When I was nine years old, my father died of illness. Thereafter, my mother had to work outside the home to feed three of us siblings. As she was often bullied and oppressed by others, she usually vented her grievances on us after returning home. At that time, I felt I had an extremely unhappy childhood, for besides having a poor family and being deprived of my father’s love, I often had to suffer blame and corporal punishment from my mother. I did not want to live such a miserable life for one more day. After I started school, my teacher told me that “The fate of man is controlled by his own hands” and “Let us build a beautiful homeland by our own hands.” These words convinced me that my hard fate could be changed by my own hands. What’s more, at that time, the success stories about some famous people and great ones were often shown on TV. I admired them so much when I saw the scenes where they, crowned with laurel, wore a self-confident smile in the limelight and were warmly supported by the people. Because of the influence of this environment, I began to weave my wonderful fantasy. I thought that as long as I kept striving, one day I would definitely earn fame and riches, freeing myself from the misery. After graduation from polytechnic school, I began to do the wholesale business in general merchandise. I worked from dawn to night with all my might every day. A few years later, I became a boss admired by the people around me. However, I was not at all satisfied with what I had achieved, and I felt it was too far from my ideal—being a successful man admired and adored by all. In order to achieve my ideal, I devoted myself heart and soul to my business and kept looking for opportunities to achieve success and acquire fame.
Once, a good friend of mine told me that an enterprise that the local government invested in was going public, and if I underbought its shares before its public offering, I would profit greatly later on, for its share price would rise dozens of times after it publicly traded shares. That was a highly profitable business which would make me rich overnight. I was so excited at this good news, and I thought, “Little did I expect that I would have this opportunity to quickly achieve success and gain fame.” For safety’s sake, I went to visit one of my former classmates and ask him about this matter, for I thought he must know it, as he was the mayor’s future son-in-law. As expected, it was true. So I went everywhere to raise money, and bought some shares worth over 300,000 yuan with all the money I had. But never had I imagined that on the day when the enterprise’s shares began trading, the grievous news came that the Central Committee suddenly introduced the macro-control policy which stated that it was a serious violation of regulations that local governments developed and operated over-the-counter stock markets for their financial interests, and that it must be banned. The enterprise in which I bought shares belonged to that kind of market and must be disqualified from trading at once. The news was like a thunderclap to me. Realizing that my hard-earned money, the several hundred thousand yuan, was down the drain in an instant, I was limp and weak all over and plunged into immense affliction. I had never dreamed that the shares issued by a company with government shareholding would become as worthless as bubbles. Later, I happened to know that the local government’s investment in that enterprise’s stock was purely a fraud made by it and that enterprise, and that their purpose was actually to cheat the investors out of their money. At the news, I burned with anger and hatred and itched to expose this scandal of the local government. But in today’s society where officials shield one another, how could I, a common person, defeat the government? When I thought of this, I swallowed my anger without protest and continued to do my business. Two years later, I came out of the crisis at last. However, I forgot the pain after the wound had healed. When I had some money in hand, I began to seek business opportunities again, dreaming to become a successful man admired by all soon.
One day I met my cousin who was responsible for the operation of a state-owned enterprise. From my conversation with him, he knew that I had enough money, so he egged me on to invest. He said, “Our enterprise is cooperating with the Hong Kong government in a big project. There is no risk involved in it. The investors can receive dividends each quarter. It will bring returns on investment in the short term. Moreover, the operation of this project will last for decades. If you invest in it, you are sure to receive a continual good return!” His introduction touched my heart. In order to avoid the failure I had suffered last time, I asked him to take me to conduct an on-the-spot investigation. A few days later, he made a “careful” arrangement for me to go and investigate. After the investigation, I was sure about it. So I began to plough huge sums of money into the project. During over one year, I invested 800,000 yuan in it altogether, including 200,000 yuan, a sum of public money lent to me by the manager of a state-owned enterprise. When I gave the 200,000 yuan to my cousin, I told him that it was public money and must be returned to someone by the due date. Later, however, my cousin suddenly disappeared on the day that he had promised to give back the money. I hurried to the enterprise to carefully verify this matter, only to find that it was a trap he and the manager of the enterprise had set for their respective interests. At that moment, I completely collapsed. I, a man who had seldom shed tears from childhood in any hard or difficult situation, burst out weeping in spite of myself. I was only 29 that year. Because I was incapable of paying back the money I had borrowed after being tricked out of over 800,000 yuan by my cousin, I had to go to his house and asked his mother, my aunt, for help. I pleaded with her to lend part of her mortgage to me as the operating capital for the time being, but she refused ruthlessly, and she said that I was extorting money from her and even threatened to call the police. Seeing her so hard-hearted, I had no choice but to leave. Inflicted with such a heavy blow, I was in a trance. At the thought that my cousin, my close kin, even used my trust in him to snare me and my aunt was also so cold-blooded, I was filled with an unspeakable fear and felt that the noisy world was too alien and seemed very far away from me. The thought of committing suicide by jumping off the building became ever stronger within me. Just at this critical moment, my family called me up to comfort me…. Afterward, cared for and helped by my family, I gradually came out of the gloom. However, this disastrous defeat did not extinguish my determination to struggle to change my fate, but on the contrary, it spurred me on to a firmer resolution to fulfill my dream: I am determined to let those witnesses of my failure look at me with new eyes again.
So in the over ten years that followed, I pursued my dream like crazy. The moment I opened my eyes every morning, the only thought that occupied my mind was: Make money, pay the debts, and succeed! I, like duckweed, journeyed to and fro in the world constantly and endured many hardships. I carried on one trade after another, but all my attempts ended in bitter failure. All I saw, heard, and met was how people racked their brains to exploit and plot against one another and how they ruthlessly betrayed one another. The grief I experienced and the tears of blood I shed in those years tired me out, and I can hardly bear to recall them.
The long period of great pressure and irregular life ultimately caused great harm to my health. I often lay awake all night and was listless in the daytime, and I lost dozens of kilograms very quickly. My nasal mucus was with blood, and I felt burning pain in the left side of my chest every day. Later I discovered that there was a tumor in my left upper abdomen. I did not dare to go to the hospital for examination, because I had no courage at all to face the diagnosis. I was extremely afraid to leave the world which I loved and hated. At that time, I deeply experienced the feeling of fearing death. I, in agony, really couldn’t figure out these questions: I have gone all out to work for so many years in order to achieve success, to gain both fame and wealth, but why do I end up in such a plight? Can a man not change his fate?
Just when I was terrified and helpless, my mother preached the gospel of God to me. I read these words of God: “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” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From these words I understood that the fate of man is controlled by the hands of God and that man is only a creature and cannot at all control his own fate. I thought, “Throughout these many years, I have been bent on changing my miserable fate and becoming a successful man by my own efforts, but all my investments ended in failure. In the end, instead of arriving at my ideal life, I am afflicted with serious illness and almost live on the brink of death! Alas, to judge from this, man indeed cannot control his own fate.” s, full of authority, convinced me, so I accepted His work of the last days.
Before long, I began to formally live the church life. In the Church, I noticed that all brothers and sisters practiced being an honest person according to the word of God. They were simple and open and without lies or deceit. They resolved all problems with the truth. Whichever brothers or sisters were experiencing difficulties, everyone would help and sustain them with love. In this environment that was full of love and the truth, my anxious heart gradually calmed down and I came to understand some truths, so my mental outlook became completely new. Unknowingly, my insomnia, which had troubled me for years, was gone, my health got ever better, and the tumor in my left upper abdomen became smaller day by day in a miraculous way. I deeply knew that all this was thanks to God’s salvation of me. Not only so, God also blessed my business greatly. One year later, the business of my company picked up gradually, and it came out of the crisis step by step. Besides, I bought a foreign-style house with a garden as I had wished. Although I received great grace from God and I also acknowledged that the fate of man is controlled by the hands of God, yet as the desire to make others see my great success and to be the best of the best always haunted me, I continued to struggle against my fate in spite of myself.
Later, the government began to strongly support the development of the nongovernmental finance sector. At that time, one of my former classmates visited me, and he urged me, “Now is the golden opportunity. If we set up a small loan company together and closely cooperate with the bank, I bet we will make a lot of money.” I thought, “I am too busy with my business. How can I possibly have the energy to set up another company?” But he thumbed his chest and promised me , “You can rest assured that I will take care of all the affairs of the company. You won’t need to bother with anything. We will run it with steady steps, and everything will be in our hands. All you need to do is to invest now and receive dividend later.” I was moved by his words, and I thought, “According to my knowledge of the finance sector and my ability to master it, I will be fully able to map out strategies to make the company thriving. By then, the people around me will see how powerful I am!” Driven by such a great ambition and desire, I again walked the old path of seeking to achieve success and acquire fame by my own ability.
After we ran the company for a year, the grievous news kept coming that many clients were unable to repay the loans. I was bogged into agony once again. I was aware that it was probably God’s work that came upon me, and I felt somewhat terrified in my heart. So I immediately knelt down and cried to God, “O ! Now our company suddenly faces so great a difficulty that I cannot bear it at all. This must be permitted by You, but I don’t understand Your will. Please lead and guide me to get out of such dire straits.” After the prayer, I came upon these words of God: “… there will always be some people who want to see for themselves what they are capable of; they want to change their fates with their own two hands, or to achieve happiness under their own power, to see whether they can overstep the bounds of God’s authority and rise above God’s sovereignty. The sadness of man is not that man seeks happy life, not that he pursues fame and fortune or struggles against his own fate through the fog, but that after he has seen the Creator’s existence, after he has learned the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate, he still cannot mend his ways, cannot pull his feet out of the mire, but hardens his heart and persists in his errors. He would rather keep thrashing in the mud, vying obstinately against the Creator’s sovereignty, resisting it until the bitter end, without the slightest shred of contrition, and only when he lies broken and bleeding does he at last decide to give up and turn back. This is true human sorrow. So I say, those who choose to submit are wise, and those who choose to escape are pig-headed” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Each line of God’s words struck my heart. I thought, “Before I believed in God, I had borne hardships and stood hard work and struggled for nearly half of my life in order to become a successful man and change my fate. But I ended up with heavy debts and illnesses. Thanks to God’s mercy, I became a believer in God and saw that the fate of man is indeed controlled by the hands of God. However, I didn’t have a true belief in or obedience to the authority by which God controls and rules over everything. I professed that ‘Human fate is ordained by Heaven,’ but I still walked in the old path of believing that ‘Man’s fate is controlled by his own hands.’ The path I have walked in my belief in God is the wrong one. I haven’t pursued the truth and life according to God’s will but have continued to stubbornly struggle against my fate, living in a state of disobedience and resistance to God. It was not until the company was in dire straits that I came before God to reflect on myself. Now I see that all that God has done is to save me and lead me to walk on the right path of life.”