By Zhenglu, United States
When I was a kid, our family was quite poor. We six siblings relied entirely on my father to support our family. From the time I was little, I always wore what my elder brother had outgrown. After getting home from school every day, each of us took a steamed corn bun out of the basket and some pickles from the jar, and that was our meal. In those days, every time I saw my classmates and their family eating rice, I thought in my heart: I will certainly make lots of money and live a good life in the future.
After marriage, in order to make my wife and children have a good life, I worked even harder at making money. Later, because I did not reach the child-bearing age when I had my first child, my wife was dismissed from the factory, while I kept my job here, but the factory docked my salaries. They just gave me a monthly living allowance of 25 yuan. With this small amount of money, I really could not support our family. Having no options, I found an extra job. In order to make more money, I did a lot of jobs, no matter how difficult or tiring it was. Afterward, I was restored to my former position with the help of my acquaintance and managed the coal business in the company. No matter which coal yard sold coal to our company, they would give me some extra money secretly. Two years later, I had earned lots of money. Afterward, I heard that driving the motor coach could make money, so I bought one. After two years, I had accumulated lots of money.
But I was not satisfied with that. To earn more money, in 2000, I came to America. At the beginning, I was not content with earning 100$ one day, so I learnt to be a bricklayer. I could make 96 pounds per brick laid and had to lay over 200 bricks a day. I went dead tired after a whole day’s work. But for the purpose of having a rise in income, I worked very hard. To be honest, I had earned lots of money during those years. However, my father-in-law’s sickness cost me over 700,000 yuan and I also spent lots of money on my mother-in-law’s treatment for her cancer. Thus, there was not much money left. At that time, I said to my wife, “I have earned lots of money these years, but why do we have little money left? We ought to save some money for our son’s marriage of the future.” Thus I still continued to work very hard to make money. Every time I was unbearably exhausted, I thought to myself: I work so hard for making money; however, if I don’t spend money on something, then I have to spend it on something else. Thinking that I always failed to keep my hard-won money in my own pocket, I felt quite upset. I just could not figure out why. At that time, there was another thing that confused me a lot. Those days I often went to KTV with friends to sing or ate and drank in a restaurant. But every time I got home, I felt empty and bored in my heart. Thus I would not like to constantly go out to eat, drink and have fun with them, but for the sake of saving face, I had to force myself to do this. At the beginning, I usually chatted with my friends, “When will we rid ourselves of this kind of life?” But they would reply, “Come on, we are just taking one day at a time. No matter what, we earn more in America than in the mainland.” Hearing these words, I no longer mentioned that, but I thought in my heart: I do not want to live in this way even one more day. After making money for another year or two, I will return to the mainland. However, I never thought that not long afterward, God’s salvation in the last days came upon me.
In 2014, I was fortunate to hear Almighty God’s word. The brothers and sisters fellowshiped with me about how God created mankind and bestows upon us all we need, how God has done three stages of work of saving mankind after mankind was corrupted by Satan, how God guides man to the present day over the last several thousand years, and how He rules over and arranges everyone’s destiny. The more I listened, the more I loved listening. I felt the preaching was so good and it was all what I had not understood before. Later, the brothers and sisters gave me a book, telling me that all the words expressed by God is truth; however, I did not understand what the truth is then. I thought to myself: I will definitely read the book carefully. Afterward, I saw that in God’s words, there are words that disclose mankind’s corrupt substance, words that reveal all kinds of mysteries, words that tell us how to practice truth when encountering things, and so on. These words were all I had never heard of and I wanted to read more. Therefore, I determined to seek and investigate the work of Almighty God in the last days.
After gathering with brothers and sisters for a period of time, I came to feel believing in God was indeed a good thing, and was also willing to read God’s words more and attend the gatherings regularly. But as soon as I thought that when I attended a gathering, my work would be delayed that day, I was not pleased, thinking: Cannot I read the words of God by myself at home? The reason why I came to America was not to make money? My friends are all busy making money. If I earn less than they do, how humiliating is that? Thus I hesitated. I then told the brothers and sisters this thought during a gathering. They fellowshiped with me, asking me to bring this problem before God, pray to God, and entrust Him with it, and then to see how God would lead and guide me. Thus I silently told God these thoughts. At that time, I did not know that God kept watch over everything, and that He listened to my, and His loving hand had come upon me quietly.
At a gathering, I read a passage of God’s word, “There will always be some distance between one’s dreams and the realities that one must confront; things are never as one would like them to be, and faced with such realities people can never achieve satisfaction or contentment. Some people will even go to any length imaginable, will put forth great efforts and make great sacrifices for the sake of their livelihoods and future, in attempt to change their own fate. But in the end, even if they can realize their dreams and desires by means of their own hard work, they can never change their fates, and no matter how doggedly they try they can never exceed what destiny has allotted them. Regardless of differences in ability, IQ, and willpower, people are all equal before fate, which makes no distinction between the great and the small, the high and the low, the exalted and the mean. What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). A sister said, “Our human fate is in God’s hands. What family we are born into, what kind of parents and appearance we have are not determined by ourselves. Additionally, our future and marriage, how many children we have, and how much wealth we possess are not decided by our efforts and abilities, but are predetermined by the Creator. In fact, each of us is just like a wooden doll in God’s hands, and everything of us is ruled over by God. But many times we do not recognize God’s sovereignty, always trying to control our own destiny and fighting against it. As a consequence, we have suffered a lot of pain and taken many detours. Only after experiencing to the end can we see everything of us is arranged by God. Just like the saying goes, ‘At fifty one acknowledges the will of Heaven.’ These words make a lot of sense. We have struggled for half our life; in the end, we still have to return to the life course that the Creator has traced out for us, and none can escape.” Hearing her fellowship, I felt these words were spoken to me. Wasn’t I exactly like this? When I was young, in order for my family to live a happy life, I exerted myself to make money. In the end, after struggling for all these years, I had suffered a lot and earned lots of money as well, but I had not much money left. Whether I’m rich or poor is really not decided by how much money I make, but is predetermined by the Creator. But then I thought: In a way this is right, but to make money is very important as well. The reason why I came to the United States was not to earn money? Is not making money to support our family the goal and direction for our living?