What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
Long-term Painful Life, End
By Mengfu, Taiwan
Every time I sing the song If I Were Not Saved by God, I am greatly moved. If I were not saved by God, I would dream away my whole life. I would not know the meaning of my life, much less the worth of my existence.
I’m 53 years old, born into a rural family in Guizhou Province. Influenced by the social environment, my life pursuit was to have a happy family: marital affection, devoted children, and joyful twilight years; these are enough for me.
I lived in the time when arranged marriage was popular. At the age of 24, through a matchmaker, I married a man who was 12 years senior to me. At that time, he worked in a public institution. But we didn’t have common language due to the difference of our ages and educational backgrounds. He despised me because I could do nothing. Every time after he returned home, he didn’t talk much to me. His indifference made me agonized. But no matter how he despised me, I would do whatever he told me without complaint. I thought: Since we are married, no matter how he treats me, I must try my best to maintain our marriage. Because he worked far away from our home, we often lived in two separate places. But I thought as long as I took good care of our home and treated my parents-in-law with filial respect, he would change his attitude toward me some day. And so it was still possible that we became a loving couple.
One year later, our twin daughters were born. I thought since we had children, my husband should change his attitude toward me for the sake of our daughters, and that my marriage should thereby be guaranteed. However, despite all that I had devoted to our home and him, he still asked for a divorce when our daughters were six years old. At that moment, I also lost confidence in our marriage. With my ardent hope for a loving couple and happy family dashed, I decided to set my heart on my two daughters. I thought: I must work hard to support my daughters’ education. I must tell them to study hard to be knowledgeable and wealthy people in the future. Only in this way can they abandon the tough life of being despised by others as I’m living now. So I told my husband that as long as he promised to take good care of my daughters, support their study, and obtain official residence permits for them, I would divorce him. He agreed. In the end, we got a divorce by agreement.
After divorce, I found a job of doing cleaning near my daughters’ school with the help of their aunt. In this way, I could earn money on the one hand, and on the other, I could see my daughters at any time. As for my husband, with his parents and my daughters to look after, his salary could only make both ends meet. So life was hard for him, too. Being poor, my daughters were looked down upon by their teachers and classmates. And they were often bullied by others. Seeing their grievances, I also shed tears. I hated my miserable life. I blamed myself for being unable to give them good lives and good growing-up environments. I swore to earn enough money to offer them good lives and change their bad fates. I also encouraged my daughters that only by studying hard could they have good fates in the future.
In 2001, one of my relatives connected me with a marriage partner, a Taiwanese. She also told me that I could earn big money in Taiwan. At her words, I was quite excited. I thought: If living in Taiwan, I can leave this heartbreaking place. And if I can also earn some money, I can make up for my daughters and send them to good universities. That can’t be better. So, after I learned that the Taiwanese was a proper partner, I married him. I had thought I could be closer to my life goal in Taiwan, but never had I thought that the reality was totally different from what I had heard from others and what I had dreamed of. Not having a work permit, I could only do odd jobs and could hardly earn any money. I was a little discouraged, feeling regret at marrying a Taiwanese.
Several years later, with a work permit, I found a regular job and earned some money. Just when I could have some savings, my then husband was seriously ill. That cost almost all our savings and my hope was shattered as a result. In agony, I thought of death. But if I died, my daughters would become motherless and there would be no one to earn money for their better life. Thinking of this, I didn’t have the courage to die. However, I didn’t know how to move on. I sank into perplexity. Facing the future life, I was directionless and more hopeless. I just commuted like a working machine. In my heart, I looked forward to earning money to change the current situation but at the same time, I thought it was impossible.
In 2006, I returned to Guizhou to visit my families. And I happened to meet my aunt there, who came over from Sichuan to visit my mother and sister. I told her about my present situation in Taiwan and my agony. She said, “God created the heavens and earth and all things. When God created all things, He also rules all things. Man’s fate is in God’s hand. If God doesn’t care, protect, or bless man, no matter how much effort man makes, their efforts will be in vain. Only God can solve all mankind’s problems.” Then she took out a book and read a passage to me, “Whatever your background and whatever the journey ahead of you, none can escape the orchestration and arrangement that Heaven has in store, and none are in control of their destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work. … without the care, keeping, and provision of God, man cannot receive all that he was meant to receive, no matter how great the effort or struggle. Without the supply of life from God, man loses the sense of value in living and loses the sense of purpose in life” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”).
The words my aunt read and talked about filled me with emotion. I recalled the years from when I married my ex-husband and then divorced him to when I labored for my daughters. I found I got nothing except for toil and tiredness. When my ex-husband looked down upon me, I did my utmost to change his attitude. When my daughters were bullied and despised by others, I wanted to earn money to change their life and fates. But none of these was achieved by me. So, I had a thought that I should believe in God and rely on God. My aunt also asked me to do so. She told me that man’s life is in God’s hand, and that my daughters’ fates are under God’s sovereignty and thus can’t be changed because I strived to earn money. In my heart, I acknowledged these words. I was also willing to believe in God and rely on God. So I promised her to believe in God.
When I went back to Taiwan, my aunt gave me a book named The Scroll Opened by the Lamb. She exhorted me to read more of, to to God and rely on Him often. But as I was poorly educated, I couldn’t recognize many words. Besides, I was busy with life and I had to work from dawn to dusk. So, I strayed far from God.
This went on until in 2014 when my right hand was too painful to raise up because of the tiredness from work. It ached so terribly that, sometimes, I preferred to die. And I was always too painful to fall asleep until two or three o’clock in the morning. To cure my illness, I almost ran in and out of all the hospitals, big or small, in Taiwan. As a result, my stomach was damaged because I had taken a lot of pain killers. Not only did I not have my hand cured, but I also had a stomachache. Later, I couldn’t work any longer because of my serious illness, so I went back to my hometown Guizhou to treat it.
After I was back, I went to my aunt’s. When she saw me in indescribable pain caused by the illness, she fellowshiped with me about God’s will of saving man. She told me to pray to God and rely on God. She also told me that my illness came from Satan, because there was no illness when God created man in the beginning. Although I didn’t understand much of what she talked about, I knew God is my only reliance and that I should believe in God. Then, I began to read God’s words and pray to God. One day, I saw God’s words say: “Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking and never give up, and God shall shine His light to you. How faithful was Job?is an all-powerful physician! To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well. If you have but one breath, God will not let you die” (“The Sixth Utterance” in Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning). When I saw these words, faith welled up in my heart. Especially the word “If you have but one breath, God will not let you die” let me see hope. When I had run through all the streets and alleys for a cure but to no avail, I wanted to die. Now that I saw Almighty God’s words, I was willing to rely on God. I believed that God would be certain to cure my illness.
I began to read God’s words and watch the videos and films ofevery day. When I saw brothers and sisters all joyfully sing and dance in praise of God, I also had much desire to live such a relieved and free life.
One day, I saw the following words of God: “Most people live in the foul place of Satan, and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that till they are half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny. And so people go through their whole lives in a daze of confusion, never once enjoying the good things that God has prepared for them, but instead being damaged by Satan and left in tatters. Today they have become so enervated and listless that they simply have no inclination to take notice of God’s work” (“Work and Entry (1)”).
“The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature?” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination”).
God really has a thorough understanding of man. My life is a mirror of these words. God had selected me several years before. But I was uninterested in God’s work because I wanted to earn money to change my fate and make my daughters live better. I even fancied changing their fates through changing my own fate with my own effort. How naïve I was! Although I worked hard in order to have a happy marriage, my husband still despised me. I spent my life earning money to change my present situation, to send my daughters to good universities so that they could have a good future, but I only got many sicknesses and troubles instead. At last, my daughters didn’t enter good universities because of poor marks. Neither my fate nor my daughters’ fates are in my hand. God rules them. In this dark, evil, and unfair world, I came to know that only God is my reliance. And all that Satan let me pursue is none other than anguish.
This time when I returned to Taiwan, I decided never to leave God again. Later, I got in touch with brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God by dialing the hot line. And thereafter I live a regular church life.
I was alone in Taiwan after my husband died. When brothers and sisters knew about that, they treat me as their families. I have no barriers with them. I needn’t worry about being looked down upon by them. They treat me well and care much about me. Besides, they patiently help me understand more of God’s words and God’s will. Little by little, many words that I didn’t recognize, I can read and write. In God’s words I even see more of. So many times I was moved to tears uncontrollably. The church gives me a real home and a kind of real warmth. In the past, I pursued to have a happy family. I worked tirelessly for the sake of my family and my kids, and thus left God. But God didn’t give me up because of my rebelliousness. Instead, He has been saving me all the way, silently. Now I can live in the church, this big family; this is entirely because of God’s grace and mercy. It was God that saved me from the misery world and the affliction of Satan. It was God that gave me a new life.
Thinking back on my life journey until today, although my daughters are neither knowledgeable nor rich, they are obedient, sensible, and considerate, and are respected by others. Not only do they never complain to me about the hardships they endured, but they even comfort me that I needn’t work hard for them yet should live my latter life to the full. They did suffer a lot when they were little, but it is these sufferings that have tempered them. Compared with others of their age, they are stronger and more persistent. Because many post–80’s people are stay-at-homes now, while my daughters can live well independently, without relying on parents’ savings.
Although I bring nothing for my daughters, yet God protects them. Now they have grown up healthily and I have fully recovered from my illness. I know all this is given to me by Almighty God. Thank Almighty God for His salvation. I also know that since man is alive, man should pursue the truth to gain life at any cost. Man shouldn’t pursue how to seek fleshly pleasures. For it’s too meaningless to pursue these things. Thank for Almighty God’s salvation for me, so that I can walk the right way of human life—pursuing the truth. My grateful thanks go to Almighty God whose words gave me inspiration and leading. All the glory be to Almighty God!
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