want to choose a job by depending on myself, but brought all this before God and prayed to God, “Oh, God! I don’t know which one I should choose. If I choose the nearest one, I can attend meetings but the expenditure is greater. The other two jobs can provide me with food and accommodation and reduce my cost. God! May you lead me to make a choice in accord with Your will.” At a meeting, when I opened my heart to communicate about my difficulty, my brothers and sisters read me a passage of Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: “It has no rules for believers in God to be engaged in jobs, but there is difference between the perfect jobs and the imperfect jobs. The perfect one does not tire us, bind us, harm our health nor delay our belief in God; the imperfect one wears us out, wastes our energies, harms our health, restricts our spirits and delays our belief in God. … As long as a job benefits the work of God’s family and does not restrain our spirits, we can do it.” From those words, I found the path to practice: Since I believed in God, I should choose a job according to God’s will. I should choose a job which doesn’t hinder my belief in God, and this is in accord with God’s will. Then, I chose that job to look after the aged which was near my house.
Now, I often live a church life and communicate about God’s words with my brothers and sisters. Besides, what is more important is that God’s words have solved many of my difficulties and make me have a right goal and direction in my life. I understand that I should pursue obeying God’s orchestration and arrangements, and coming before God to worship God. Nowadays, I no longer worry about my life in the future. Instead, I’m willing to give all this to God and believe that God will arrange everything for me. I always have unspeakable joy and sweetness in my heart. It is Almighty God who lets me have such a happy life. I thank and praise Almighty God from my heart.
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