God once said, “his is because man has living thoughts every day. Man’s head and man’s heart are alive, and he even will change with circumstances and conditions at any moment. Now you are sitting here; maybe next time you will be found nowhere, disappearing without a trace. How quickly you change! In the church some people are still singing hymns and dancing today, so exciting that they pray with bitter tears, but tomorrow there will be no sign of them. Maybe they’ve gone somewhere … vanishing in the sea of the world.” (From “The Elements of Unbelief and the Nature of Betraying God in Man”) I always felt that these words had nothing to do with me, because the world to me was already a ruin and no longer attractive, and thus I would never rebel against God and return to the world again. But I did not expect that when I thought I was good enough, a fact revealed me completely and made my ugly feature naked. Fortunately, God saved me from the verge of death, so that I did not become a fallen “leaf” in late fall drifting everywhere.
For a time, I was passive because I got no results in preaching the gospel. I thought that I was busy every day, even with no time to tidy up my house, but I won no people in preaching the gospel and thus in the end I would not get God’s approval. So, I was unwilling to go out to perform my duty anymore and had no desire to eat and drink God’s word or sing hymns. I thought to myself: I will simply try to be a follower muddling along. So I lay in bed all day. I was very distressed. Just then, my younger brother came back from Guangzhou where he worked. I found his appearance was greatly changed. He had a fair complexion and plump figure, wearing branded clothes and carrying a cellphone at his waist. He looked so impressive that I was very envious of him. The moment he saw me he laughed at me: “Sister, look at you. You are dark and thin and still wear the clothes of the 80’s. You’re really a yokel. What have you got from believing in God?” These few words instantly went to my heart and gave me a rush of sourness. Right! What have I gained during these years I believed in God? I did not enjoy any good food or nice clothes, and I became dark and thin. I was busy preaching the gospel every day and also suffered the wrongs from the people of various sects and denominations. And if I failed to win people, I would be rebuked. Looking at my brother, I compared myself with him, and my heart wavered. I really wanted to return to the dazzling world to enjoy myself yet I was afraid of being disciplined by God. Just when I was in a dilemma, a sister came and fellowshipped with me, “Don’t forget the oaths we have sworn before God. God will reward or punish a man according to his oath!” Hearing her words, I became more distressed and was even nearly broken down. I wanted to leave but I could not; if I was to stay, I did not want to. I really did not know what to do.
After a spiritual war, I suddenly thought of these words of God: “Aren’t all those who live outside my word and escape the suffering from trials wandering in the world? They float around like the fallen leaves after autumn and do not have a place to put their feet, much less have my words of comfort. Although they do not have my chastisement and refining accompanying them, aren’t these people the beggars drifting about and roving the streets outside the kingdom of heaven? Is the world truly your place of rest? Can you really receive a gratified smile of the world because of shunning my chastisement? Can you really use your temporary enjoyment to cover the unconcealable emptiness in your heart?” God’s earnest teachings and admonishing words made me deeply feel that God’s motherly heart was expecting me to stand the testimony in the trial. Only then did I realize that my former knowledge was merely letters and doctrines and without any reality. I had also understood the real meaning of God’s word that man could rebel against God at any time and in any place, and I could relate it to myself. At the same time, God’s word awakened my heart which wanted to return to the world for enjoyment. Yes, can the worldly wealth and honor really save me? Even if one eats and dresses well, isn’t he still a corpse? God has endured all kinds of hardships and humiliations to save us; how can I go against my conscience and repay God’s kindness with ingratitude? Isn’t it all for myself to be saved to undergo the sufferings today? So, I wiped away the tears and pulled myself together again. I determined never again to think about those meaningless and worthless things. Stimulated by God’s love, I had restored my former faith. And since then I have the true goal to pursue.
Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province