When I was eight years old, my dad could not get over the shock of my mother dying. He neglected his job, squandered all the savings, living in a decadent life of indulgence and not caring about my seven-month-old brother and me. So, my aged grandma took care of us, leading a very poor life. I, young, suffered disdain by my relatives and tasted life’s hardships. I even could not afford my tuition for only one hundred yuan at the hardest time. My peers were cared about and loved by their parents, wore new clothes, and owned the toys they liked, while I did not possess one of them. From then on, I told myself: I will study hard. As long as I own a diploma through hard study, I can find a good job and get rid of the poor life.
Since then, I began to study hard. The first thing I did after school was to do homework and review lessons and I often stayed up until 2 or 3 a.m. Sometimes, I only slept for just two hours and then continued study. It pained my grandmother to see that I studied hard day and night, so she tried to persuade me not to make myself suffer. But I, competitive, did not allow myself to relax, for I believed that as long as I studied hard, I would get ahead and have a good fate in the future. Everything comes to him who waits. I finished first in my class and was admitted to a provincial key high school. The school offered free tuition to me for three years because of my great score. My efforts brought me a great result, which made me more firmly believe that I would have a wonderful future as long as I studied hard. Just when I tried my best to study to change my fate, my grandmother told me: “The fate of man is in the hands of God. One can’t change his fate by a good diploma or by his struggle. Only if man worships God will he have a good fate, take the right path of life and live a true happy life.” Then, she read God’s words for me: “From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to perform your duty. You assume your role in the plan of God and in the ordination of God. You begin the journey of life. Whatever your background and whatever the journey ahead of you, none can escape the orchestration and arrangement that Heaven has in store, and none are in control of their destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). Though I believed God’s existence, I thought I could change my fate through my efforts. Didn’t our school offer free tuition to me because I got a great score through my efforts? Upon that, I still worked hard toward my goal by my belief. I always came out among the best when I was in high school for three years. Also, I gained many certificates of merit. These strengthened the belief in my heart that “Man can change their fate by their own efforts.” I believed that happy life came from my own efforts.
Through my ceaseless efforts, I felt I was getting closer to my dream. And I thought I could certainly attend a famous university according to my excellent grades. But I never thought that when I took part in the college entrance examination, my brain became blank and I seemed to forget everything. At last, I could only attend a college which was my second choice. The failure of the examination was a crushing blow to confident me. I hid in my home, crying for three days. I could not understand why I could not receive a harvest in proportion to what I have paid. I had learned the knowledge; why couldn’t I think of anything when I took part in the examination? Seeing I was in agony, grandmother said to me: “My child, you always want to change your fate through effort and study. In fact, you are afflicted by satanic poisons such as ‘One’s fate is in his own hands’ and ‘Knowledge can change one’s fate.’ It is too hard and tired for man to live by these satanic poisons. God says: ‘The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature?’ (‘Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination’). Man is just a small creature; how can he change his fate through effort and knowledge?! Man’s fate is controlled by God’s hands. Only relying on God and obeying God’s orchestrations and arrangements can man free himself from Satan’s affliction and painful life and can he live under God’s care and protection. Man can live happily because he lives by the word of God, not because he has enough money or he is looked upon by others. We should ’s sovereignty and learn to obey God.” I had no words to refute my grandmother. I indeed always wanted to change my current situation, climbing out of poverty and living a good life. Am I really wrong? But how could I live a good life without my efforts? I got a good result after I strived hard. So, I didn’t believe in God’s sovereignty over man’s fate within my heart. And I secretly resolved in my heart: Though I can’t get to the university which is my first choice, I can go to the second choice one. If I keep working hard, I will succeed.
When I received the admission letter from the university which was my second choice, I went to that regular university which was far away from my hometown. By studying hard, I became the monitor of my class and the chairman of the students’ association and gained scholarships. It seemed that all things developed as I expected. In 2015, my senior year, when I was going to graduate, a thought formed in my heart: I want to study abroad. For studying abroad could improve my value and I could find a good job and live a better life after I come back. So, I began to prepare for studying abroad. The application for the school and preparation for all the materials went very smoothly. But I met problems with my visa at last. I could not go abroad right away but needed to wait for half a year. At that time, I thought in my heart: Why was this thing trouble-free but now is hindered? Can’t man change his own fate by efforts?
At that time, I fully felt that man proposes, God disposes. And I suddenly felt I had no direction of life and I didn’t know where I should go. When I lost my way and was at a loss, grandmother tried to comfort me and gave me a book. I opened the book and saw those words: “Can one achieve everything one desires in life? How many things over the few decades of your existence have you been able to accomplish as you wished? How many things do not happen as expected? How many things come as pleasant surprises? How many things are you still waiting to bear fruit—unconsciously awaiting the right moment, awaiting the will of Heaven? How many things make you feel helpless and thwarted? Everyone is full of hopes about their fate, and anticipates that everything in their life will go as they wish, that they will not want for food or clothing, that their fortunes will rise spectacularly. Nobody wants a life that is poor and downtrodden, full of hardships, beset by calamities. But people cannot foresee or control these things” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). These words are eminently practical and seem to be talking to me. I was reduced to silence by these questions. Indeed, nobody wants a poor and downtrodden life which is full of hardships. So do I. I always wanted to change my fate by hard study. But no matter what efforts I have exerted, it seemed there was a force which pulled me all the time. I always was one step away from my dream during these years of struggle and the results differed from what I expected.
These words touched my heart, so I went ahead reading: “Where you will go every day, what you will do, who or what you will encounter, what you will say, what will happen to you—can any of this be predicted? People cannot foresee all these occurrences, much less control how they develop. In life, these unforeseeable events happen all the time, and they are an everyday occurrence. These daily vicissitudes and the ways they unfold, or the patterns by which they play out, are constant reminders to humanity that nothing happens at random, that these things’ ramifications, and their inevitability, cannot be shifted by human will. Every happening conveys an admonition from the Creator to mankind, and it also sends the message that human beings cannot control their own fates; at the same time every event is a rebuttal to humanity’s wild, futile ambition and desire to take its fate into its own hands. They are like powerful slaps about humanity’s ears one after another, forcing people to reconsider who, in the end, governs and controls their fate. And as their ambitions and desires are repeatedly thwarted and shattered, humans naturally arrive at an unconscious acceptance of what fate has in store, an acceptance of reality, of the will of Heaven and the Creator’s sovereignty. From these daily vicissitudes to the fates of entire human lives, there is nothing that does not reveal the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty; there is nothing that does not send the message that ‘the Creator’s authority cannot be exceeded,’ that does not convey the eternal truth that ‘the Creator’s authority is supreme’” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). These words reminded me that I have been studying hard during these years. I want to gain a high diploma by study. Then I can find a good job and live a good life. However, the facts are rebuttals to my thoughts and desires again and again. At that time, I felt convinced about God’s words in my heart. I also understood that my fate could not be changed by study and struggle. It is ruled and commanded by the Creator and His authority cannot be exceeded.
The failure of the college entrance examination and the disillusionment of my dream of going abroad were like powerful slaps about my ears one after another, making me realize that I cannot change my fate by my own efforts. In fact, my grandmother had told me that man’s fate is in God’s hands. But I didn’t believe it yet challenged it. I always wanted to change my fate by effort. Actually, it failed and just left me in agony. When my desire could not be satisfied, I felt painful, wronged and defiant. If I realized that God rules everything earlier, I would not change my fate by my own efforts and would not be so distressed. God’s words and my personal experiences tell me God rules over man’s fate and that we cannot change our fate by efforts. I began to accept this fact in my heart. Right then, my anguish lessened a lot.
As I believed that all men’s fates are in God’s hands and was willing to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, one of my friends who I have not contacted with for a long time offered me a job: to be a teacher abroad. So, I considered to be a teacher instead of studying abroad. I took my interview before God and prayed to Him: “Oh, God! I’m willing to obey you and I won’t fight with my fate any more. Whether my interview can be successful or not, it’s in your hand and I’ll obey your arrangement. I won’t expect too much. For I have understood that I should obey Your sovereignty and arrangements as a creature.” As last, I passed the interview successfully.
In February, 2016, I came to work in Singapore. Soon afterward, I contacted with the brothers and sisters of the Church and led the church life. As I read more of God’s words, I have learned to rely on God, look up to Him and I also learned that when I encountered something, I should quiet my heart before God and pray to Him to seek His leadership rather than do things in my own way. For I did all things with my own ability and caliber before. Not long ago, I needed to find a suitable house. At the beginning, I thought it was not too difficult. But as time passed, I beat my head against the wall: I looked at several houses, but they were not suitable for me. Then I came before God to pray and committed my difficulties to Him for Him to rule over. One day, one of my colleagues heard that I wanted to find a house. She said to me: “I’m looking for a house, too. What about living together? You don’t need to take charge of it. You just come to live after I find one.” Later, she found a very suitable house and we lived together. Though this thing is not very big, I have seen that God’s authority is everywhere and I have experienced that relying on God is the best choice for us. I really felt God’s love toward man. Under the leadership of God’s words, I gradually stopped fighting against the fate and got rid of the exhausted life. Now, I read God’s words and listen to the sermon after I come back from work every day. I also have meetings, sing hymns with brothers and sisters at my leisure. Peace and joy fill my life. Thank God’s words for changing my wrong viewpoints and teaching me to seek His leadership and obey His sovereignty and arrangements instead of acting by myself when things crop up. All the glory be to Almighty God!