By Xiaofang, Australia
When I first came to Australia, because of the language barrier, I suffered lots of failures in finding a job: Sometimes, I received no reply after my interview; sometimes, I was turned down directly on the phone. … Faced with such a situation, I felt rather worried: If I fail to find a job, how can I live in this strange country? Because of this, I often couldn’t fall asleep and shed tears in secret. Later, a Chinese businesswoman who was engaged in a cleaning service gave me a trial and a week later employed me formally. Cherishing the job very much, I worked pretty hard all day long.
My boss has been in the business in Australia for over ten years. Most of her clients are regular ones, who have strict requirements for the cleaning. My boss is serious and ill-tempered: She always spoke to employees in a harsh tone of voice; if employees did something wrong, she would break out into curses. So, for fear of being abused or dismissed, I was in a state of high-level anxiety and focused all my attention on working every day.
One day, my boss took us to a rich man’s house to do the cleaning. Before entering the house, we were exhorted by the boss to be careful in our work because each piece of furniture here was pretty delicate and expensive. Seeing her serious face, I became nervous. Then in each room, I wiped every corner and decoration with great caution for fear of breaking anything, which I couldn’t afford to pay for. However, what I feared most did happen. When I was wiping a switch on the wall, its glass cover suddenly dropped down. Right then I hurried to catch it, but failed. At that time, I was stunned and broke out in a cold sweat, thinking that I was over. To my surprise, when I picked up the cover, I found that it was actually intact. At that time, I finally felt released in my heart, thinking, “The quality of the cover is so good. Falling from such a height, it’s still undamaged.” Then, I put it back cautiously. Seeing it looked just as it had been, I felt very happy and then continued my work.
The next week, we went to the house again at the appointed time and left after finishing the cleaning. On the way to the next client’s, my boss said in confusion, “It’s weird. He always pays us every other week; why did he not pay us this time. I’ll make him a call.” Not long after she got through to him, they started quarreling on the phone. When I vaguely heard them quarreling about something broken, my heart suddenly clenched: Are they talking about the glass cover? But wasn’t it intact when I picked it up? Oh, if it is really the cover, I’m in big trouble. Hearing my boss’s indignant voice, I felt very frightened, not daring to say a word. Later, the client sent a picture to my boss. At the sight of the picture, I was stunned because it was just the cover, which had terribly cracked. Thinking the client was extorting money from her, my boss began to yell on the phone. In light of the circumstance, I was rather frightened with my heart churning: It’s my fault. Shall I tell the truth or not? If I don’t tell the truth, I’ll be hated by God, without peace within; moreover, perhaps my boss will lose this client and suffer losses. But, if I tell the truth, my ill-tempered boss will definitely dismiss me at once. At the thought of this, I became very upset, unable to figure out what to do.
When we arrived at the next client’s, my boss was still quarreling with that client. Guilty and distressed, I went upstairs with fear; and then, I prayed to God, “Oh, God! Facing such a situation, I’m very fearful and reproached, for it was I who broke the cover. I should tell the truth to the boss. But I’m worried I’ll be dismissed and could hardly make a living if I tell the truth. Besides, I’m afraid if the boss keeps quarreling with the client, she will get herself into big trouble, and even got a lawsuit. Oh, God! Now I’m very frightened and weak. What should I do?”
After praying to God, all of a sudden, I thought of a passage of God’s words, “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. … Thus, in everything there is a battle, and when there is a battle within you, thanks to your actual cooperation and actual suffering God works within you. … Everything you do requires you to pay a certain price in your efforts. Without actual hardship, you can’t satisfy God, it does not even come close to satisfying God, and you are just saying empty slogans! Can these empty slogans satisfy God? When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony.”
Pondering God’s words and thinking of what had happened to me, I realized it was God’s test that came upon me. When I faced the choice between my own interests and the truth that God required me to practice, God was observing my attitude and choice, so was Satan. Reflecting on my thoughts and idea in this matter, I found that I, driven by the selfish nature, was always protecting my own interests: I’m afraid if I tell the truth, I’ll be abused by the boss and lose my face in front of others, and even be dismissed, losing the source of income. Driven by those thoughts, when seeing the boss quarreling with the client to prove her innocence, I had no courage to admit my mistake. I was really too selfish and despicable. Now failing to stand firm for God, I felt reproached and chastised in my heart, which was God’s righteous disposition coming upon me.
At that time, these words popped into my mind clearly, “You must … act honestly and straightforwardly, speak and act in accordance with the facts, and be someone who is open and aboveboard.” Thank God for His enlightenment and guidance, which allowed me to understand this: God hopes us to be those who are open and aboveboard, and act honestly and straightforwardly; only such people can be blessed by God, live straightforwardly and feel at ease and peaceful inside. Today, God’s arranging this circumstance is to cleanse and change my corrupt disposition and allow me to enter the truth of being an honest person. So, I should put aside my face and interests and take the responsibility; even though my boss would dismiss me, I must tell the truth. Thinking of this, I took a deep breath, calling on God silently in my heart: May You give me faith and strength. May You grant me with the words I should speak.
Then, I went to the boss. Seeing her angry face, I still felt a bit of fear in my heart, but through praying to God again for strength, I had the courage and said to her, “Boss, it was I who broke the cover. At that time when it fell down, I was stunned, thinking it must be broken; unexpectedly, it was still intact when I picked it up. Then, I put it back and went on working without telling you about this. Yet I never thought it was broken like this. I’m sorry to have put you to all this bother. Now, I’m willing to pay for the loss.” After saying those words, I felt pretty relaxed, willing to face her angry response.
To my surprise, my boss didn’t get mad at me but breathed a sigh of relief, and then said to me, “Oh, Fang. It was you. The cover was intelligent and of good quality; so, it didn’t break at once, but gradually cracked. Well, all right. I’ll make an apology to the client and see how to deal with the matter. Go to work and just be more careful from now on.” After hearing this, I just couldn’t believe my ears. I thought that I would be abused by her as usual, and would at least compensate for the cover even though she didn’t dismiss me. Then I realized it was God who did all of this. Seeing God’s deeds, I was very excited and felt the happiness, steadiness, and peace brought by practicing being an honest person. Then I silently offered thanks and praise to God in my heart.
Not long after, my boss took us to do the cleaning as usual. After having made that mistake, I worked more carefully than before: I handled valuables more gently, and often reminded myself, “I mustn’t make trouble for my boss again.” Yet unexpectedly, once I was wiping a delicate desk lamp when its lampshade and bulb somehow fell to the ground from the desk, bulb breaking into pieces. Seeing this, I was stunned: “What happened last time has just smoothed down, yet this time I made the same mistake. How can I face my boss? Will she forgive me again?” I was very nervous and bewildered, not knowing what to do. All of a sudden, I thought of the previous experience and realized that there wasin this matter. So I immediately cried out to God, “Oh, God! Today, the same matter came upon me. How should I experience it?”
After praying, I thought of God’s words, “But in actual fact, this matter is a lesson for which you should be studying, a lesson on how to fear God, on how to shun evil. Moreover, what you should be even more concerned about is knowing what God is doing when this matter arises to face you. God is right at your side, observing every one of your words and deeds, observing your actions, your mind changes—this is God’s work. … Whenever God arranges a circumstance for you, He is watching in secret, looking upon your heart, looking upon your thoughts and considerations, looking at how you think, looking at how you will act.”
Pondering God’s words, I realized this: In every environment I encounter, be it great or small, good or bad, I should practice truth. Last time, when I didn’t practice the truth at first, I lived in Satan’s trickery, feeling distressed without release. Today, when the same thing came upon me, I am starting to consider my face and interests again. God observes everything. He is looking upon my thoughts and considerations and my every action, looking at whether I can put aside my face and interests to practice the truth of being an honest person.
Then, I thought theonce said, “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). God is holy, so only those who are simple and honest can enter into His kingdom. However, corrupted by Satan, we are so selfish and crafty; to defend our own interests, we even daren’t speak a word of truth. How can such people like us be qualified to inherit what God has promised and enter His kingdom?
Thank God. Having understood God’s will, I seemed to have infinite power to face my mistake bravely. I knew that practicing the truth was not just to admit the mistake but to transform my corrupt disposition and live out the likeness of an honest person. So regardless of the result, I was willing to take responsibility for the matter. Then, I went to my boss and frankly admitted my mistake. To my surprise, she said to me gently, “That’s all right, Fang. The lampstand and lampshade had been broken, which I didn’t tell you in advance. So, we just need to buy a new bulb some other day and put it in. I’ll tell the house-owner about the matter. Go ahead and clean up the pieces.” I was astonished at her words but soon calmed down. At that moment, I experienced a sudden revelation: This matter is a test for me. All things serve one another in order to benefit people who love God; God arranged the circumstance to allow me to gain the truth of being an honest person. Thinking of this, I was filled with gratitude to God in my heart.
More miraculously, after these two matters, my hot-tempered boss no longer abused me; instead, she assigned me the lightest work and raised my salary. Moreover, what gratified me most was that the relationship between us was more than that between employee and employer: She regarded me just as her bosom friend. She often took the initiative to have a heart-to-heart with me, pouring out her worries and difficulties; besides, she taught me how to interact with the foreigners and how to adapt to the life of Australia. Even my colleagues said to me, “Fang, our boss is so nice to you. We are really envious.” Hearing their words, I thanked God silently in my heart. I knew it was because of practicing being an honest person according to God’s words that I could win the trust of my boss, which was God’s grace and blessing. Thank God!