It was January 30, 2003, December 28, 2002 by the lunar calendar. The Spring Festival was around the corner, yet there were still three sisters staying in my home and my eldest son had to stay in someone else’s home. (A bed was lacking in our home because of hosting the sisters.) Seeing all this, I began to get vexed: Tomorrow is the New Year’s Eve, and we’ve prepared all the things for the festival. But the sisters do not speak of going. They really have no sense. Do they want my son to stay in other people’s home during the Spring Festival? The more I thought about it, the more I felt that the sisters were not considerate of my difficulty. And I expected that they would go as soon as possible so that my family could have a happy Spring Festival reunion…. At three o’clock that afternoon, it began to blow and snow. The sisters said that they were leaving. That was just what I expected, but I said hypocritically, “It is so windy and snowy outside. Don’t go.” In the end, they left my home with my feigned sympathy, in the wind and snow.
After they went, I felt very relieved. And I immediately took my son back, thinking that my family would have a happy reunion. But on that evening, I suddenly felt a severe pain in my stomach, and the atmosphere of reunion in my home disappeared all at once. I, numb, didn’t realize that it was God’s discipline, so I hurried to the hospital for treatment. I did not expect that I would suffer the illness for more than ten days, and taking medicines and receiving injections produced no effect. By the 15th day of the first lunar month, my face and eyes were still swollen, and I could hardly bear the pain. Only then did I feel afraid and examine myself: Has God’s chastisement and discipline come upon me? While I was wondering, I opened the book of God’s word and read these words: “You shut me out for the sake of your children and husbands and for the purpose of preserving yourselves. What you care about is not me but your family, your children, … and your enjoyment. … When it is cold, what you think about is your children, husbands, wives, and parents. When it is hot, what you think about is still not me. … What have you done for me? When have you ever thought about me? When have you ever paid every price for me and for my work? Where is the evidence of your being compatible with me? Where is the reality of your being faithful to me? … You are against me like this, so what will be awaiting you in the future?”
Facing God’s words of judgment, I could find no place to hide myself for shame, and my heart was full of remorse and self-reproach. Then, the scene of the sisters leaving my home in the wind and snow rose before my eyes…. I could not hold back my tears: The brothers and sisters didn’t go home even at the Spring Festival time, running around and laboring for God’s work. They were willing to care for God’s will without considering their fleshly interests. But how about me? In order that my family could stay together and spend the Spring Festival happily, I disregarded God’s will and even complained before God and wanted to drive the sisters away. Was I performing my duty? Wasn’t I deceiving and cheating God and being against God? Did I have any faithfulness? O God, in your revealing, I realize that I’m too selfish, base, and conscienceless. I’m willing to reform myself earnestly. I resolve to be faithful in my duty and be a person who cares for your will.
Later, I got another bed. When the brothers and sisters came to stay in my home, I sincerely treated them as my family members. At such times, I felt greatly assured and sweet.
O God, thank you for your discipline to me, and thank you for your salvation for me. Without such discipline, I would never have known myself, much less had myself transformed. Without such discipline, I would only end up resisting you and thus be destroyed. O God, I’m willing to fully commit myself into your hand. May your chastisement and judgment never leave me. I’m willing to get transformed and purified in your chastisement, judgment, and discipline.
Luohe City, Henan Province