What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
I No Longer Played Mahjong! – Spiritual Awakening
By Jingqi, Hong Kong
From when I threw myself into society and started to work after high school, I had fallen into the bad habit of playing mah-jongg under the influence of my friends around me, and unconsciously sunk into the tide of evil, unable to extricate myself.
In the beginning, I always made the minimum bet because I did not know how to play mah-jongg. Later, when I gradually had a grasp of it, I felt that the stake was not high enough to excite me. So I made big bets, which enabled me to earn a profit of one or two thousand yuan when I won one game. For some time, I played mah-jongg every day, and sometimes I did not sleep all day and had three meals at the mahjong table while playing mah-jongg. Furthermore, several times I was arrested by the law executor from the local police station for playing mah-jongg in the grocery store and was brought to the police department. Only after I had been imprisoned for several hours and handed in the penalty was I finally released. Despite this, it could not get me out of the bad habit. I felt it was normal to paly mah-jongg and it was no big deal.
For a period of time after I had my boyfriend, I did not have a job. So playing mah-jongg even became my occupation. In addition, my boyfriend also had the hobby, so when it was his day off, I took him to play mah-jongg and we often played several games in one day. Sometimes we played at different tables at the same time, yet sometimes we played by turns when only one mahjong table was set up that day. Although I wallowed in playing mah-jongg, this kind of life often made me feel very empty and bored, and even brought me some unexpected troubles.
I remember that one time, when we played mah-jongg together, I saw his method of playing mah-jongg was different from mine, and thus I criticized him for making a mistake in playing mah-jongg. All men are sensitive about their reputation; as a result, my boyfriend left in a fit of wrath after being criticized by me. So we did not meet each other for two weeks. During those two weeks, I passed days as if they were years, feeling as if the heaven was falling down. I had no choice but to play mah-jongg every day to anesthetize myself and make myself have no time for missing him. But this could not help; instead, it caused a great deal of pain in my heart. During the short two weeks, I gambled away much money. Later, it was not until I truly apologized to him that I obtained his forgiveness.
Following my boyfriend, I got to Hong Kong soon. I born a son after we got married. When my son was still too young, I merely played mah-jongg occasionally. But after he went to kindergarten at the age of three I relapsed. Every day, after sending my son to school, I began to seat myself beside the mah-jongg table and it was not broken up until it was time for my son to return from school. After taking him home, I would buy food to cook dinner, do housework, and teach him to do homework, as if fighting a war. And that was how I spent a busy day. During that time, I almost spent each day in that way. Even on Saturdays and Sundays, I would ask my husband to take care of my son and I myself would go out for playing mah-jongg. If there was one day when I did not play mah-jongg, I would feel very bored and not know what I should do. It was thus that I sank into playing mah-jongg again and could not free myself from it.
In the autumn of 2016, my friends had a dinner party on the sandy beach and invited me there. During the dinner party, I came to know a sister who believed in God. Then she spread theof the God’s kingdom to me, telling me the story of Adam and Eve, Noah’s deed of building the ark, and the three stages of God’s work. The sister said: “Now people are too deeply corrupted by Satan, and all people acknowledge not there is a God, and there is no people who take it upon themselves to search for God, , and pursue a meaningful life. Instead, all people live in Satan’s trap, are content with eating, drinking and the pursuit of pleasure, and live an empty life. So only if we come before God, know Him, and worship Him can we free ourselves from the empty and painful life and live meaningfully. …” Although what the sister said sounded very good and reasonable, as I did not know and understand much about God, I felt that believing in God is not essential. At some later time, although I gathered together with the sister on time, I had scanty knowledge about and they held little interest to me. At the time when there was no assembly, I still felt empty and bored and went to play mah-jongg once I had time.
One day, I desired greatly to play mah-jongg again, and I called my friends and asked them whether they had time. All they said was that their mah-jongg playing clashed with my son’s school’s start time, so I could not play mah-jongg with them anymore. After several days, having sent my son to school, I received another friend’s call. She invited me to play mah-jongg at her home and I went there happily. But the result was that after I arrived there and waited a long time, one friend still did not show up. Subsequently, I knew that this friend actually fell asleep at home. I felt surprised: Playing mah-jongg is her favorite, and this time we have made an appointment with her, how could she fall asleep then? After another one hour or so, another friend came and so we finally got enough people to start a game. But right as the mahjong table was set up and we got ready to begin, the dice was unexpectedly missing. As a result, we ended up failing to start the game. Just at this time, I suddenly thought of God: Could it be that God has arranged all these to protect me and stop me from wallowing in playing mah-jongg and living in Satan’s trap?
When I thought of this, it seemed that my heart awoke suddenly. At that moment, I felt that I was so corrupted. When I had time, what I thought was playing mah-jongg instead of reading God’s words and pursuing the truth. Although I was so corrupted, God still did not discard me. On the contrary, He cared for and protected me through creating the surroundings. God is really too great, is full of compassion and love, and tolerates me a lot. I thought that I truly had no conscience, and that I had failed God and was not worth such care and protection from Him.
When getting back home, I hurried to pick up a book of God’s Words and read it. I saw God’s words said: “God created this world, He created this mankind, and moreover He was the architect of ancient Greek culture and human civilization. Only God consoles this mankind, and only God cares for this mankind night and day” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind”). “We are the mankind saved by Him, we are the maggots in His eyes, and we are the lost lambs that He thinks of finding day and night. He is merciful toward us, He despises us, He raises us up, He comforts and exhorts us, He guides us, He enlightens us, He chastens and disciplines us, and He even curses us. He worries for us night and day, He protects and cares for us night and day, He never leaves our side, and He devotes all His care to us and pays any price for us” “He makes painstaking efforts for us, loses sleep and appetite for us, weeps for us, sighs for us, groans in sickness for us, suffers humiliation for the sake of our destination and salvation, and His heart bleeds and sheds tears for our numbness and rebelliousness” (“Beholding the Appearance of God in His Judgment and Chastisement”).
Seeing the words God has expressed, I felt that I had nowhere to hide from my shame and was ashamed for my own rebelliousness. I remembered that before, for the sake of playing mah-jongg, I was unwilling to accompany my family even on Saturdays and Sundays, I had no thought to take care of my son, and even constantly got angry with him, hit him, and scolded him. Sometimes, I even took my husband and son to play mah-jongg at night. My husband played the first half of the mahjong game till midnight, and then after he took our son home to sleep, I played the second half. And I often didn’t go home to rest until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. the next day. Since my son got up at seven or eight a.m., I simply could not sleep well at all. Therefore, I felt tired in both body and mind and my temper became more irascible. I complained about my husband’s not being considerate of me, not taking our son to play outside so that I could have a good sleep. We often quarreled about these things, which gave all my family displeasure. Were these not Satan’s afflictions? I was corrupted deeply by Satan, but God did not give up saving me due to my numbness, dullness, stubbornness, and follies. Instead, He protected me time and again. He repeatedly arranged the individuals and things that surrounded me to stop me from playing mah-jongg time and again, and made me no longer be tempted and afflicted by Satan through this way. I felt that God was worried about me, He hoped that I would not live in the empty life of eating, drinking, and merry-making any longer, and He wanted to save me. However, I always refused His love and paid no attention to His salvation, which actually broke His heart.
My rebelliousness was like what Gods’ words revealed: “A million calls can hardly rouse your heart and your spirit. You sleep deeply in the hands of the evil one, who has lured you into the boundless realm, with no direction, with no road signs. Henceforth, you have lost your original purity, innocence, and started to hide from the care of the Almighty. The evil one steers your heart in every matter and becomes your life. You no longer fear him, no longer avoid him, no longer doubt him. … You forget that the evil one has tempted you, afflicted you; you forget your origin. Just like that, the evil one has been damaging you step by step, even to now. Your heart and your spirit are desensitized and decayed. You no longer complain about the distress of the world, no longer believe the world is unjust. You don’t even care about the existence of the Almighty” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). I then thought of myself: I have been chosen by God from the great world, but I do not know how to cherish the good fortune God gives me and instead am willing to continue the meaningless and vicious life. I actually became numb to a certain extent. I finally realized that playing mah-jongg not only brought my family lots of contradiction, but was moreover, a trick that Satan used to occupy my time and afflict me. Its purpose was just to make my heart move away from God and became its captive in the end.
And I saw God’s words said: “Each of God’s words strikes at our mortal spot, and leaves us sorrowful and afraid. He reveals our notions, reveals our imaginations, and reveals our corrupt disposition. Through all that we say and do, and every one of our thoughts and ideas, our nature and substance are revealed by His words, leaving us humiliated and trembling with fear. He tells us of all of our actions, our aims and intentions, and even the corrupt disposition that we have never discovered, making us feel we are thoroughly exposed, and even more feel completely convinced” (“Beholding the Appearance of God in His Judgment and Chastisement”). From the words God has expressed, I saw that God actually knew me so well and also loved me a lot. He used His words to tell me that I was living in Satan’s affliction, and at the same time, He told me that He was worrying about me all the time and was unwilling to see me continue the life of depravity and move away from Him. God’s words made me feel the indebtedness to God and the regret in my heart. I thought that God was just using these words to awaken me, so that I could stay away from the mahjong table and Satan’s bondage early. The more I thought, the more I felt God’s words were so good, and He was so almighty and lovely, I truly felt that I was unfit to receive exaltation and grace from God. So, I made resolutions inwardly: Later I will not play mah-jongg but will truly follow God. I will read God’s words and attend meetings more when I have time, be someone after God’s heart, and perform my duty to repay .
From then on, I have been really away from the mahjong table. Until now, more than half a year has passed by. During this time, I found that I had changed a lot, and even my friends around me said that I had changed. They all asked the same question: “Why do you not play mah-jongg now?” I answered breezily: “I am not interested in it now, I have gotten rid of it.” And they all asked me: “How did you get rid of it? I also tried to but just failed.” I felt pleased inwardly. If I had not come before God, relied on God’s guidance, but had only depended on my corporal determination, I would not get rid of it forever. It is God that protects me and helps me get rid of the bad habit. Thank God!
Now my life is very happy and enriched every day and I no longer quarrel with my husband over playing mah-jongg. Even my son feels that I have changed a lot. He says that I get angry at him less often, and I am no longer the mother who used to hit him, scold him, and yelled at him. Now, my family is full of cheers and laughter. When it is my husband’s day off, I do not go playing mah-jongg, but instead stay with them two to enjoy family joys together. I forgive my husband and son more, no longer get angry with them or complain to them about the trifles of life, and do not feel empty and lonely any longer. All this is the good fortunebestows upon me.
Each time I recall my past self, I just remember the song If I Were Not Saved by God: “If I were not saved by God, I would still be drifting in this world, struggling hard and painfully in sin, every day gets bleak and hopeless. If I were not saved by God, I’d still be crushed below the devil’s feet, snared in sin and its enjoyments, ignorant of what my life would be. If I were not saved by God, I’d be without my blessings here today, much less know why we should live on or the meaning of our lives. …” (“If I Were Not Saved by God” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I recall that I was so rebellious that I hurt God’s heart before, but God did not commemorate my faults and still saved me and made me live in His light. At this point, I’ve seen God’s greatness, forbearance, compassion, and love. If I were not saved by God, I would still live in Satan’s trap and could not find the meaning of my life. So, I decide to follow God all my life and I am willing to try my best to repay God’s love. All the glory be to Almighty God! Thank God! Amen!
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