By Li Qiang, Germany
“Ring, ring, ring …”
The pleasant bells came from the church in the near distance. Lin Yuan, in front of the computer, was in a good mood. He stopped his doing and stood up to stretch. As he was rising, a picture hanging on the wall came into his sight, in which there was a four-person family: a couple of middle age standing side by side with smile, a girl standing in front of her parents holding her younger brother’s hand, and the little boy with a mischievous smile leaning his head against her sister’s shoulder.
Lin Yuan is a Christian and also the host in the picture. Seeing the harmonious family in the picture, he smiled, and could not help thinking back on the past …
Lin Yuan was born into a poor family in the countryside, and he was shorter than his peers. When he reached the age of marriage, many people introduced potential marriage partners to him, but the girls were not interested in him because of his short figure and poor family. When seeing his peers had found their partner one after another, Lin Yuan felt very upset and was envious of them. He thought: When could I have a better half for life, who will walk in the sunshine holding hands with me and will have a heart-to-heart with me…? However, all of this was too far away from him. With this in mind, Lin Yuan was heavy-hearted and he complained in his heart: If I were born into a rich or a powerful family, and if I were taller, maybe now I would wander on the path of life with my other half. In the face of reality, Lin Yuan told himself that he must strive for a better life, and that he must fight for a pretty and good partner, so he made an effort to learn skills in technical school.
After graduation, Lin Yuan went back to his hometown. Because he was skilled and often did people favors, soon he was popular in the village. He thought: Now I’ll meet the partner I’m fond of soon. But things sometimes turned out contrary to one’s wishes. Though others introduced Lin Yuan to some girls, he still didn’t find a suitable marriage partner—either some of the blind dates were not interested in him, or he was not attracted to them. Lin Yuan was disappointed and depressed and didn’t know who his better half would be.
A year later, Lin Yuan returned home from his work in another place. Through other’s introduction he met Zihan. She was little and cute, with black and bright eyes and pink round cheeks, which were like red apples. She was quite shy and always lowered her head. Lin Yuan thought well of the unaffected Zihan. But because of the failed experiences of his past few blind dates, he didn’t hold onto hope for their relationship this time. But it was beyond his expectation that she was willing to marry him, and then they happily set a date for engagement. However, just as Lin Yuan and his family discussed how to make arrangement for the engagement feast, suddenly they heard that Zihan’s family resented his family as being poor and put forth higher demands. With high self-esteem, Lin Yuan could not accept their demands, so they broke up. At this time, Lin Yuan was frustrated, and he thought: Maybe I’m going to die alone. His heart was dying and he despaired of his marriage.
Half a year later, suddenly Lin Yuan’s family asked him to get back home to get engaged when he was working outside. He was astonished to hear this. He thought: Recently I’m not in contact with any girl, then who will I get engaged to? With a nervous heart, he went back home, and he learned that Zihan’s family had assented to their marriage. However, this didn’t please Lin Yuan, because his affection for Zihan had diminished for what had happened between them. Now he was somewhat reluctant to marry her. But then he thought that his parents had worried their hearts to pieces for his marriage, and he didn’t have the heart to worry them, so he agreed to marry her with reluctance.
Later, Lin Yuan held the post of a vice director of a workshop in a state-owned factory and earned more money than before, so people around him started looking up to him. Who knew that one year later, Zihan met with a serious accident and her life was in danger. Then, the relatives and friends of Lin Yuan all said that Zihan couldn’t do hard work from then on and urged him to break the engagement. Lin Yuan felt lost. Though he had no particular affection for Zihan, he thought he was lacking in conscience if breaking the engagement at the point when she was in the most difficult situation and was in great pain. So he didn’t break up with her, but instead, he made time to attend her. Through the interactions with Zihan, Lin Yuan found her kind and thoughtful, and he learned that in the past she was interested in him but under the stress from her family she had to break up with him. After he learned about this, his misunderstanding of her disappeared. At this point he realized that she was still the pretty and pure girl he first met. Two years later, they got married, and before long they had a cute child. Zihan was good and sensible, and she was filial toward Lin Yuan’s parents. After accepting God’s gospel of the kingdom, she brought Lin Yuan before God. They often read God’s word and sang hymns praising God together. When Lin Yuan encountered unhappy situations or difficulties in work, she would actively commune God’s word with him, supported him and accompanied him to get through troubles. Lin Yuan knew it was God’s love that brought him the happy life.
One day, Lin Yuan read a paragraph of God’s word: “One encounters many people in one’s life, but no one knows who will become one’s partner in marriage. Though everyone has their own ideas and personal stances on the subject of marriage, no one can foresee who will finally become their true other half, and one’s own notions count for little. After meeting a person you like, you can pursue that person; but whether he or she is interested in you, whether he or she is able to become your partner, is not yours to decide. The object of your affections is not necessarily the person with whom you will be able to share your life; and meanwhile someone you never expected quietly enters your life and becomes your partner, becomes the most important element in your fate, your other half, to whom your fate is inextricably bound. … Whether marriage itself brings happiness or pain, everyone’s mission in marriage is predestined by the Creator and will not change; everyone must fulfill it. And the individual fate that lies behind every marriage is unchanging; it was determined long in advance by the Creator.”
Lin Yuan understood from God’s words: Everyone’s marriage is ruled and predestined by God, about which people have no choice. No matter what identity, status, and appearance one has, he can’t decide his own marriage or who his partner is. Thinking back to the several blind dates he had, the one Lin Yuan liked wasn’t fond of him, while the one who was interested in him wasn’t attractive to him. And the marriage between him and Zihan was beyond his expectation. At the beginning, he broke up with her because of the high demands of her family, and he also had misunderstanding of her; however, her illness brought them together again, and during the process of getting along with Zihan, not only did he eliminate the misunderstanding about her, but he knew her more. After a number of setbacks, she became his better half. Lin Yuan personally experienced that one’s marriage is not decided by himself but ruled and orchestrated by God. When he suffered failure in blind dates, he felt distressed and sad, and even despaired of his marriage. He finally knew that this was all because he didn’t know God’s sovereignty.
Later, Lin Yuan saw in God’s word: “God sets up this kind of environment for people at the same time as choosing them, and it is greatly beneficial to His work in saving people. From the outside, it looks like God has done nothing earthshaking for man; He just does everything secretly, humbly and in silence. But in fact, all that God does is done to lay a foundation for your salvation, to prepare the road ahead and to prepare all necessary conditions for your salvation.” From God’s words Lin Yuan saw the good intention of God for mankind’s salvation. When God wants to save someone, He will painstakingly arrange many environments for him, including marriage, and each environment has God’s will within it. Though Zihan had an ordinary appearance and was a short figure, she was kind and thoughtful and was filial toward Lin Yuan’s parents. The most important thing was that Zihan brought Lin Yuan before God after she accepted God’s gospel of the kingdom. Wasn’t this God’s good intention? If he had married other person instead of Zihan, maybe he would not have had the chance to come before God. In addition, he thought back to what he owned and what he had experienced: being born into a poor family, being short in stature, suffering setbacks in blind dates, marriage being delayed time and time again, and this late marriage. He came to know all of these contained God’s love for him. Thinking of these things, Lin Yuan was full of gratitude for God.
Once, when he met with setbacks in blind dates, he had misunderstandings and complaints, and thought his failed experiences were caused by his plain appearance and poor family. Now after reading God’s words, he knew that marriage is decided by the missions two partners should undertake in marriage, but not by man’s preferences, much less by external factors. Lin Yuan was very grateful to God for arranging such a suitable marriage for him, giving him a harmonious family, and furthermore, giving him an opportunity to be saved.
“Ring, ring, ring …”
The pleasant bells came from the church in the near distance again.