Because of my arrogance and ignorance, I never knew myself; I always related God’s words of blessing and perfecting man to me, but as to God’s words of disclosing and judging man’s disobedient, corrupt inherent nature, I considered that they were directed at others and had nothing to do with me.
God says: “When you perform your duty, what you think about is your interests, your personal safety, and your family. 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?” After reading this passage, I was quite unconvinced. I thought: It’s all right if these words are directed at others; if they are directed at me, I’m wronged a little too much. For the sake of belief in God, when God’s family needed me to do something, I always tried every means to do it properly, regardless of the persecution of my family and without being restricted by my job. In hot summer, while others were taking a nap after lunch under an electric fan or in an air-conditioned room, I went in the scorching sun to the homes of the brothers and sisters to inquire about the gospel clues. My white face was glisteningly tanned, but I, who had always been particular about my appearance, did not care about that and was only thinking about how to perform my duty well. In cold winter, while others sat in a warm bed watching TV, I went around the church through wind and snow, but I never uttered complaints. O God! Who was I for, if not for you? I was absolutely sincere and faithful to you!
As time went on, God raised up various circumstances to test my work, including the persecution from the great red dragon. It was God’s actual work that exposed my ugly features and my contemptible intents. Without the exposing of the fact, I would never have known my ugly and evil soul.
Because of the persecution from the great red dragon, some brothers and sisters were arrested. Whenever I heard about this, I was put in dread, fearing that some day I would also be arrested through a little carelessness. So, I calculated inwardly: I must be careful. I can’t run around day and night like this anymore. I must hide myself safely, leave the risky tasks for others to do, and show myself less. If I am arrested and it is known to my colleagues and neighbors and my relatives and friends, that will be very disgraceful. How can my husband and children raise their heads before others? If my husband becomes angry and divorces me, then I will be homeless. In that period, my mind was occupied with my fame and future, with my family and husband and children, and with my own safety. Imperceptibly, my strength to expend for God waned. Because I was afraid of persecution and afraid of being arrested and thus suffering and falling into disrepute, I became passive and even had the thought of leaving God. At this time, I was stuck in the mire and was surrounded by darkness, unable to see a gleam of light. When I was nearly overwhelmed with passivity, I remembered God’s words: “hose who only receive judgment but can never be purified, that is, those who run away in the work of judgment, will be rejected by God forever. Their sinful deeds will be severer and more than those of the Pharisees, because they rebel against God and they are rebels against God. These people who are not even worthy to do service will suffer a severer punishment and an eternal punishment. God will not let off any rebel who was once faithful to him in word but rebels against him. Such people will receive a retribution that their spirit, soul, and body are punished. Isn’t this the very manifestation of God’s righteous nature? Isn’t this the very purpose of God’s judging man and exposing man?” This passage of God’s word, with authority and with majesty and wrath, shocked me, made me have a trace of fear of God, and even more somewhat aroused my callous heart. I can never rebel against and leave God for my own safety. Isn’t everything in God’s hand? Whatever God does contains his good purpose. Isn’t this circumstance arranged by God to perfect us in bearing testimony for God? How can I misunderstand God’s intention and be a conscienceless person to grieve God? At the moment, I came to know God’s kind intention and removed my misunderstanding about God. All at once I felt able to see everything clearly. I firmly believed that all things are in God’s hand and everything is under God’s manipulation. God’s wisdom is based on satan’s schemes. The great red dragon is merely doing its last service to God. Through it God is exercising us intensely and making up for our lacks in wisdom, sense, faith, perseverance, etc., so as to make us complete as soon as possible. At the same time, through the tribulation God reveals our faithfulness; this is the work God does to divide people into their kind. Thinking about my arrogance and ignorance of the past and looking at my timidity and overcautiousness of today, before the fact, I became shamefaced and had to bow my haughty head. I was completely convinced. I could not help uttering praises from the bottom of my heart: O God! Without your such wise and wonderful work, I would still live in my arrogance and self-rightness, could never have related your words of disclosing man’s corrupt essence to myself, and would still consider myself a good person. Today, if it were not for your wise exposing, I would never have seen my ugly features, even less could I gain transformation of my nature. O God! In the future tribulations, for weal and woe, I will follow you closely, commit no rebellion against you, and uphold the testimony for you.
Bengbu City, Anhui Province