By Zeng Yili
In 2006, my mother preachedin to me. At that time, I just believed in God in my heart, and only ed to God when I met difficulties; I didn’t take belief in God seriously.
Later I went to college and my mother put me in touch with the. I had meetings twice a week. However, I always wanted to play, and also joined many student societies at school, so I either was late for meetings or left early. After I returned to school, I would go shopping and go to Internet cafes with my classmates. I felt this was just the life the young should have. Afterward, as I didn’t attend meetings several times, a sister in the church came to my school and found me. She fellowshiped with me, “Sister, why didn’t you come to the meetings recently? Is it because you’re busy with your study? But no matter how busy we may be, we should still make time to attend meetings. Only by getting together with brothers and sisters can we be able to understand more truths and get some knowledge about God’s work of salvation. Now, in this evil age, the devil Satan is raising up all kinds of evil trends concerned with eating and drinking and playing to deceive and harm mankind. Only when we come before God frequently, will we not be devoured by Satan!” She also reminded me to pray and read s more in the school. After that I did as she said. But each time, after one or two days, I would go back to my old ways soon. Sometimes, even if I was at meetings, my mind still wandered in the world outside, thinking the meeting hindered me from goingplay. Finally, before a meeting, I left on a sister’s desk a piece of paper, on which I wrote: “I don’t want to attend meetings anymore.” Then I went away. In this way I got further and further from God.
Half a year later, I got a job in sales. Since I was introverted and my sales record was poor, the boss found fault in everything I did and often scolded me. In addition, the colleagues were vying with each other secretly for their own profit, and my business was always stolen without reason. In order to have standing in the company, I had to swallow these and even feign a smile no matter how bitter I felt in my heart. Every day, I would come home tired from work with my back getting sore. And when I flake out on the bed recalling what happened during the day, I really felt that the world was very complex and the reality was quite cruel. In addition to being under the pressure from work, I also had to pay for meals and the rent, etc. I could barely make ends meet on my meager salary. Just as I was mentally and physically exhausted, my boyfriend who had been in love with me for two years suddenly got engaged with somebody else. These blows that came one after another made my life hell. From then on, as soon as I arrived home after work, I would sleep in bed to numb myself and escape the reality. Sometimes I woke up from dreaming with tears. Every day I was lonely, in low spirits and depression like a walking corpse. I felt that I had reached the lowest point in my life, and would collapse one day.
During that time, my mother always reminded me on the phone tofrequently, and that no matter where we were, no matter what kind of work we did, we should not leave the supply of life from God, as God is our help and reliance any time. After I got off the phone, I thought: The boss doesn’t favor me, the colleagues exclude me, and my boyfriend have abandoned me. Besides, I once went away from God because of being fond of having fun, and have broken God’s heart. Will God still accept someone like me? In those bitter days, I often recalled the time when I gathered with brothers and sisters in the church. During those days, we read God’s words, openly communicated with each other, and brothers and sisters fellowshiped God’s words to help me when I had difficulties. There were cheers and laughter … Thinking of these, my tears freely flew down. I cried and prayed to God, “O God! I am very suffering now. I feel I have come to my end, and am about to collapse. I don’t know how to face all the things before me. I am missing brothers and sisters, and those days when I lived the life of the church. O God, I really want to go back to Your house, but will You still want me?”
Several days later, when I was working, I saw two familiar figures come from a distance, looking as they went at the signboards of shops. They seemed to be looking for somebody. As they came closer to me, I found that they were sisters who once gathered with me. At that moment, I was glad and excited, realizing that God had heard my prayer. When seeing me, one of them excitedly held my hands, saying, “Ah, we have finally found you. Your phone number was changed, so we had a hard time in coming into contact with your family, and it was only after that that we came to know you work here. During the days when you didn’t come to meetings, we all missed you very much. Ah, you should come back!” Hearing her honest words, my tears of excitement came out at once. I was aware that it was God who led the sisters to come there. God didn’t abandon me. In the noisy shop, it was not convenient for them to say too much, but I had already felt God’s motherly love and care. One sister swept my tears, holding my hand, and said, “Ah, sister, don’t cry. Whatever difficulties you meet, God will be beside you all the time.” I said in a choked voice, “Actually I want to go find you very much, but I am afraid I am so disobedient that God may not accept me anymore. May I come to meetings again?” She said gladly, “Of course you can!” Then she whispered in my ear, “Have you forgotten? God says, ‘He is not willing to sacrifice or lose a single soul’ (‘Do You Understand God’s Love for Mankind?’). Whenever you have time, let’s gather to have a good chat. Brothers and sisters all have been excepting you to come back!” At that moment, I felt I was just like a lost child who eventually returned back to her mother’s side.
A few days afterward, I went back to the church which I had left long before. At the moment I knocked the door, I was very nervous, for I had no idea how to begin to speak to brothers and sisters. When I entered the house, however, what I saw was the sisters’ smiling faces. One sister said with tears, “Sister, at last you’re back! Do you know? During the days you didn’t come to meetings, brothers and sisters looked for you everywhere and we also prayed for you every day. God has been waiting for you to turn back all the time!” The sister’ heartfelt words made me sob again! Only then did I feel it was so disobedient of me to leave God for the sake of being interested in having a good time. Thinking back on the days when I left God, I was free to play whatever my heart desired, but I had never felt the closeness and happiness that I felt when I was together with brothers and sisters. During the meeting, a sister selected two passages of God’s words for me to read. God says, “The majority of people are constantly forward-looking and insatiable; they all lack understanding of God’s current anxious intention, so they all have thoughts of escape. They always want to go out into the wilderness to wander like a wild horse that has thrown off its reins, but it’s rare that there are people who want to settle down in the good land of Canaan to seek the way of human life—when they’ve entered the land flowing with milk and honey, wouldn’t they only think of enjoying it? To be frank, outside of the good land of Canaan everywhere is the wilderness” (“The Path … (7)”). “Those who live outside My word, fleeing the suffering of trial, are they all not drifting through the world? They are akin to autumn leaves fluttering here and there, with no place to rest, much less My words of consolation. Although My chastisement and refinement do not follow them, are they not beggars who go drifting from place to place, wandering the streets outside? Is the world really your place of rest? Can you really, by avoiding My chastisement, attain the faintest smile of gratification from the world? Can you truly use your fleeting enjoyment to cover up the emptiness in your heart that cannot be concealed?” (“What It Means to Be a Real Man”).
God’s words told the truth about me who was a son of rebellion. I was just the runaway wild horse, not willing to stay in Canaan. My heart was drawn by the dazzling world, so I chased dissipated, fallen life in the flesh and rejected God’s salvation. During those days when I left God, I was not restricted by anyone, but the hypocritical world, the complex personal relationships, and other people’s indifference made my heart broken. God deeply knew my rebellion, but He didn’t ignore me, and even arranged brothers and sisters to look for me, making me understand God’s house was my real harbor. On thinking of these, I was moved greatly. After returning home, I bowed down before God and prayed to Him, “God! I can’t leave you. Only when I return to Your house, do I truly find the destination of my heart. I am not willing to refuse Your salvation to me once more.”
In the following days, when getting along with brothers and sisters, I was aware, by reading God’s words earnestly, that as a creature, I ought to worship God, and this was my duty. After that, no matter how busy I was, I would attend meetings on schedule, read God’s words, and pray to God. Gradually there was sunshine appearing in the dark days of my life. With the supply of God’s words and help from brothers and sisters, I was no longer troubled by my work and emotions. Instead, I felt assured and happy in my heart.
Now when I recall that experience, I feel thatis so real. I can’t help thinking of God’s fellowship, “If you have high expectations of someone and you hope they open their heart to you, but instead they always hide from you, are estranged from you, misunderstand you, if they are always hiding from you and keeping their distance from you, what would you think in your heart? Even if they opened their heart to you and spoke with you but said things that you didn’t wish to hear, what would you think in your heart? Would you feel lonely? (Yes.) You would first feel lonely, isolated, with no family, no confidants, no one to have a heart-to-heart with, and no one in whom you could believe or rely on. While you are feeling lonely, what would you think? What else would you feel? Would your heart be in pain? (Yes.) Would this pain be easily resolved? … There may be other things people can do, but corrupt mankind is certainly different from God. Am I right? People can choose: ‘I will ignore you, I will kick you away. A is no good, so I choose B. Number 1 is no good, so I choose number 2.’ Does God do this? He certainly doesn’t do this. God won’t give up on something that He is determined to complete. So what does God do? God’s selfless essence manifests here. On the one hand, God continues to freely provide for people’s needs: their life needs, the needs of their hearts, their environments, and other aspects of their needs; on the other hand, God can do a second thing, which is something that He has been doing for the last several thousand years. Have a think—what could the second thing be? (Waiting.) Do you think this is correct? (Yes it is. God continues to wait and continues to guide people.) It looks as if you have some experience and you have a heart. That’s right, it is waiting. God won’t choose another way to do things, a way that can allow Him to evade or give up on things, or that eases His grief. While He freely bestows on mankind the provisions for their life, He is also waiting freely. This is what God does” (“Man is the Greatest Beneficiary of God’s Management Plan”). God’s words are not void, He is selfless and truly bestows upon me love selflessly. Facing my disobedience, misunderstanding, and avoidance, God did not give me up, but constantly moved me, persuaded me, and waited for me to turn back to Him. If it were not for God’s ever-present love, I would have been carried away by the evil world and lived in boundless suffering, unable to free myself. I am willing to cherish the salvation given by God, and will no longer avoid God and stray away from Him. From now on, I only wish to do my best to seek truth and understand to let God gain my heart!
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