In Peril, God’s Hand Saved Me
“If I were not saved by God, I would still be drifting in the world,
struggling painfully in sin, living without any hope.
If I were not saved by God, I would still be trampled by the devils,
enjoying the pleasures of sin, not knowing where is the path of human life.
If I were not saved by God, I would not be blessed today,
much less know the value or the meaning of man’s living.
If I were not saved by God, I would still believe in vagueness
and live in emptiness, not knowing to whom I should be faithful.
I have finally understood God’s loving hand leads me forward.
So I have not lost my way but stepped onto the bright journey …” (“If I Were Not Saved by God” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Whenever I hear this hymn of experience, I appreciate how true those words are. If I were not saved by God, I would still be drifting in the world, bustling about for money and even losing life and not knowing where I would die.
I, a post-80s young man, was born in an ordinary peasant family. My elder brother was sickly from childhood. My father’s legs got hurt accidentally when I was ten and he became paralyzed two years later. We had been poor and was under a heavy debt after the treatment for my father’s illness. Consequently, my relatives and friends dare not lend money to us for fear that we couldn’t repay it to them. Helpless, I dropped out of school and left my parents to work away from home at the age of sixteen. Before, my peers played around after school, while I had to do farm work. So, I felt that my life was difficult. Now, others are in school, whereas I have to work and endure hardships at an early age. I complain that my parents gave birth to me, who have to suffer and toil after coming to the world. But I can do nothing but accept the fact. Due to my impoverished family, my greatest wish is to earn money hard to let my parents live a good life, no longer looked down upon and laughed at by others.
In the beginning, I worked in a private aluminum factory. As I was underage, my boss took care of my room and board. One year later, I thought that the wage was too low, so, I chose to work in a furniture factory, doing spray painting that no one else was willing to do. At that time, as long as it was not against the law and I could make money, any job would be fine to me. Because my only goal was climbing out of poverty and becoming rich. Afterward, introduced by my relative, I worked in a company which could provide the opportunity to go overseas. Later, I truly got the chance.
In spring of 2012, I got my wish and came to Japan and started my new life. I worked in the shipbuilding industry and signed a three-year-training contract. At first, the work was very tiring and difficult. I didn’t know how to cook, so I ate instant noodles for a month. At last, I was forced to learn to cook after I took too much of them and felt sick. I had half-cooked food for a long time. As we were foreigners in Japan, people in the company inevitably treated us unfairly, asking us to do dirty, tiring and dangerous work. When I did the spray painting, I was somewhat afraid, because the gas would be burning when it caught fire and safety neglect could put life in danger. However, whether it was the life suffering or the danger in the work, I didn’t feel that bitter when I thought that I could send money to my family and that I could buy car and house and become the greatest of the great and be no longer poor after going back home. In a twinkling, my life of three-year-work passed. Before my visa expired, our company had the policy of renewing the contract. To earn more money, I renewed my contract. After that, I was fortunate to hear God’s kingdom .
In September of 2015, a friend of mine I knew in Japan preached the kingdom gospel to me. When she talked about belief in God with me, I felt that it was only a belief and I wasn’t interested in it. I said to her that even belief in God couldn’t change my fate and then I told her the sufferings I had undergone. I asked her, “Can belief in God change my fate? I’ve suffered a lot and I was born to suffer. Now the reality is to make more money. With money, I’ll no longer suffer. Belief in God is far from me.” Hearing what I said, my friend read a passage of for me, “Where you will go every day, what you will do, who or what you will encounter, what you will say, what will happen to you—can any of this be predicted? People cannot foresee all these occurrences, much less control how they develop. In life, these unforeseeable events happen all the time, and they are an everyday occurrence. These daily vicissitudes and the ways they unfold, or the patterns by which they play out, are constant reminders to humanity that nothing happens at random, that these things’ ramifications, and their inevitability, cannot be shifted by human will. Every happening conveys an admonition from the to mankind, and it also sends the message that human beings cannot control their own fates; at the same time every event is a rebuttal to humanity’s wild, futile ambition and desire to take its fate into its own hands. They are like powerful slaps about humanity’s ears one after another, forcing people to reconsider who, in the end, governs and controls their fate. And as their ambitions and desires are repeatedly thwarted and shattered, humans naturally arrive at an unconscious acceptance of what fate has in store, an acceptance of reality, of the will of Heaven and the Creator’s sovereignty. From these daily vicissitudes to the fates of entire human lives, there is nothing that does not reveal the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty; there is nothing that does not send the message that ‘the Creator’s authority cannot be exceeded,’ that does not convey the eternal truth that ‘the Creator’s authority is supreme’” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After listening to those words, I felt that they were quite reasonable and it seemed that renewing the contract was out of God’s arrangement. I thought about that the family I was born into and my family life couldn’t be chosen by myself and I felt that there is an unseen Master. Then, my friend made me read the six junctures in a human life in the piece of “God Himself, the Unique III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh that Birth: The First Juncture, Growing Up: The Second Juncture, Independence: The Third Juncture, Marriage: The Fourth Juncture, Progeny: The Fifth Juncture, and Death: The Sixth Juncture. These words astonished me and I felt that was the case. Normally, every person must pass the six junctures in the course of his or her life. I’m not the only one who goes through hardships among so many people in the world. If we can choose and control our fate, no one will be born into poor families and everyone will choose to be born into rich ones. Will there be people who are poor and suffering? It indeed can’t be chosen by man himself that what kind of family he or she is born into, what kind of parents he or she has, and what kind of husband or wife he or she will have. The more I thought, the more I felt that these words were practical. Fate can’t be changed by one himself. From then on, I became interested in belief in God gradually. I believed that there exists God and that man’s fate is not governed by himself. However, as I didn’t have much knowledge of God, I felt that God appeared to be very remote from me. But an experience later made me truly feel that God was beside me, caring for and protecting me.