By Cui Liu
One day, I heard the news: “A sophomore at a high school jumped from his house on the fifth floor because his mother brought so much pressure to bear on him to study hard that he felt life had no meaning. He landed on his feet and narrowly escaped death, but he had several fractures. After his operation, his mother rushed to visit him. Unexpectedly, his first words were ‘Go away!’ which amazed his mother. The mother wondered what had caused him to treat her as an enemy? Sitting in the corridor of the hospital, the mother looked drawn, with her tears flowing freely down her cheeks. She muttered, ‘Why is this? Who can tell me? Who can tell me? I really love my child!’” Hearing that, my heart ached as if being pricked. As a mother, I deeply knew a mother loves her children more than her own life, but why was she repaid with bitter fruit?
The next morning, I prayed and practiced spiritual devotions as normal. While reading, I saw the following words of God, “People know that they are powerless and hopeless in this life, that they will not have another chance, another hope, to stand out from others, and that they have no choice but to accept their fates. And so they project all their hopes, their unrealized desires and ideals, onto the next generation, hoping that their offspring can help them achieve their dreams and realize their desires; that their daughters and sons will bring glory to the family name, become important, rich, or famous; in short, they want to see their children’s fortunes soar. … Humans are not the masters of their own fate, yet they hope to change the fates of the younger generation; they are powerless to escape their own fates, yet they try to control those of their sons and daughters. Are they not overestimating themselves? Is this not human foolishness and ignorance?” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Ponderings, I thought the reason why that mother put pressure on her son to study hard was because she wanted to control his fate in her own hands. Finally, what she did had an unintended but negative effect and she nearly ruined her son’s life. Looking back at my past years, I had been the same as that mother. I wanted to control my son’s fate, and I was exhausted and felt very bound. Afterward, it was the watering and feeding of God’s word that gradually corrected my outlook on things. After I accepted and obeyed the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements, my son and I attained true freedom, and my love for him took an improved direction.
Before marriage, my husband and I both lived in poor households, so we started working early and had no opportunity to go to the university. After getting married and having our son, we transferred our hopes to him, expecting that he could get into the university, and that in the future, he would have a good job and stand out from others. Since my son started school, I quit my job and stayed at home to look after him. Every morning, I woke him up early for reciting the text; at lunch, I helped him review lessons he had learned in the morning; in the evening, I accompanied him when he did his homework. However, he was not interested in study and always did poorly in school tests. As a result, I asked his teachers for guidance and help, took him to various activities to develop his interest in learning, and arranged his lessons to keep him occupied, but his grades still didn’t go up and his teachers often called me to communicate with me about his studies. I always felt a gnawing worry and was so anxious for him to make progress.
My head was full of his studies even when I was walking. I remembered: Once there were many mistakes in his assignments, and when I helped him correct them, he was very distracted and daydreaming. In this moment, I was thinking that I had done everything to help him in his studies everyday and had expended so much painstaking effort, but he wasn’t the least bit anxious and didn’t make any progress, therefore I couldn’t help but scold him. Over the next few days, we were not speaking to each other. I had been accompanying my son in study for five whole years. In order to achieve my desire to send him to the university, not only was I weary in body and mind, but our relationship had become very strained. I was in agony and at a loss, not knowing where the path was.
One day, a sister read a passage of God’s word to me: “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? In short, regardless of how God works, all His work is for the sake of man. Take, for example, the heavens and earth and all things that God created to serve man: The moon, the sun, and the stars that He made for man, the animals and plants, spring, summer, autumn and winter, and so on—all are for the sake of man’s existence” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination”). Then she fellowshiped with me: “Everyone’s fate is in God’s command and is not controlled by us. The fates of children are not controlled by parents either. God’s creation of the heavens and earth and all things is for the sake of our survival. Regardless of what arrangements God makes, all is for our sake. We should just submit to His sovereignty and arrangements.” Then she told me about other brothers and sisters’ experiences of educating children, as well as about how they relied on God and obeyed His arrangements and then saw His deeds. I felt her fellowship was quite reasonable, so I tried to commit my son’s study into God’s hands. I no longer revolved around him all day but was only with him when he did his homework in the evening. After a semester, he did much better at school than ever! I kept thanking God with joy.
Soon after, our church brought in a new believer. The sister arranged for me to have meetings with her in the evening. However, during that time, my son always did his homework late. I didn’t know whether I should have meetings or accompany my son. During this struggle, I read God’s word, “Despite the fact that you are before Me doing things for Me, in your heart you still think of your wife, children and parents at home—are all these your property? Why don’t you commit them into My hands? Do you not believe in Me enough? Or is it that you’re afraid I will make inappropriate arrangements for you?” (“The Fifty-ninth Utterance”). Comparing my life to God’s words, I saw my condition. Didn’t I mistrust God? Thinking of this, I prayed to God, just committing my son’s study to Him and no longer did things of my own will. After finishing the first meeting and getting home, I immediately asked my son, “How is your homework going?” To my surprise, he said, “Mom, I got it done.” At that moment, I saw that God wanted me to trust in Him and that I could do nothing on my own. From then on, I was determined to rely on God, commit my son into His hands and let Him control and arrange all.
Ever since I changed my viewpoints, my son and I have kept no secrets from each other and treat each other as friends. My son said to me with emotion, “Mom, thanks to you believing in God, you don’t scold me every day because of my studies. Everytime you scolded me, I would hate you.” I said, “Give thanks to God for His salvation. All this was His grace. Without His salvation, our relationship wouldn’t become what it is today.”
Later, my son naturally went to a vocational school. After graduation, he got a job. Now he has grown up and surpasses his peers in independence. Moreover, he is frequently praised by his colleagues and leaders at work.
At this point, thinking of the tragedy in the previously mentioned mother’s story, I was filled with emotion. If I hadn’t come before God, my love for my son would not have any direction and perhaps one day I would have repeated the tragedy that mother had made. Thank God for His salvation. Through His words, I understand His sovereignty and know everyone’s fate is in His hands. I don’t resist fate anymore, but instead commit my son to Him and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements; thereby I have a normal relationship with my son and we live freely and unrestrained under God’s care and protection. All the glory be to God!
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