The Sorrow of the Eraser

Yang Yang

I once read a parable of a pair of good friends of an eraser and a candle. The candle always wins praise from people, which makes the eraser feels imbalanced. One day, the eraser says, “We both serve humans. You’re dolled up every day, and people compare the drips you produce while burning to tears and regard your flames as the symbol of light. Whereas my body gets dirtier and the crumbles I produce are thrown away as waste. It’s unfair!”

The candle says sincerely, “You remove wrong writing for children every day. You’re a good help for them to do their homework, and a behind-the-scenes contributor to their bright future.”

However, the eraser is not satisfied with its role as a behind-the-scenes contributor, saying, “I must give off light and heat like you!”

Then the eraser throws itself on the candle. As a result, it gleams slightly, and a foul stench thickens the air.

The eraser is left charred all over. With a shake of his head, the young owner tosses it into a garbage can.

What can we learn from this parable? Much of the time we are just like the eraser. We are not satisfied with what we’ve already owned and always want to get what we lack. Some people resent being short and are envious of those tall; some with a tall and slim body structure feel pained about their ordinary appearance; some have gained a certain position and yet long for a higher status; some covet power though they have owned enough wealth. …

As a matter of fact, in our lifetime, what and how much we have, what our career is, what role we play, whether we are rich or poor—all of this is ordained by God. Some people who don’t expect to manage something achieve success in the end, while some others finally fail despite their meticulous planning and arrangement for achieving the goal. Some people lead an affluent life without paying much price, while some others spend their lives struggling and yet are still unable to move out of poverty. … Countless facts prove that we have no control over our fates and that God presides over our fates as well as the fates of all things. There is a saying prevailing among the farmers who have worked on the farms for their lifetime and experienced the vicissitudes of life, “Man works the land, but the yields depend on Heaven.” To take another example: Zhuge Liang, a chancellor and regent of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period, was skilled at strategy and running wars. Yet in the face of a war in which he almost succeeded, he couldn’t help but sigh, “Man proposes, but Heaven disposes!” Regardless of whether we believe it or not, no one can change the fact of God ruling over all things, or contend with God’s sovereignty and predestination.

God’s word says: “Mankind does not know who is the Sovereign of all things in the universe, much less does he know the beginning and future of mankind. Mankind merely lives, perforce, amidst this law. None can escape it and none can change it, for among all things and in the heavens there is but One from everlasting to everlasting who holds sovereignty over everything. … Regardless of whether you are able to recognize the deed of God, and irrespective of whether you believe in the existence of God, there is no doubt that your fate lies within the ordination of God, and there is no doubt that God will always hold sovereignty over all things.

Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives. Some people may not have realized these things. But when you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for and decided for you is a great benefit, and is a great protection, then you feel your pain gradually lighten, and the whole of you become relaxed, free, liberated.

God’s words are so true! We do not recognize God’s ordination and sovereignty, nor do we know what we truly need for our lives. Greed and extravagant desires cause us to never be content with our present circumstances and always rely on our own efforts to strive, which in turn invites a lot of trouble and distress for ourselves. Some people commit many evil deeds against the law, ruining their own prospects and even paying the price with their life. By contrast, those who can submit to their fates spend their lives, though unremarkable, in peace and joy. … In fact, as we humans were created by God, only God knows our real needs, and what God bestows upon us is the most appropriate.

We now are in the last days when God has come to do His work and expressed all the truths we human beings need. After reading God’s word, we will come to fully realize and confirm this fact: We will be able to shake off pain, live under God’s care and blessing, and become truly free and liberated if we can come before God to accept His word as our life, practice according to the truth, and obey God’s orchestration and arrangements, rather than cling to our excessive desires and rely on our own will and abilities to resist fate.

Sovereignty of God

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