By Zhang Zhen, China
“Little squirt, little squirt … Ha ha ha …”
These words smashed Xiaoguo’s heart like a hammer. Not until Xiaoguo walked far off did the harsh laughter disappear gradually.
Xiaoguo is quite short. At school, her classmates dubbed her “little squirt.” Whenever she was walking alone on the way home after school, some boys would taunt her. And every time when she took the exercise books to her teacher’s office, some girls would stop her to compare heights and tease her about her short stature. Therefore, she always sat alone in the classroom, except from the time that she handed in homework. When she saw those tall girls playing together, how she wanted to get involved; however, all of them were unwilling to play with her, so she felt especially lonely. She asked herself a thousand times, “Why am I so short? Why does Heaven treat me unfairly? If I could become a little taller, I would be satisfied.”
Later, when Xiaoguo reached the age of marriage, her co-workers introduced many boys to her. She thought: “Though I’m short, I’m well-educated and have a job. In any case, I won’t find a partner of short stature.” But she had never imagined that they all refused her because she was short. Gradually her classmates all got married and had children, while Xiaoguo was still single. She was called a leftover woman. Xiaoguo was sad and complained to her parents: “I’m so short and living in dishonor. This is all your fault. I’m well-educated and have a job. I’m no worse than others. If it were not for my short stature, I would also have found a great partner and lived a happy life. Why can’t I become taller?” Xiaoguo often spent a lot of time by herself quietly with her eyes closed, fancying that she—who became tall and slim—was walking in dainty high heels on the street with a sweet smile and people were casting admiring looks at her…. However, when she opened her eyes, it was difficult for her to accept the reality.
Finally, Xiaoguo married a short man. After getting married, her husband was very nice to her, yet still she lived in torment because of her flaw—short stature. In order not to be looked down on by others, she scrimped and saved and paid high prices for high heel shoes to conceal her flaw. She thought: “If I look taller, I also can be looked up to by others.” One day after work, it happened to be raining, and Xiaoguo trudged along in high heels. Accidentally, she slipped to the ground and one of the heels broke off. Therefore, she had to take off her shoes and walked barefoot. The broken bits of brick and small stones on the road caused her feet unbearable pain. And she didn’t go far before a piece of broken glass pricked her foot. She endured the pain and extracted it from her foot, blood streaming out. Nevertheless, after that she bore the pain and continued wearing high heels to stop others from saying that she was short.
Later, Xiaoguo felt that she would look taller with short and fluffy hair, and thus from then on she no longer wore her hair long. Whenever she saw that several people were together, she would make a detour or keep herself in the room to avoid standing together with them. In spite of this, she could not avoid hearing others saying behind her back that she was short. When she heard these words, the discomfort in her heart felt like a cutting blade; she felt inclined to sink into the ground and never come out of it. She often looked to the skies and sighed deeply: “Heavens! Why is it that others are tall and slim while I am so short? Could my short stature be my fault?”
Because of her short stature, Xiaoguo became moody all day long, feeling distressed and oppressed in her spirit.
It was when she was in all this pain and despair that her neighbor preached the kingdomto her. She saw these words of God: “People often like to imagine that if they were reborn, it would be into an illustrious family; if they were women, they would look like Snow White and be loved by everybody, and if they were men, they would be Prince Charming, wanting for nothing, with the whole world at their beck and call. There are often those who are under many illusions about their birth and are often very dissatisfied with it, resenting their family, their appearance, their gender, even the time of their birth. Yet people never understand why they are born into a particular family or why they look a certain way. They do not know that regardless of where they are born or how they look, they are to play various roles and fulfill different missions in the Creator’s management—this purpose will never change.”
The revelation ofallowed Xiaoguo to recognize that every one of us plays a role in God’s management work; we can’t choose our family, appearance, marriage, or work; and our lives are all ruled and arranged by God. In this vast world with so many people, the appearance of everyone is also controlled and predestined by God. Our destiny won’t change because of the appearance of us. But Satan causes us to pursue beautiful appearance, making us oppose God’s sovereignty and defy God and live in the pain of being dissatisfied with our own appearances. If we genuinely submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, we will gain freedom and liberation physically and mentally. Just as it is said in the : “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4). At this moment, Xiaoguo knew the reason why she had lived in such pain: It was because she didn’t know God’s sovereignty. For this reason, she became moody and sad-faced all day long. However, God didn’t turn His back on her, but rather moved brothers and sisters to preach the kingdom gospel to her. Moreover, her husband was very nice to her and never disdained her, and he finally came before God, too. On the path of believing in God, she and her husband were kindred spirits and helped each other out. Xiaoguo believed this was God’s best blessing to her. After knowing these things, Xiaoguo felt much more at ease and was willing to obey everything that God had arranged for her.
One day, Xiaoguo saw these words of God: “Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at ‘institutes of higher learning.’ The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God.”
Through what God’s words revealed, Xiaoguo understood that the reason why she was living in such pain was that she had been imbued with Satan’s ideas and governed by these ideas “A man leaves his name behind wherever he stays, just as a goose utters its cry wherever it flies,” and “As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face.” She cared so much about how others thought of her. When she saw those who had beautiful appearances and were tall, she would be very envious of them, thinking that wherever they went they could attract others’ attention and win themselves the love. So, in order to cover up her flaw and have a good image in people’s heart, Xiaoguo tried her best to make herself look taller: Wherever she went, she would wear high heels even if many times her shoes rubbed and gave her blisters and her ankle was sprained. In these years, not only did she suffer some physical pain, but she also suffered great pain in her spirit. Only then did Xiaoguo understand that the reason for her pain was that she was affected by Satan’s erroneous viewpoints and particularly loved vanity.
Later, Xiaoguo read a passage in the Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, “We can see that though people with beautiful appearances catch the eyes, such beauty does not last as long as a beautiful spirit. Though a beautiful appearance grabs attention, it cannot withstand staying together over a long period of time. Once a person’s spirit is seen to not be beautiful or have too many defects, others would find it disgusting and repugnant. Though a person with a beautiful spirit does not grab attention, he could stand firm if he has humanity and would start to attract more people over time, and most people would like him in the end. The pursuit of loving God is the pursuit of a beautiful spirit, the pursuit of the truth to live out an image of loving God. Such a person would surely be commended by God and loved by most people.”
After reading it, Xiaoguo understood this: Regardless of what one looks like and what height he has, it doesn’t matter. In the eyes of God, one who has a beautiful spirit is truly beautiful. God requires us to pursue to practice His word, obey His orchestrations and arrangements, and do our duty to our utmost as a creature of God. This is the goal that a creation should seek.
After knowing these things, she no longer felt sad and depressed for her height. Instead, from her heart, she submitted to all of God’s arrangements. When she was around many people who were tall and slim, she didn’t feel inferior and distressed anymore; in addition, she no longer wore her high heels every day to conceal her short stature. Only then did she realize that her sufferings weren’t down to her short stature but her living by Satan’s viewpoints with the result that she paid special attention to these external things. God’s words changed her viewpoints. Today, she doesn’t feel sorrow for her height anymore but is filled with happiness instead. This result is achieved by God’s words. Xiaoguo truly feels that she could only accept her own flaw and shake off all the suffering through the pursuit of practicing God’s word. So, she is resolved to seek to practice God’s words, fulfill her duty properly to satisfy God, and pursue to live out a meaningful life!
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