Faith Comes From Experience

By Xiaomo, United States

new york

As a new arrival in America, Xiaomo was unfamiliar with everything. Every day, she would meet various difficulties hard for her to cope with: language barrier, not knowing the way, and so on. Among all these difficulties, her survival was the most urgent one.

After settling in there, Xiaomo found that very little was left of the money she brought, which made her realize that USD and RMB were really quite different. Xiaomo shall never forget that the first time she went out, she spent $6.5 on two basins. “It’s equivalent to a cool thirty to forty RMB,” she could not help but exclaim, yet a sister smiled and comforted her, “It will be fine when you get used to it.”

In real life, money was greatly needed. At the thought of this, Xiaomo knew that she had to find a job to make a living.

For a whole day, Xiaomo walked around the strange roads and streets. Unfamiliar surroundings and people of different colors and languages, all made Xiaomo feel insecure. Fortunately, Xiaomo lived in a Chinatown, where lots of shops were run by Chinese people.

As long as Xiaomo saw the shop with a job advertisement, she would pluck up her courage to walk in and ask about it. But all she heard was: “Can you speak English?” Unfortunately, Xiaomo could not speak English. At the end of the day, after travelling around the whole block, Xiaomo was exhausted but had not got any job.

At night, Xiaomo went back home. She was extremely depressed. She crossed the ocean to come to America alone. “Without the company of my parents and relatives, who can be my reliance? Who can help me?” Thinking of these, Xiaomo shed tears helplessly.

On seeing this, the sister went up to her and consoled her: “When I first came here, I also had many hardships like you have. Although I took many detours, I thank God for guiding me through them. Actually, all of these problems are temporary. They are used by God to increase our faith, to help us learn to rely on and look to Him, and to make us tangibly experience the work of God. Now that you are encountering these practical difficulties, you should pray more to God. He is our sole reliance. Only when we rely on Him, will we have a way forward and never get lost.”

The words of sister reminded Xiaomo. She thought: Right! How come I forget God? So Xiaomo hurriedly prayed to God, pouring out her practical difficulties to God.

After praying, Xiaomo thought of God’s words, “All things under God’s arrangements and sovereignty obey natural laws, and if you resolve to let God arrange and dictate everything for you, you should learn to wait, you should learn to seek, you should learn to submit. This is the attitude that every person who wants to submit to God’s authority must take, the basic quality that every person who wants to accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements must possess. To hold such an attitude, to possess such a quality, you must work harder; and only thus can you enter into the true reality” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). After reading God’s words, she thought: Everything obeys an objective law of development. I spent only one day looking for a job, and when I failed, I became mired in negativity and difficulty. I really have no perseverance. Besides, I had little faith. Now that God says, “You should learn to wait, you should learn to seek, you should learn to submit,” I should submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, to experience God’s work, and to taste God’s deeds.

To Xiaomo’s surprise, when she had reversed her condition and attitude and looked for a job again, she easily got one at which she was competent. Xiaomo experienced that God was really watching by her side, and was her ever-present help. But since much of the time she had no place for God in her heart and did not know how to rely on God, she lacked faith in God and fell into all kinds of difficulties and anxieties. As Xiaomo was grateful to God, she also felt ashamed for her little faith.

Without realizing it, Xiaomo had been working in this restaurant for two months. One day, it was actually not Xiaomo’s day off, but her colleague’s. However, the latter switched shift with her, so Xiaomo didn’t go to work. About three o’clock on that afternoon, her colleague phoned her that the restaurant had been burnt out, and all colleagues were frightened …

Listening to this startling news, Xiaomo kept thanking God in her heart. She knew well that the reason why she could escape this disaster was totally because of God’s care and protection! It came out that the fire originated from her work place, and destroyed the three or four surrounding stores. This event caused quite a stir locally.

Two days after, Xiaomo saw the burned restaurant and the colleagues who were on the scene at the time. They all were still frightened. Looking at the expressions on their face, Xiaomo really felt that she was greatly kept by God.

Later on, Xiaomo remembered that several days before the accident took place, she overheard the restaurant’s managers say that the boss was short of funds, and so was going to run off with money. Unexpectedly, a few days later, the incident happened, and what happened afterward proved that the boss really run off, run off with their hard-earned money.

bible

On the one hand, this matter made Xiaomo see God’s righteousness. The Bible says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ said the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

On the other hand, it challenged Xiaomo’s faith. The restaurant burnt, Xiaomo was unemployed, and the boss had run off with her hard-earned salary for half a month. Xiaomo carefully counted all the money she had, finding that excluding the monthly rental for the house, the spare money could hardly support her living.

The following days, time was quite precious to Xiaomo, for each day’s delay in finding a job meant she would fall into trouble in life. Xiaomo knew, it would be another journey of faith. Last time, she exposed her little faith in God; this time, she was willing to believe in God’s almightiness and sovereignty, to submit to His orchestration and arrangement.

Xiaomo thought of God’s words: “Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God. Satan devises every way possible to send us its thoughts, we should always pray that the light of God will shine on us, and we must always rely on God to purify us from Satan’s poison. We shall always be practicing in our spirits to come close to God. We shall let God have dominion over our whole being” (“The Sixth Utterance”). Through God’s words, Xiaomo realized that her little faith in God always made her imagine lots of terrible results, so that she lived in panic and helplessness, losing the faith in God and reliance on God subsequently, and falling into Satan’s whirlpool. All of this was Satan’s affliction on her.

God’s words say: “Think back to the Age of Law. When the Israelites were on the road after leaving Egypt, God gave them quail and manna. Did God allow people to preserve them? (No.) Some people were narrow-minded and were afraid that there wouldn’t be more the next day, so they kept some aside. ‘Save it in case we need it later!’ Then what happened? By the next day it had become rotten. God did not let them leave any behind as backup because God had made some preparations, which ensured that they would not starve. But people didn’t have that confidence and always wanted to leave some aside because they thought: ‘God’s actions are unreliable! You can’t see it and you cannot touch it. It’s still better to leave some aside for later. Have to be pre-emptive because no one will look after you if you don’t figure out a way yourself!’ As you can see, mankind does not have that confidence, nor do they have true faith in God. They’re always leaving some aside for later and are never able to see all the care and thought behind what God prepared for mankind. They’re just always unable to feel it, always mistrusting God, always thinking: ‘God’s actions are unreliable! Who knows if God will give it to mankind or when He will give it! If I’m really hungry and God doesn’t give it, then won’t I starve? Won’t I lack nutrition?’ See how tiny man’s confidence is!” (“God Is the Source of Life for All Things (II)”). God’s words shattered Xiaomo’s imaginations and increased her faith. She believed that although she met difficulties, abroad alone and seemingly friendless and isolated, she knew that she was not lonely, because God was with her all along. Although she didn’t perceive or feel that God had already made suitable arrangements in everything, yet she knew that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). She believed that God was her most powerful rear guard and would be at her side, never leaving or forsaking her.

During the days that followed, Xiaomo needed to cooperate on some work in church, thus throwing herself into the intense and busy church work. Sometimes she would also think of hunting a job, but due to God’s guidance and protection, she felt quite calm. Seeing Xiaomo’s quiet look, the sister said, “As long as you put your heart into church, the job will come to you actively.” Xiaomo just smiled. She treated sister’s words as a joke and thought matters would not be as simple as what the sister said.

That afternoon when Xiaomo had finished cooperating on the church work, she really just planned to wander around to see if there were any job vacancy. She walked into a mall, and surprisingly got a job within ten minutes. And when Xiaomo was feeling excited, she was more able to experience God’s sovereignty, God’s faithfulness, and God’s mercy and love for her.

Having come so far, Xiaomo has truly tasted that Christians’ experiences of living far away in a foreign country is really a journey of faith. And with God’s company, splendor bursts forth on the journey.

You may be interested in this article: How to Keep Faith in Trials?

Dear brothers and sisters, if you have any understanding or enlightenment from God, welcome to share with us via:1. The online chat window at the bottom of the website. 2. Send an email to [email protected].We sincerely hope we’ll grow spiritually through sharing with each other.

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