By Li Tong
In a Western fast-food restaurant called Crazy’s, there were only two deliverymen: Yangguang and Datou. One day, Yangguang was patiently waiting for orders, while Datou was idly playing with his mobile phone, his hand scratching his big head.
Yangguang hoped that more people could place orders tonight, because in this way he could earn more commission by making more deliveries. But an hour having passed, no orders arrived and silence still reigned in the restaurant. Yangguang kept looking over his phone, expecting to hear the message of orders. …
Finally, his phone rang three successive times to remind him of three orders. He read the addresses, finding that they were in the same direction and within the range of one kilometer. The cashier hurriedly received the orders while the chefs were immediately ready to display their cooking skills. Very soon, the counter groaned with packaged hamburgers, chips, sushi, fried chicken legs, and drinks. Datou grinned from ear to ear at them and then delightedly went out with three takeout meals. Yangguang thought to himself: These three orders are in the same direction and within easy reach. What a pity that I didn’t catch up! If only I could have two or three orders to deliver at a time.
Shortly after, another order was received. Yangguang hasted to read its address—somewhere in the East Square. He talked to himself: It’s four kilometers away from here. The service fee for finishing each order is the same, regardless of the distance. Why is it that I have such bad luck while Datou has a good one? But it doesn’t matter. Maybe later I’ll have some orders on one route. Like this, Yangguang cheered himself up in his heart. Then, two orders came in a row as he had expected. However, when he lowered his head in delight to read the address, the joy on his face was instantly overwhelmed with gloom. These two addresses turned out to be exactly in the direction contrary to the East Square. Yangguang shook his head helplessly. After a short time, with the approaching sound of a motorcycle, Datou’s fat figure appeared in front of the restaurant. He had come back from delivering the three orders of takeout food to the customers.
When Yangguang was going out with one takeout meal to the East Square, a new message of order rang. He glanced at the address information: It was still in the west direction. Before he could return from the East Square, Datou would have finished these three ones. Yangguang kept feeling puzzled on his way to the East Square: Alas, I have traveled many roads but made no money. What to make of it?
He expected a turn for the better next time.
However, things that followed didn’t turn better. While every time Datou could happily take two or three takeout meals out to deliver, he could only get one order and it required him to travel a long distance. With a frown crossing his brow, he sighed silently: Alas, I had originally intended to make more money to live a well-off life. So I changed several jobs in this period of time—abandoning one occupation in favor of another until I found this job of delivering takeout. I thought I could make more money. Therefore, I spent much money buying a scooter, but I didn’t ride it long before its battery was stolen. Then I had to buy a motorcycle. However, since I had the motorcycle, good fortune had never favored me. Not only did I not make any money, but I lost much. What was really going on? He felt suffocated inside as if his heart was blocked. Just then, Yangguang suddenly remembered God’s words: “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?” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination”). God’s words made him realize: All that happens to me is orchestrated by God’s hand; it’s not something that could be controlled by myself. As a believer in God, I should seek God’s intention seriously, which is contained in all things I encountered. So he silently prayed to God: O God! I know everything that comes upon me is out of Your permission. But today I can’t approvingly accept the environment You arranged. Please guide me to know my own disobedience and to understand Your will, so that I can have a heart of submission.
Then, a gentle breeze calmed Yangguang somewhat. Subsequently, a passage of God’s words arose in his mind, “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. Some people may not have realized these things. But when you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for and decided for you is a great benefit, and is a great protection, then you feel your pain gradually lighten, and the whole of you become relaxed, free, liberated” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
Yangguang realized with a start: Yes. The people, matters, and things I encounter every day are all orchestrated by the hand of God. God knows my inner state, and also knows what kind of environment is most beneficial to me. What God does is in order for me to be purified and transformed. However, I didn’t know God’s sovereignty, nor did I understand . I only knew to obstinately pursue money or something that could satisfy my flesh. If my purpose couldn’t be fulfilled, I would live in pain. This pain deep in my heart is not the result of God’s sovereignty, or the fate God has designed for me, but the result of the path I took, my greedy nature, and my erroneous way of living. God has predestined me to walk the way of pursuing the truth to be saved. I didn’t know how to appreciate favors but followed the evil trend of the world. Only God loves me the most: For the sake of my transformation in life disposition, He set up environments to deal with my greedy nature, and urged me to examine myself and turn back, and to know the dangerous consequence of my persistence in this pursuit. Otherwise, by relying on my own capability to pursue fleshly enjoyment, I would become farther and farther from God and, in the end, lose the opportunity to be saved because of lusting after money. Such an environment coming upon me is precisely God’s greatest protection and salvation to me.
At this thought, Yangguang couldn’t help praising God in his heart: O God! I’m grateful to You for setting up such an environment to save me and awaken my numb spirit. I’m willing to cast aside my extravagant desires, forsake my greedy nature, pursue the truth, and obey Your sovereignty and arrangement.
On his way to deliver the takeout, the cool breeze greeted his face and brought pleasure to him. At this moment, he thought of Job. Job could properly treat God’s blessing or deprivation, and spoke out the word that “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD,” which has been a model of obeying God for later generations. Job obtained more of God’s blessings after the trials, and he lived in the bliss and joy bestowed by God. The more Yangguang thought, the more ashamed he felt. He was clear that these trials and opportunities God had given him was in order to change and purify him, to allow him to break free of the bondage and affliction of his fleshly desires, and walk on the path to salvation and perfection as soon as possible. In the trial of God, he saw and His love. At the time, the blame in his heart was multiplied many times. He prayed to God inwardly: Regardless of anything contrary to my will, I’m willing to properly face it and obey God’s orchestration and arrangement.
After praying, Yangguang grew calm a lot. And the annoyance in his heart faded away.
When he calmed down and would obey God’s sovereignty, God’s test came upon him again. When it was his turn to deliver the orders, he received three orders which was near and on one route. Yangguang thought in delight: Good! My chance comes. But little had he expected that as soon as the takeout orders were ready, Datou first ran to the counter and instantly took them away. Seeing Datou’s tall and fat figure, Yangguang was boiling with anger. When he intended to reason with him, God’s words crossed his mind, “All things and events are administered in My hands, how much more so is one person!” (“The Forty-fourth Utterance”). He thought: Yes. Are Datou’s thoughts not held in the hand of God? Whether he scrambled for the three orders purposely or unintentionally, it contains God’s kind intention. God is using him to test me again to see whether I can obey God’s sovereignty. If I have a dispute with him, it’s a small thing that our relationship will be harmed, but a serious thing for a Christian that I will bring shame to God and grieve God. No, I can no longer sadden God. I must take this matter as a chance to put Satan to shame and to comfort God. Thinking of this, Yangguang gradually calmed down.
Later, whenever Yangguang received orders that made him travel longer distance but make less money than others, he would pray to God and learn to take things as they came, instead of splitting hairs with Datou and feeling distressed. He clearly knew that this proper attitude he could have was the result achieved by God’s words. God’s words allowed him not to fuss over personal gain and loss, but to seek God’s will and obey God’s sovereignty from the perspective of God’s words to gain liberation and freedom.
Yangguang also saw that when he obeyed God’s sovereignty, not only did he not suffer loss of money, but he got more than he had imagined. He actually got the highest pay among all his colleagues on payday so that others cast envious glances at him. But he knew: Money is not the real reward; his greatest gain is that through these experiences, he has learnt to forsake his corrupt nature, to obey God’s sovereignty, thus relieving pain and attaining release.
Yangguang thought: In the vast sea of people, regardless the great or the humble, white collar or laborers, if we are able to know our own corrupt nature, if we can give up our various desires and submit to God’s orchestration, then our pain within will significantly decrease and eventually vanish. Instead, we will get joy and peace, freedom and liberation that God bestows upon man.
Yangguang kept praying in his heart. …
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