At a meeting after the Spring Festival of 2002, I heard that the gospel work would continue just this year and the next. I was very excited in my heart: Now I know what to expect. No matter how hard and how difficult things are, there are only two years left. In two years, I will be able to hold my head high. From then on, I performed my duty very energetically. Once, after I got home my family naggingly asked me when I would stop running around. I replied without thinking: “In two years. During these two years, you may just consider me as being in poor health; don’t count on me to do anything. After two years, I will spare no effort to earn money to support our family and take care of the children.” In this way, I gave my family an account.
One year passed in a flash. In April 2003, there came a work arrangement, which once again said that the gospel work would be basically concluded at the end of that year. I was even more excited and performed my duty with great drive, as if having been given an assurance. Wherever I went, I persistently urged that the brothers and sisters make the best use of their time to preach the gospel, otherwise there would be no more chances for them to prepare good deeds. Although not much result was achieved in the gospel work, I never became discouraged or disappointed. I thought: No matter what, I will persevere to the end of this year. Thus I was waiting while doing the work, expecting that there would suddenly come the great good news “Announcement: the gospel work is over now.”
On December 21, 2003, a work arrangement came finally. I thought: It must be about the matter of the conclusion of the gospel work. However, when I got it and had a look, I was dumbfounded: It was entitled “Several Problems in the Churches that Need to Be Resolved.” In one of the problems “How Should We Treat the Day of God,” it says: “Now, most people’s expending is simply because the day of God is coming nearer but not out of their love for God and their genuine obedience to God. … Those who do not pursue the truth certainly cherish fantasies, thinking that as long as the day of God arrives, they can rise in the world and will no longer undergo sufferings. They do not understand God’s work at all…. Just think: If the day of God arrives tomorrow, have you been truly conquered by the word of God? Are you qualified to receive a reward? Have you undergone all the sufferings you should undergo? Have you possessed a genuine faith within? Has your faith really reached the point where you are saved by God? Are you now really a person who obeys God? Have you now borne the testimony of Job or Peter? Have you possessed the genuine faith of Job? If these problems have not yet been solved, what good does it do to you if God’s day comes? … We have not yet been made complete by God but we eagerly expect the arrival of God’s day. Aren’t we so ignorant and arrogant as to lose our sense? … So, we should not hold any fantastic ideas. We’d better experience God’s work in a down-to-earth manner!” When I read this, my heart sank all at once and I felt disheartened and my future bleak. Alas! My expectation has been completely shattered. How should I fellowship about this with the brothers and sisters? And how should I explain it to my family? At that time I became weak and limp, like a deflated ball.
One day, after calming down, I opened the book of God’s word, and read these words: “They ‘patiently’ wait for the coming of my day and also are very patiently tossed back and forth by my ways of working. … What they are never anxious to do is to change themselves and pursue the truth. … The nearer my day draws, the stronger their desire becomes. … Although they exert great strength and their will and intent to endure hardships are very genuine, all that they do has nothing to do with me…. This is what they have done before me over these many years.” Every word of God hit my state. I bowed my head in shame. I saw that my years of pursuit were simply for the day of God and my longing for that day was so strong. Supposing God’s day arrives tomorrow, can I survive? Without the truth and with my nature untransformed, won’t I be one to be punished? Now, the day of God has not yet come. Isn’t this God’s tolerance and salvation for me? Having thought of this, I could not help falling facedown to the ground: “O God! I will not indulge in fantastic ideas anymore. I only wish to change my past viewpoint of pursuit, experience your work in a down-to-earth manner, and perform my duty properly to console your heart.”
Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province