By Jiang Feng
Starting from scratch by the sweat of his brow and laboring and toiling with mind and body was his previous way of living;
Believing himself and struggling against his fate was his attitude to life in former days;
Hearing God’s voice and coming before God was his turning point in life later;
Being reborn and walking the right path is his happy life today.
Compared with many people who often think back to the past in their fifties, Lu Ming can’t help shedding grateful tears and thanks God for His salvation instead of sighing in vain whenever he recalls his painful and bitter days in the first half of his life …
Lu Ming, who was born in a poor family and was frustrated in his studies, had a restless heart when he was a young man of hot blood. His attitude toward life was: Since I couldn’t choose my family, I will change my fate and rise to eminence by my own hands. Only after I have money and fame and gain will I live a rich and meaningful life. Especially every time when he saw the poor and rural area in which he stayed, this kind of desire would become much stronger.
At thirty, Lu Ming was young and vigorous, and never spared himself in his work. The neighbors often praised him, “This guy is very capable!” At the time, Lu Ming was also full of infinite longings for his future and endless desires for his prospects and fame and gain. He firmly believed that he could change his own fate by his ability, physique, and insight. After he got married, through some twists and turns and investigation, he collected money and bought several cattle, preparing to start his business—livestock breeding. This really was a daring business idea in the rural area of the 1990s. In less than a month, the biggest cow gave birth to a calf. But unexpectedly, while the cow was gazing on the hill the next day, it suddenly slipped and rolled down the hillside and died in the blink of an eye. Lu Ming had no way but to buy milk to feed the calf when it was starving. However, the calf eagerly wanted to look for its mother and suddenly disappeared one day. And then other cattle began to get sick one after another somehow. Lu Ming asked the veterinarian to cure them in various ways, but failed. He could only helplessly watch all the cattle which were all his properties die one by one. This great man wanted to cry yet had no tears.
The following things were an avalanche of blows to Lu Ming: He was heavily in debt. When the debtees came to collect the debts, he had no way but to sell his only landed property…. He ended in going bankrupt. Such a result of his business made him mentally and physically exhausted. Tribulations tempered this tough man and broke his dreams of rewriting his life and changing his fate by his own hands. However, even though he had walked to such a situation, he still didn’t admit defeat and secretly said to himself within: No matter what, I have to hold on.
After that, Lu Ming worked hard for several years and earned some money. When he saw that many of his old friends and classmates all went into business and that some of them had achieved a little success, he was also unwilling to live a humble life in this way. So, he once again made new plans for his life. He began to sell aquatic products. But after a few years, the business was not so good and he was far away from being a rich man. Later, introduced by a friend, he had a chance to go to a famous state-owned enterprise to work. After he passed the first interview, the leader who was in charge of the recruitment implied that he needed to give a lavish gift if he wanted to pass the second interview. He couldn’t afford to buy such a gift, so he had no way but to give it up finally and thus narrowly missed the chance to stand out from others again.
Not long after that, Lu Ming’s life was seriously ill and he spent all the savings on it. At that time, many of his friends and relatives avoided themselves from him for fear of getting involved. When Lu Ming needed money to pay for his wife’s medical bills, he asked his elder brother to lend him some money. But his brother and sister-in-law politely rejected him for fear that he could not repay the money in a short period of time according to his situation. In that instant, Lu Ming experienced the fickleness of the world and that people were “fair weather friends.” The gloomy reality made him downhearted. At that time, although he still cherished the hope for his prospects, his great ambition had been completely worn down by the vicissitudes of time and cruel reality. He also had wrinkles on his face and felt that he was getting old and really had no energy and ability to struggle against the fate and strive for himself. He remembered that he heard some old people say in former times, “Man’s destiny is determined by Heaven.” At that time, he didn’t think so. But after experiencing some vicissitudes, he felt as if there was really an unseen Master manipulating and arranging his life all the time.
Just when Lu Ming thought that he was at the end of the road of his life, God’s salvation came upon him. His relative preached theto him. Then he saw that God’s word says, “Mankind, who left the supply of life from the Almighty, does not know why they exist, and yet fears death. There is no support, no help…. You live like such, with no hope; he exists like such, with no aim. There is only the Holy One in the legend who will come to save those who moan in suffering and long desperately for His arrival. This belief cannot be realized so far in the people who are unconscious. However, the people still yearn for it so. The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). “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? … The destination of man is in the hands of the Creator, so how could man control himself?” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination”).
After Lu Ming, who was at the lowest point of his life, saw God’s word, he suddenly remembered this word, “While one is at the end of his road, there will be a new hope.” Through the fellowships and help of his brothers and sisters, and through his reading God’s word and thinking about his practical experience, Lu Ming realized, “It is because I never know the fact of God ruling over my fate that I live a more and more painful and tiring life. Living under Satan’s domain, I had been tormented by Satan and run around busily for the first half of my life. I was always trying to change my fate and be a rich and decent man by my own ability, thinking that only thus could I live a meaningful life, free myself from the embarrassment of poverty and the sense of inferiority, prove my ability and value, and also find my so-called reliance and a place I belong to. However, as the saying goes, ‘When you live in reliance on a mountain, it will collapse, and when on a river, it will dry.’ The experiences of suffering several setbacks and failures made me greatly distressed and even hopeless. I felt that I was really a loser. But unexpectedly, God’s voice called me while I was most helpless. God’s word tells me the truth and mystery of God ruling over my fate, shows me the direction of my life, and also brings me comfort and reliance in spirit. This is the same as the streams in the desert for me, who am living in darkness, loneliness, and helplessness.”
During that year, Lu Ming read God’s word carefully. After being certain that it is the true way, he formally became a Christian. From then on, he made a fresh new start.
Later, when Lu Ming saw his old classmates and friends, of whom some became the bosses that spent money like water and some were officials with many attendants crowding round, he no longer envied them. Instead, he thought that the life of revelry and deception was the trap of Satan afflicting people. Those who had fallen into it could only get further and further away from God and could hardly listen to the truth and warning that God has expressed. Once, he went to preach the gospel to his best high school classmate. At that time, his classmate had had his own company, a top-grade house in the big city, and a car worth millions. While seeing Lu Ming, the classmate cried out, “I don’t know why I live a more and more tiring life after having money and enjoying high status and great wealth. Except for the complicated social events and hypocritical personal relationships all day long, there is no joy in my life. And the relationship with my wife is also further and further….” But facing the gospel of God saving man in the last days, his classmate politely refused to accept it because of the business and having no time. In that instant, Lu Ming even more believed: If it were not for God’s sovereignty and arrangement and if he had attained money, fame and gain, and status that people admire through more than twenty years’ effort, he would have helplessly lived in emptiness and pain and missed God’s salvation like his classmate today.
God’s love is inexpressible, true, and beyond all words. Nowadays, Lu Ming no longer pursues the life of standing out from others and being the best of the best. Under God’s blessings, he lives an ordinary life, feeling richer and richer and more and more steadfast. His wife and child alland his wife’s illness was cured without treatment. He still works for his daily life, but he no longer labors and toils with mind and body and worries about personal gains and losses, much less has the sense of loss that his prospect looks bleak. He and his family spend more of their time and energy in having meetings, reading God’s word, and spreading and witnessing God’s kingdom gospel. While getting along with the brothers and sisters, Lu Ming truly feels: In God’s family, there is no fickleness of the world. There are no distinctions between high and low and poor and wealthy. No one will look down upon others. As long as one is willing to pursue the truth, the brothers and sisters will help and love each other.
After coming before God, Lu Ming’s life course is put right. He truly feels that he has wasted a lot of time in the first half of his life. But he thinks that there is also God’s good intention in such a predestined lot: If he had not gone through the ups and downs of life which broke his dreams of changing his fate for several times, he, who is arrogant, would surely have not listened to God’s word and obeyed before God and thus would have lost the chance of understanding the truth and walking the right path of life. Today, Lu Ming believes: God’s arrangements are all for our good. As long as we are willing to break through all hindrances, put down all entanglements, come before God, obey God’s sovereignty and live by God’s word after we hear God’s voice, we will be free from darkness and greet the dawn and our wandering heart will find the haven to moor forever.