On the Eve of the Chinese New Year 1999, I went to an auntie’s home for some business. It was then lunch time. Her unbelieving son, daughter-in-law, and daughter all returned home for the New Year reunion. I intended to leave once I got my thing done, but the auntie had asked me to have the meal. During the meal, her unbelieving son said, “You believers in God are really capable! You even can stand for not going home on New Year’s Eve. Could there be no family members in your home? …” Those words, like a needle, pricked my heart, and hurt me deeply, and I seemed to have been given a good dressing-down in public; I felt very bad and distressed and just like a beggar wandering about. Persecuted by the great red dragon, I was already homeless. Now being ridiculed like this, how could I, a person who particularly cared about her face, bear such a blow? I felt I had lost all my face. I unconsciously sank into a painful refining, and the ache in my heart was beyond expression. I did not know how I had swallowed that meal. It seemed that all that I had swallowed down were tears.
After I got back to the host home, I could no longer control my feeling of being wronged. So I knelt before God and prayed, “O Almighty God, I don’t know how to experience in the matter I encountered today. I was very distressed in my heart. I also see that my stature is too small to withstand a little ridicule and slander from others. But I know that all the surrounding people, matters, and things are arranged by you. May you inspire and guide me in this matter, so that I can understand your intention and won’t misunderstand you. I’m willing to come out of this state….” After my prayer, I thought of these words of God: “The more God refines a person, the more his heart can love God. When his heart suffers, it is always beneficial to his life. He can better be quiet before God, his relationship with God will be more intimate, and he can better see God’s great love and God’s great salvation. Peter experienced hundreds of refinings, and Job also experienced many trials. If you want to be perfected by God, you will also have to experience hundreds of refinings, have to go through this process, and have to go through this step. Only in this way can you satisfy God’s will and be perfected by God. Refining is the best way God perfects man. Only through refining and painful trials can one have a true love for God from his heart.” Thank God for his inspiration. Today the befalling of such suffering is God’s love coming upon me, which made me see that everything done by God’s hand is to perfect me and cleanse away the mixtures within me. So, I chose several hymns and began to sing. One of them was this:
“In this world, there is a vast mass of people;
No one knows that God has become a man in the world.
No one pays any attention; no one shows any concern.
He is alone and friendless; how desolate! How sorrowful!
O God! O God! For whose sake you are suffering?
Why do we always grieve you?
Oh, why does mankind always resist you?
Oh, why does the world always slander you?
O God! O God! I am willing to love you; though I do not satisfy you now,
I will never stay away from you, no matter under what circumstances.
In this world, there is a vast mass of people;
We are like a sand grain in the sands.
In this world, no one cares for us;
In this world, we are forlorn, wandering everywhere.
It is God you who have regard for us;
It is God you who lift up us all.
We have been so deeply corrupted by satan;
We are extremely filthy like the dung.
But God you do not detest us, but judge and chastise and purify us.
You arouse our numb heart, and we feel strongly that you are kind and lovely.
In this fortress of the demons,
Who is delivered from his corruption and lives out a human likeness?
There is no life, and no light,
Dark, and desolate; what a dismal sight!
God you, the most high, become the small,
Humble yourself and are clothed in a flesh,
Come to this place to save man,
And devote all your care to saving us.
O God! O God! You have selected us, and purify us and make us be new people.
I am willing to love you and obey you, and praise your love forever on earth.”
I could no longer restrain my tears. O God, you have done so much for us! The suffering I met today is what you have long since tasted. Now I realize how great the suffering you have undergone and how deep your love for us is. In the past, I fellowshipped every day with the brothers and sisters about your loveliness, and now I have known that I only have a doctrinal knowledge but do not have any reality. Through the circumstance you arranged today, I have discovered your lovely aspects and tasted that your love is so real. If I did not undergo such suffering today, I could never understand your words “having no place to lay your head, and experiencing all the pains of the world and the ridicule and slander and rejection of man…,” or know the significance in that, and thus my knowledge of these truths would always be only in doctrine.
At that moment, the more I pondered, the more I felt that God has given mankind so much love. The supreme God humbled himself into an ordinary man and came to this filthy land to do work and speak words personally, practically laboring for mankind and practically tasting the sufferings of the world. When we were tormented by illness, God has long since tasted it. When the suffering of being homeless comes upon us, God has long since endured it. When we are ridiculed and slandered, God has long since experienced that, which is even severer and more than us. When we are hunted by the great red dragon, the persecution God’s flesh suffers does not lessen a little, and God has long since served as an exemplar for us. No matter what sufferings we encounter, God has already experienced them. O Almighty God, you are so great! Your goodness and your beauty could not be expressed or described with human language. To save us this group of poor and blind people, you have suffered so much. O Almighty God, I offer up my thanks and praises to you! No matter what bitter refining comes upon me in the future, I’m willing to submit to your arrangement and willing to discover more of your lovely aspects.
Yingtan City, Jiangxi Province