By Qin Fei
What to choose and what to give up in life are really important. As many people know, one has to give up something before he gains. But in all one’s lifetime, it is the most difficult thing to manage the two words—“give up” and “gain.”
One day, I read a short story. A man got lost in the desert. He was very thirsty and could not endure the intense heat any longer. Just at this moment, he found an abandoned hut. To his surprise, there was a water pump in it. He was excited and went up to draw water, but he failed no matter how he tried. Just then he saw beside the pump a bottle of water with a note saying, “You must pour the water into the pump before you can get water! Please don’t forget to fill the bottle before you leave!” What should I do? It’s good if I can get water as it says. But what if I can’t? Wouldn’t I die here of thirst? If I drink up the water in the bottle, it can temporarily relieve my thirst. He hesitated. … After thinking it over and over again, he poured the water into the pump, and the clear spring water was soon drawn up. It was not only enough for him to drink but also sufficient for him to come out of the desert. Before leaving, he filled the bottle with water and added some words on the note, “What this note says is true. You have to give up the water in the bottle first, and then you can get more water.”
This story gave me some enlightenment. As we know, nothing is more precious than water in the desert. The man in the story chose to believe what the note said when he was dying of thirst and needed water most. So at last, he gained more water which made it possible for him to leave the desert alive. However, if he didn’t believe what the note said, and was unwilling to pour the water in the bottle into the pump, he would die in the desert. It was his advisable choice that decided his fate, that is, his believing and his giving up saved him.
Then I can’t help thinking: At present, the deteriorating living environments have made us humans unable to continue to live on; various disasters are an everyday occurrence, which can’t be predicted or resisted by man. The conflicts between countries are growing day by day, and wars may break out at any moment. People are living in a constant state of panic, feeling that the end of the world is imminent and that mankind is on the verge of death. However, instead of leaving mankind alone, God has personally become flesh on earth to do the last-days work of saving mankind. Now, the kingdom of God has spread throughout mainland China and been known to every household. And many videos of the choir, gospel movies, MVs have been uploaded to the big foreign websites, testifying God’s work in the last days to the people of the world. Yet, how shall we make the choice when God’s salvation in the last days comes to us? In this age when money is everything to man, how many people can make the right choice of giving up their immediate interests? We often hear a worker say, “I only know to work from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to make money, and I want to buy a car and a house to improve the quality of life. So I have no time to believe now. I’ll think about it after retirement.” A student says, “The competition in the world today is so strong, and the uneducated will be eliminated. Only through studying hard is my future assured. I’ll consider believing in God after finishing my studies.” A businessman says, “In today’s society, prices of goods are too high. Without money I absolutely can’t live. I must save a sum of money now for my old age. I shall believe after I amass enough money.” A farmer says, “There’s too much work to do in the farmland. I only know to work hard in the field. Before I’m too old, I have to earn more money and I should think more of my children. I have no time to . …”
All of us are always in pursuit of money, knowledge, and fame. Many feel that we will be looked down on if we live without money and knowledge. So, everyone is chasing after them. But when we have obtained these things, we suddenly realize that although we enjoy a good material life and have cars, houses, or even mansions, our interpersonal relationships with others become distant and there is no longer any love among men. Deceits, traps, and murders are everywhere. Our hearts feel more and more empty. In fact, what we humans truly need is not material enjoyment, but the spiritual supply which can only come from God. For only God’s words are the truth, the way, and the life and able to satisfy our hearts. God says: “The way of life is not something that can be possessed by just anyone, nor is it easily obtainable by all. That is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, there is no way of life without God Himself, and so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life” (“Only of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life”). Without the provision of the living water of life from God, the emptiness and helplessness in our hearts can’t be resolved. Only God’s words are capable of guiding, watering, and providing us, and freeing us from the emptiness of the hearts and the painful life.
Faced with the salvation of God, if you are still unwilling to spend some time investigating the true way and seeking the path of light, being content with the status quo and thinking that you will lose out if you give up some time or money, you are foolish in the extreme. However, the fact is precisely the opposite: It is because we don’t want to give up something that we will miss the unique opportunity of being saved by God. Because we don’t want to give up something, we will not be able to receive the provision of God’s words, God’s salvation, and then we will fall into disaster and be filled with regret forever. Because we don’t want to give up something and are just satisfied with being well-fed, we feel extremely empty in our hearts, and we live in the evil and licentious world tasting all the bitterness of life. When God’s work of salvation comes to an end, we will undergo the eternal torment of hell. Just as the said: “Where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48). God also says: “None know that the repeated reminders and exhortations of God are because He holds in His hands an unprecedented disaster that He has prepared, one that will be unbearable for the flesh and soul of man. This disaster is not merely a punishment of the flesh but of the soul as well. You must know this: When the plan of God is made void and when His reminders and exhortations beget no response, what anger will He unleash? This will be like nothing that has heretofore been experienced or heard by any creation. And so I say, this disaster is unprecedented and will never be repeated. This is because only one creation and one salvation are within the plan of God. This is the first time and also the last. Therefore, none can comprehend the kind intention and fervent anticipation of God for mankind’s salvation” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”).
From the words of God we can see that God’s repeated reminders and exhortations are in order for us to escape from the disaster. God wants to save us from the suffering of disaster so He doesn’t hesitate to pay all the price. God comes from above to the earth and personally becomes flesh to live among the filthy, evil, and corrupt mankind, eating, sleeping, and living with us. God has dedicated His all to saving us mankind for the purpose of awakening our hearts and spirits, so that we can come before Him, receive His care and protection, and escape the disaster. God warns us: “Wake up, brothers! Wake up, sisters! My day will not be delayed. Time is life, and to seize the time is to rescue your life! The time is not far off! If you fail the college entrance examination, you can prepare for it again and again. But my day will be no more delayed! Remember! Remember! This is my good advice for you. The end of the world has been laid before your eyes. The great disasters will soon come. Is your life more important or your sleeping, eating, drinking, and dressing more important?” (“The Thirtieth Utterance”).