By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
Obeying God and Shaking Off Pain and Emptiness
I am an ambitious and arrogant woman. When I was thirty years old, my husband overstepped the bounds, abandoning my daughter and me. So, I left with my daughter in humiliation, for which people felt regret. After arriving in a new city, I resolved on being a strong and independent woman as well as set a goal to strive for: I must train my daughter as a graduate. I must buy a suit of house in this city. I must stand in high spirits before that man who forsook me to retrieve my dignity someday. I did believe that I could change my fate by my efforts. However, in the over ten years that followed, no matter how I strove, my dream never came true. Not only did I suffer setbacks in my career time and again, but I ran up debts. Furthermore, my daughter wallowed in online games at an early age, becoming more and more decadent. My desire of retrieving the lost dignity fell short of the mark. … Faced with my own circumstance, I thought that I paid so much but none was fulfilled. I felt pained as if my heart was hollowed out. I sensed that I was a failure, exhausted. I didn’t resign myself to plodding hard but accomplishing nothing, yet I neither knew how to change my fate nor what the value of man’s living was. When I was in pain and feeling helpless, I often looked up at the sky and cried: There is no hope in my life; what is the significance of being alive?
At this time, my mother back home called me, saying: “Get back home. Stop struggling. That’s fate.” At that moment, I saw myself with white hair in the mirror. I could not help but sigh in my heart: I’m already forty-five years old. I’ve gone through half a life’s journey, but now I’m still as bare as the palm of my hands. The former haughtiness becomes a sigh. What other results can I get in my own strength? Thinking of the word people often say “acknowledging the will of Heaven at fifty,” I calmed down and thought: I exert myself to the utmost over ten years for achieving my life goal but end up with nothing. Will I really spend a flat life as fate would have it? I’m not reconciled, but what else can I do? I had no choice but to compromise to fate. From then onward, facing all manners of circumstances, I no longer was swayed by my feelings or had a senseless struggle or uttered complaints, but was content with things as they were. It seemed I stood aloof from worldly strife. I thought I had found the best way of living and the best life attitude, but in reality, I could not free myself from the struggle and emptiness in my deep heart. I was still living in pain and hopelessness. …
Up to one day, I surfed on the Internet, seeing a religious website inadvertently and then I clicked it. I was greatly touched by its content, in which I found the root of my living a painful and empty life and had a correct understanding of life. I read this passage of words, “Some people have a profound, deeply-felt understanding of the phrase ‘that’s fate,’ yet they do not in the least bit believe in God’s sovereignty, do not believe that a human fate is arranged and orchestrated by God, and are unwilling to submit to the sovereignty of God. Such people are as if adrift on the ocean, tossed by the waves, floating with the current, with no choice but to wait passively and resign themselves to fate. Yet they do not recognize that human fate is subject to God’s sovereignty; they cannot come to know God’s sovereignty on their own initiative, and thereby achieve knowledge of God’s authority, submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, stop resisting fate, and live under God’s care, protection, and guidance. In other words, accepting fate is not the same thing as submitting to the’s sovereignty; belief in fate does not mean that one accepts, recognizes, and knows the Creator’s sovereignty; belief in fate is just recognition of this fact and this outer phenomenon, which is different from knowing how the Creator rules humanity’s fate, from recognizing that the Creator is the source of dominion over the fates of all things, and even more from submitting to the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements for humanity’s fate. If a person only believes in fate—even feels deeply about it—but is not thereby able to know, recognize, submit to, and accept the Creator’s sovereignty over the fate of humanity, then his or her life will nonetheless be a tragedy, a life lived in vain, a void; he or she will still be unable to become subject to the Creator’s dominion, to become a created human being in the truest sense of the phrase, and enjoy the Creator’s approval. … Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life.” These words woke me up. It turned out that it was because I didn’t have the stamina to try doggedly that I had to resign myself to fate. I recalled my experience over a decade: For the sake of realizing my desire, I have ran a beauty salon, managed a Taobao shop and made a private investment, but I ended up with complete failure. Afterward, I hung the only hope on my daughter, setting my heart on sending her into the college. However, she insisted on dropping out of school and stepped into the society early. My hope shattered thoroughly. No longer did I have the motivation for struggling at this time, only choosing to submit to the will of Heaven. Nevertheless, I didn’t truly know that God rules over humanity’s fate and willingly accept and obey all things arranged by the Creator, but chose another lifestyle to escape His sovereignty over my fate, that is to say, had no alternative but to fritter away my life when opposing Him. I did acknowledge the will of Heaven, yet it did not mean me obeying God’s will. Thus, I couldn’t be freed from the struggle deep in my soul, still living in emptiness and misery.
I went on surfing and saw another passage, which pointed out a clear way to me. It says, “If one’s attitude toward God’s sovereignty over human fate is active, then when one looks back upon one’s journey, when one truly comes to grips with God’s sovereignty, one will more earnestly desire to submit to everything that God has arranged, will have more of the determination and confidence to let God orchestrate one’s fate, to stop rebelling against God. For one sees that when one does not comprehend fate, when one does not understand God’s sovereignty, when one gropes forward willfully, staggering and tottering, through the fog, the journey is too difficult, too heartbreaking. So when people recognize God’s sovereignty over human fate, the smart ones choose to know it and accept it, to bid farewell to the painful days when they tried to build a good life with their own two hands, instead of continuing to struggle against fate and pursue their so-called life goals in their own manner. When one has no God, when one cannot see Him, when one cannot clearly recognize God’s sovereignty, every day is meaningless, worthless, miserable. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and irrelievable suffering, such that one cannot bear to look back. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life.” My heart was awakened by these words. I thought about the way I had walked before. Without direction, I staggered and tottered through the fog, moving every step with hardships and sorrows. Even though I had believed in God, I didn’t truly recognize God’s sovereignty over human fate. Depending on my own efforts, I planned my own life and pursued the objective set by myself. When I suffered defeats after going all out, not attaining my aim, I was painful, disappointed, and even thought death was the best mercy. Whenever I ran back over all of this, I felt distressed. Through reading these words now, I felt they pointed out my confusions and thoughts. I didn’t believe that my fate is in God’s hands, and wanted to change my fate by my effort. Opposing God was grieving and agonizing. I felt these words were the truth and came from God. What’s more, they told me that if I wanted to get rid of these sufferings, I only had one path: bidding farewell to the lifestyle of creating a good life by my own efforts, not continuing to plan my future by myself any longer, but accepting God’s sovereignty, submitting to His orchestrations and arrangements and living under His leadership and guidance. Only in this way could I shake off all the suffering and emptiness. At that time, I gained the unprecedented comfort, feeling my life had a favorable turn. Enlightened a lot in my heart, I was willing to practice in accordance with these words.
After that, I often prayed to God and read His words. I learned to rely on God when I encountered something in my life, committed my job, family and daughter to His control and no longer changed things depending on my own efforts. Gradually, I found God’s arrangements are good and felt so wonderfully assured and peaceful deep in my soul. I was full of hope and confidence in my future life. Looking back upon every stage of life I had gone through, I understood that each step is led by God, regardless of whether it is hard or smooth. My birth, family, job, marriage, including any tribulation I will experience in my life, have long been destined by God. Thank God! I am willing to commit all my life to Him, letting Him be my Lord, my God, and pursuing to be a true worshiper of Him.