Who Is Her Real Reliance in Despair

By Xinren

At dusk, Hanbing was standing still by the pond, staring at the surface of the water. Soon after, lights around went on one by one and everything became so silent. Only dead lotus leaves in the pond were waving and shrilling in the wind. A cold wind blowing, she could not help but give a shiver, and then she tightened her clothes. She looking at the desolate scene, the helplessness toward the cruel reality welled up inside her.

Hanbing’s husband suddenly died and left her a debt of 700,000 or 800,000 yuan on a project and two children at school, which made Hanbing totally unprepared. Her husband, when alive, was a building contractor and good at earning money. At that time, almost every day there were people coming to visit him, which made the family noisy. But now she became debt-ridden and in no time, her home turned cold and empty. It was such a huge change that she couldn’t believe it was true, but she had to face the fact. After all, she had two young children to raise. In desperation, remembering that all her husband’s and her brothers and sisters had received her and her husband’s help when they were in trouble, she thought they would give her a hand more or less at her most difficult time. Unexpectedly, when she hopefully went to ask them for help, they not only didn’t give her any help but wanted to carve up the house and over 2 acres of fishpond which were left by her husband. What her relatives had done destroyed her last hope. Later, she went around fishing for help and personal connections, hoping to get the pay of the project. The now contractor faithfully promised that he would incur no debt to her. But unexpectedly, he fled with all the money when he received it. At the same time, the people who had called brothers with her husband started to demand payments; the court commanded that she repay the money. Living in constant fear every day, and being unable to speak of her torments, she only hated the cruelty of the world. Having no other choice, she, with her two young children, had to live in the booth near the fishpond to avoid them. The double pressure of mind and life made her unable to breath. In less than a month’s time, her weight dropped rapidly and her hair lost severely. As a result, she was only in her 30s but looked like an old lady. She asked herself a million times: My husband has passed away and none of my relatives and friends is dependable. How should I live the life of the future? It was getting darker; the wind was blowing stronger and stronger and it began roaring as if whining, drowning out the noises of the lotus leaves. Hanbing dragged herself back to the fish booth.

She is very upset

One day, when she was checking over the fishpond, Hanbing saw two of her friends coming from a distance toward her. She thought: They come to demand payments? Did my husband also owe them money when he was alive? But they looked gentle and didn’t seem to collect debts. They smiled at her, saying, “Haven’t seen you during this time. We are here to see you. How are you getting along?” As she had seen too much of the creditors’ arrogance and heard their sarcasms, today a simple greeting from her two friends let her feel both familiar and warm and she looked moist-eyed unconsciously. Then she poured out all her sufferings to them, and they listened to her silently. Hanbing couldn’t help weeping when she hit a nerve. One friend comforted her by saying, “We live so miserable a life and there is no affection between people. These are all because we humans don’t worship God and can’t get God’s protection but are afflicted by Satan.” Later they talked to Hanbing about how God saves man and how Satan corrupts man. Then they read God’s words to her, “Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at ‘institutes of higher learning.’ The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him. Man’s disposition becomes more vicious by the day, and there is not a single person who will willingly give up anything for God, not a single person who will willingly obey God, nor, moreover, a single person who will willingly seek the appearance of God. Instead, under the domain of Satan, man does nothing but pursue pleasure, giving himself over to the corruption of the flesh in the land of mud” (“To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God”). After reading God’s words, her friend said, “From this passage of God’s words, we see that after we were corrupted by Satan, we all live by Satan’s toxin ‘Heaven destroys those who are not for themselves.’ Therefore, there isn’t any love between people at all. People do everything they can to benefit themselves, ignoring the life and death of others, and become very selfish and malicious. When your husband was alive and your family was well-off, all your relatives and friends fawned over you for their profits. But when your husband passed on and they couldn’t get any good from you, they have not only given you no help but even wanted to seize your property. We see that we humans have been corrupted so deeply by Satan that we have lost our normal humanity and have less and less conscience and sense.” After hearing these words, Hanbing thought of her own experiences. She had gotten a real taste of the fickleness of human nature, and lived in great pain and bewilderment. From this passage of God’s words, she knew that all of these were because we man are all victims of Satan.

Then her friends continued to fellowship with her, “Because of Satan’s corruption, we are away from God and we don’t know there exists the Lord who created all things, much less know to rely on Him. Today God has come to save us from the sea of suffering.” They read another section of God’s words, “Mankind, who left the supply of life from the Almighty, does not know why they exist, and yet fears death. There is no support, no help, but mankind is still reluctant to close their eyes, braving it all, drags out an ignoble existence in this world in bodies without the consciousness of souls. … The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. … He is watching by your side, waiting for you to turn back. He is waiting for the day your memory suddenly recovers: becoming conscious of the fact that you came from God, somehow and somewhere once lost, falling unconscious on the roadside, and then, unknowingly having a father. You further realize that the Almighty has been watching there, awaiting your return all along. He longs bitterly, waiting for a response without an answer. His watching is priceless and is for the heart and the spirit of humans. Perhaps this watching is indefinite, and perhaps this watching is at its end. But you should know exactly where your heart and spirit are now” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). From God’s words, Hanbing came to understand we humans all come from God and we shall go back to Him. Also, her heart was moved by God’s concern for us mankind that He can never give up and His expectations of us mankind. It seemed as if she had seen a mother was eagerly expecting her child who had left home but not returned, and she herself was just the lost child. From God’s words, she found her reliance, feeling no more loneliness or helplessness. She also found the long-awaited warmth and her mind suddenly opened up a lot.

After her friends left, Hanbing read a passage of God’s words, “Since the day man came into existence, God has been steady in His work, managing this universe and directing the change and movement of all things. Like all things, man quietly and unknowingly receives the nourishment of the sweetness and rain and dew from God. Like all things, man unknowingly lives under the orchestration of God’s hand. The heart and spirit of man are held in the hand of God, and all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). This passage of God’s words, like a lamp, lightened her path forward. She came to know that it is God who dominates everything, that her future and destiny are in God’s hand and that her facing huge debts can be seen clearly by God. If she wanted to pay off these debts, the only thing she could do was to rely on and look to God. She believed God would arrange people and things to help her.

Afterward, Hanbing put herself into the church life and didn’t worry about the debts anymore. When she sincerely relied upon God, before long, she saw God’s wonderful deed: Someone wanted to buy her fishpond to build houses and paid the deposit of hundreds of thousands of yuan. This made her pay back all her debts. She had truly experienced the words in the hymn “God Is He on Whom the Existence of All Mankind Rests”: “God is mankind’s only salvation. God is mankind’s only hope and even more, God is He on whom the existence of all mankind rests.” Thinking back to her own experience of ups and downs, she tasted by herself that only God is her real reliance. She also experienced God’s almightiness and sovereignty and saw His wonderful deeds. She was full of gratitude to God in her heart and was more confident to follow God.

From then on, while managing the fishpond for living, Hanbing lived the church life and fulfilled her duty. She was very relaxed, free, and liberated.

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