By Zhen Xin We all know that the Lord Jesus was incarnated and performed the redemptive work, and all who […]
Spiritual Awakening: Where Is Happiness?
By Wenzhong, South Korea
When I was young, my family was poor. My parents divorced each other in the year I turned five. I had lived with my father and all along been looked after by my grandmother ever since. So I didn’t know what maternal love was like, nor did I ever experience the happiness from a mother’s care as my peers did. When I was in grade school, I had a stepmother, a North Korean. However, it was not long before she was deported back to North Korea. At that time, owing to my poor family and being motherless, I used to be bullied by my classmates. They threw something at me in class, and pushed me into puddles on rainy days, saying I was a child who was motherless…. I was very distressed: Why is my family so poor? Why do I have no mother? Why is my life so tough? Afterward, my grandmother, who cared for me the most, passed away when I was sixteen years old. I then was in great pain, and thought: Could it be that all my life was destined to be in misery?
Once, I went to see my mother alone on a rainy day. I found her and said, “Mom, why don’t you bring me up since you gave birth to me? You’ve even gone so far as never coming to see me! The other children all have new clothes bought by their mothers, but I have nothing!” I was already in tears when I finished speaking these words. However, my small requirements were actually extravagant wishes. At that time, my mother had established a new family. She drove me away ruthlessly. I walked in the rain sadly, and then sat beside the road, crying by myself. My heart was filled with grievance: Why don’t I have a happy family? Why can I get neither my mother’s love nor a little family warmth?
When I was in my junior year of high school, no longer could I stand the life of being discriminated against and bullied by others. I was fed up with my hometown, which was full of my painful memories. I wished to get out of here to lead an independent life. Maybe in this way my heart would not be in such pain anymore. Thereupon, I took 600 yuan from my father secretly and left for Mudanjiang City by myself to work there. As a girl just out of school, I knew nothing about the outside world, and it was very difficult for me to find a job I liked in this strange city. I looked for several jobs one after another, but failed because of my poor qualifications. Finally, I had no choice but to work in a restaurant. In those days, after a day’s work I often felt worn out and couldn’t fall asleep at night, weeping secretly under the quilt. I wanted to give up, but I was unwilling to return home, for I had accomplished nothing. I still would be looked down upon by others if I went back home in this situation, so I could not do this. At last, I got through one month. When receiving my first pay, I was very pleased. I called my father to share my joy. He was also glad, and only then did he become a little less worried about me. However, two months later, lack of enough sleep and proper nourishment caused me to suffer anemia, and I keeled over once when I was working. Seeing I indeed couldn’t do the work, my boss helped me find a new job in a North Korean restaurant. There, I was not as tired as before and I made some money gradually. Nevertheless, facing the customers coming and going every day, I always felt empty and pained in my heart. Money did not make me happy. …
Afterward, my cousin phoned me that she had found a better job for me. At that time, I also wanted to live in a new environment. Therefore, the next day, I went to Beijing by train. With the help of my cousin, I got a job in a South Korean clothes shop. Every day I wore different varieties of clothes like a model, which satisfied my vanity. I got running after social trends little by little, and regarded wearing famous brand clothes and enjoying a high standard of material living as happiness and pleasure. After a period of time, I won all I wanted, but I didn’t get a shred of happiness. I often thought to myself: Are these really what I need? I gave up my studies and work hard in this strange city, in the hope of using a materially comfortable life to make up for all that I’ve missed due to lack of maternal love. How come my heart feels more empty and pained when I have achieved contentment in material life?
In early 2012, a friend introduced me to my boyfriend. He gave me a special and considerate care and was very thoughtful about me in everything, which made my long-wounded heart find something to lean on. I believed that he was my Mr. Right. In order to be joined in holy matrimony soon, we came to South Korea together to seek our fortune in 2013. I, yearning for a happy marriage, felt confident in our future. So, I tried my utmost to overcome any harsh conditions and worked hard to earn money from dawn to dusk. However, things went contrary to my wishes. After our arrival in South Korea, my boyfriend was quite different from before. He got hooked on playing network games, smoking and drinking, depraved to the extent that he could hardly free himself from them. I tried to persuade him and even quarreled with him, but it was of no avail. His former promise about his career and solemn vows of love and marriage all crumbled to dust. I didn’t want to live in quarrels, and no longer expected that he would give me happiness. In disappointment, I decided to put an end to this relationship. That night, I wandered around the streets alone, and kept asking myself: I have pinned all my hopes on him and maintained our relationship with all my heart, but he didn’t bring me even a bit of happiness. Could there really be no happiness which belongs to me in the world?
Weary in body and mind, I felt lost and hopeless. Material satisfaction made me feel empty, and love and marriage still brought me emptiness and misery. I could not help but repeatedly ask myself: What exactly is happiness? And where is it?
Later, I met a sister believing in God in the company. She told me a lot about believing in God, and played me a hymn of Pure Love Without Blemish.” It says, “Love doesn’t set conditions or barriers or distance. … In love there’s no suspicion, no cunning, no deceit. … In love there is no distance and nothing that’s not pure.” I never heard such a song. I was much moved by the words in it. The love described in this hymn is so beautiful. Such is the true love. But in reality, there is no such love among people at all. Instead, people’s relationships have become full of selfishness, full of deceit, and moreover, they can change anytime and anywhere. The true love described in is so perfect. No one is able to speak such words. The sister also told me, “God can say these words because He possesses such love; there is no selfishness, no conditions, and no demands in for us. God is aware of our difficulties, and also clear about our bitters and sufferings in our life, so He hopes that we all can come before Him, living under His blessings. …” My heart was warmed by these words. After work, I went to the church with the sister. Another sister there played me a 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, I’d still be confused about my faith,
still in empty space passing the days, unaware in whom to put my faith.
I have finally understood God’s loving hands hold mine as we go.
I would never go and lose my way ’cause I’m on this brilliant course to stay.
I have finally understood God’s intent, earnest to man.
False impressions fully removed, I will give my flesh and soul to God.
Then, we heard another song “For Whom Man Should Live.” After I listened to these two songs, tears covered my face. The songs described me: These years, I have been struggling hard and painfully. For the purpose of enjoying a happy life, I did all I could to make money. But the comfortable material life has failed to fill the void in my heart. Not only did I not get any happiness out of it, but I also often complained that my fate was unfair. And all my efforts at family, love and marriage were repaid with nothing but hurts and pains. If I did not come to God’s family today, I still would live in emptiness and suffering seeking the so-called happiness, without purpose and direction.
Afterward, the sister read God’s word for me, “The eyes of the Almighty look around the severely afflicted mankind, hearing the wailing of those suffering, seeing the shamelessness of those afflicted, and feeling the helplessness and dread of the mankind who has lost salvation.” “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. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time.” My heart was moved by God’s words. It seemed that God was saying to me, “Child, come back home! Stop wandering. Stop fighting by yourself. Come back!” At the moment, I felt loved and supported, and my heart was warm and at peace. Thus, on that day in May 2016, I accepted the of God.
The following day, after a night shift, I went to the church on my own initiative. I saw many brothers and sisters there. Each of them wore a smile with barely-concealed delight, and their enthusiasm and sincerity made me feel free and released. When I opened my heart to communicate with them about my inner thoughts, they read God’s word to help me. Just then, I felt very warm in my heart, as if I found a real home. Besides, I saw that regardless of what happened to them in life, they all sought God’s words to solve the problems, and that after knowing God’s intention from His words, they could see everything clearly as well as know what they should do to satisfy God. It felt good to listen to their experiences. Especially, when we sang hymns to praise God, each of us was particularly glad, and our hearts which had long been depressed felt the joy of God’s presence. I seemed to have forgotten all my sorrows, living in happiness under the guidance of God’s words. From then on, I often went to the church and had a great attachment to the church life.
One day, on my way to the church, seeing the tall buildings around, I thought: Before, I ate well and dressed well, but I never felt happy. Now, although I don’t have much money, a luxurious house or a good car, I am happier than those people who own such things, for I have found God. I am the happiest person in the world! Walking on the road, I was pleased and very proud. Even looking at the trees and flowers on the roadside would give me a joy I could not express in words. I felt that these creatures of God were so lovely. I used to grumble at my lack of maternal love since young, and at my unjust fate. But that was all in the past; I had put it behind me and all the complaints in my heart had disappeared. It was God who saved me from darkness and suffering, so that I saw the light and hope of life.
Later, I saw a passage in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, “What is happiness? If people can practice the truth and obey God, enjoyment will then arise within them. When they have joy, comfort, and enjoyment in their hearts, is this not happiness? Happiness refers to a feeling of delight and enjoyment in the heart, and a sense of true peace. This is happiness. If man doesn’t have these feelings in his heart, then he has no happiness. When you obey God, you can see whether there are peace and joy within you. Try loving God in your heart and living for satisfying Him, see whether or not you will be joyful and have comfort inside of you. As long as you bear love for God and are able to obey Him, the feeling of happiness will arise. Is this clear? Does happiness come from a well-off life or money? Does it come from the world? … Some people have made a fortune, do they feel happy? No, they don’t. Some find a good wife or a good husband, do they have happiness? No, their happiness disappears in a few days, like a flash in the pan. After that, they still are empty inside. Therefore, where is true happiness from? It is from God. If God bestows happiness upon you, then you’ll be happy; if God gives you joy, then you’ll be joyful. But, how can we get them from God? We must pursue the truth and achieve love of God in our hearts, which is the source of happiness. And it is crucial that our hearts can love God. … If you can love God in your heart, God will live in your heart and give you a place of rest in His heart and be with you forever; otherwise, God will not be with you and you cannot enjoy Him. So, if you want to become a person truly obedient to God, then you must spare no effort to pursue the truth. After man attains true knowledge of God by pursuing the truth, the love for God will be born in his heart. Finally, when you achieve the supreme love of God and obedience unto death, then you will completely gain God and obtain His eternal presence. God will live in your heart and be with you forever, and He will let you enjoy it. It is the path to happiness, isn’t it? It is the source of happiness. No one in the world is able to see through where the mystery of happiness actually lies and how to get it. So, only by pursuing to know God can one get happiness.”
Now, I finally know what true happiness is: Happiness doesn’t mean having a great deal of wealth, wearing gorgeous and fashionable clothes, enjoying a high standard of material life, much less marrying a good man. These cannot really give me happiness, but only offer me temporary satisfaction. Only God’s salvation and love to me touches me the most. God led me to find warmth in His family, and gives me true happiness inside. These feelings are what I have never experienced before. Thank God for bringing me to His family. I’m willing to set down my will in front of God: From now on, I can do without everything else, but not without God. I don’t care if anyone will look down on me. At all events I will follow God to the very end.