By Chen Zhi
I was born into an ordinary rural family in China. I am the eldest of my brothers and sisters. From my childhood, while I went to school, I also helped my parents to do some farm work. Seeing that my parents worked from dawn to night every day but still failed to resolve the basic necessities, I often felt a wave of sadness and made a resolution inwardly: I must walk out of the village and go to the big cities to make a go of it when I grow up. The textbook said, “Let us build a beautiful homeland with our own two hands.” So I believed firmly that only by my own efforts could I change my fate.
As I wished, I worked in a city after graduating from college. After I got married, I felt, as a man, I should shoulder the heavy burden of my family to make my wife and children live a happy life. Whenever I heard the friends by my side earn some money by doing business, buying luxurious mansions and driving luxury cars, I was more eager for success, thinking: I can also do what they do, moreover, I am a university graduate. Just like this, I couldn’t help itching to have a try.
Just after the Spring Festival of 2010, I quit the well-paid foreign trade job and came to another big city to establish a foreign trade import and export company with full confidence. When the company was newly established, I received the business of exchanging foreign currency and export trading service. I was more certain that I had successfully taken the first step relying on “let us build a beautiful homeland with our own two hands.” Therefore, I had greater confidence and busied myself with contacting clients by phone and Internet every day. But about one year later, I received a notice of audit from the tax bureau. Because of my inexperience and not preparing the material of some foreign trade documents and statements well, the tax bureau gave the order of rectifying our documents and statements. During that period of time, I went to the tax bureau all day and went back and forth for about one month. Finally, my company scraped through the examination. The next time, my business was slacker and slacker and the former customers all told me their business was down so they had no business with me. To increase the business, I did much network promotion for my company, but it was all in vain and my business became duller day by day. In order to maintain the basic expenses and expand the business, I went to Dongguan City, Henan Province, Shandong Province, Jiangsu Province, Anhui Province, Yiwu City etc. on business to search customers, but all ended in complete failure. I felt very disappointed and sad. However, I was unwilling to fail, thinking how to run the company well every day. I thought others could earn big money with their own hands and I would certainly be better than them as long as I worked harder. Thereupon I began to find new customers everywhere again as well as contact with old customers. Just like that, I had worked strenuously for two years, but finally the business didn’t become brisk. To relieve my inner misery and anxieties, I often invited friends to smoke as well as go to KTV and then I was sunk in sleep after drinking. At that time, I always thought: “Why can’t I achieve my desire even though I work so hard?” I felt extremely distressed in my heart with anxieties, insomnia and restlessness. At last, seeing my company was almost paralyzed, I decided to transfer my company.
After returning to my wife and children’s side, I fell into despondency for a period of time, while I was still unwilling to fail and resolved to stage a comeback. Hence I found the foreigners, who are professional websites makers, to help me set up an E-commerce independent website, on which I could sell the tattoo equipment and the wig products later on. I worked hard day and night with the rich foreign trade knowledge and experience and the knowledge of E-commerce promotion I grasped. However, two years later I ended in failure after all. At that moment, I completely collapsed. I often thought: “Doesn’t the textbook say that ‘let us build a beautiful homeland with our own two hands’? I have paid all my painstaking efforts to strive, but why can’t I gain what I wish? Why? Why?” I felt that living in this world was extremely distressed. I, exhausted mentally and physically, was full of despair. At that time, the salvation of God in the last days came upon me.
In July 2016, my wife came to work in America. Two months later, I came to America with my daughter as well. Because my wife accepted the work of God in the last days a few years ago, she found the Church of Almighty God to continue attending meetings after coming to America. One day, my wife said to me: “Seeing you have lived such a painful life for many years, actually I am also grieved. You always say that you won’t starve to death as long as you strive with your own hands, instead of believing God rules over everything. But through years of efforts, you can see we can’t control his own fate. In fact, there is indeed one true God who controls our fate. Only by accepting God’s sovereignty and guidance can we get true peace and joy.” Hearing the words she said again, I had nothing to rebut. Several days later, my wife invited two sisters to formally testify about God’s work in the last days. A sister read two passages of God’s words to me, “Long ago, when man’s heart and soul was still in its infancy, the king of devils planted in it the seed of the tumor of atheism, teaching him such fallacies as ‘study science and technology; realize the Four Modernizations; and there is no such thing as God in the world.’ Not only that, it shouts out at every opportunity: ‘Let us rely on our industrious labor to build a beautiful homeland,’ asking each and every person to be prepared from childhood to render faithful service to their country. Man, unwitting, was brought into its presence” (“Work and Entry (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly and with a rebellious attitude, and they 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 and are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, brings profound pain of the sort that carves itself into one’s bones, as one fritters away their life all the while. … So, if people cannot truly recognize the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate and over all human matters, if they cannot truly submit to the Creator’s dominion, then it will be difficult for them not to be driven and fettered by the idea that ‘one’s fate is in one’s own hands.’ It will be difficult for them to shake off the pain of their intense struggle against fate and the Creator’s authority, and, needless to say, it will also be hard for them to become truly liberated and free, to become people who worship God. … After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you; it is to try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to live without individual choice, and to become a person who worships God” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading God’s words, I recalled my past. And only then did I realize: The reason why I lived so miserable was just because I was planted these Satan’s fallacies within my mind from my childhood, like “let us build a beautiful homeland with our own two hands” and “one’s fate is in one’s own hands”; I, dominated by these fallacies, always wanted to change my fate with my own hands and achieve happiness by my own ability. Actually I didn’t get what I wanted, and moreover, I was thwarted at every turn. In fact, I couldn’t control my own fate at all, for it is controlled by the hands of God. And all are ruled over and arranged by God. Thinking of these, I felt released and gratitude to the sister for reading these two passages of God’s words to me. After their fellowship, I understood I should lay aside my old view of life and couldn’t adhere to the fallacy of “let us build a beautiful homeland with our own two hands”. What’s more, I should let God take charge of my life and make arrangements for me, without my own choice, becoming a person who reveres God. In the following days, I often had meetings with brothers and sisters. We shared God’s words and sang songs to praise God together, feeling heartily glad and free. I felt it very marvelous that believing in God could really make me happy. Whenever I encountered something unhappy, reading God’s words, I would calm down right away. I felt God is really almighty. I genuinely thanked God! It was God who let my heart have a destination.
Although I believed God presides over my fate and I was willing to commit everything to Him, the fallacy of “let us build a beautiful homeland with our own two hands” was deeply rooted in my heart, making me dominated by it involuntarily. When I looked for a job outside, I unwittingly put God to the back of my mind. I thought, “I can do everything. No matter how bitter and tired it is, I don’t care. As long as I make an effort, I will find a job.” Thus I didn’t bring this matter of finding a job before God to pray and seek at all. After several days, I found a job as a tally clerk. When working, I exerted all my strength. But having never done such physical labor, I felt so exhausted that my back and waist ached and my legs were numb at the end of the day. Tired as I was, for my family I didn’t care. Unexpectedly, my boss said to me after work, “Brother, I am sorry to tell you that you don’t need to come tomorrow.” I asked her why she dismissed me. She said, “I see you looks gentle and it is too much for you to carry goods. Today we are not busy, but you feel so tired. So you are not fit for this work.” In the following days, I was busy looking for work all day. But it didn’t go smoothly. Every time I was rejected with a variety of reasons, and they either said I lacked experience or let me wait for a response at home. Even though I found a job, I couldn’t go on at all because my colleagues were hard on me, or my body couldn’t bear heavy burdens. This tiring and busy life lasted two months. I felt tired in my heart. The sister, who gathered with me, seeing I was preoccupied, asked me what happened with concern. When hearing my difficulty of looking for a job, she fellowshiped about God’s words with me and told me that I should pray often and believe in God’s sovereignty, that what occupation one pursues is arranged by God’s hands, and that I should learn to wait. She also told me to read more God’s words in my spare time and most importantly, to establish a normal relationship with God. After hearing her words, I read God’s words whenever I was free and often prayed to God.
One morning, when having a meeting, we read a passage of God’s words, “They are clearly aware of God’s sovereignty, know perfectly well that it is God who plans out and arranges human fate, and yet they still kick and struggle and remain unreconciled to laying their fates in God’s palm and submitting to God’s sovereignty; moreover, they resent God’s orchestrations and arrangements. So 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 by their own power, to see whether they can overstep the bounds of God’s authority and rise above God’s sovereignty. The tragedy of man is not that he seeks a 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, all without the slightest shred of contrition. It is only when he lies broken and bleeding that he at last decides 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 struggle and flee are foolish indeed” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Seeing God’s words, I thought, “God’s words, they describe me. Though I believe everything is in God’s hands, I do things according to my own will and don’t truly believe God presides over everything.” At the same time, I saw I was afflicted by Satan too deeply, and was bound by Satan’s fallacy involuntarily. God says, “It is only when he lies broken and bleeding that he at last decides to give up and turn back.” What I did now was the same as what I did before, which was really the same as God’s word reveals. As people often say, “People refuse to accept the facts until they are faced with the grim reality.” Through these painful experiences, I had to submit to God’s sovereignty and come before God to accept His arrangement. So I prayed to God, committed the matter of finding a job to Him and let Him arrange it for me. That afternoon, while surfing websites casually, I happened to see a job advertisement for a salesman. I tried to have an interview and the boss hired me quickly. After working for a period of time, I felt this job was fit for me. I experienced God’s wonderful arrangement, almightiness and sovereignty again. I thank God wholeheartedly! What God arranges is most suitable for me.
God says, “There will always be some distance between one’s dreams and the realities that one must confront; things are never as one would like them to be, and faced with such realities, people can never achieve satisfaction or contentment. Some people will go to any length imaginable, will put forth great efforts and make great sacrifices for the sake of their livelihoods and future, in an attempt to change their own fate. But in the end, even if they can realize their dreams and desires by means of their own hard work, they can never change their fates, and no matter how doggedly they try, they can never exceed what destiny has allotted them. Regardless of differences in ability, intelligence, and willpower, people are all equal before fate, which does not distinguish between the great and the small, the high and the low, the exalted and the mean. What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Having traveled this road, I indeed see that it is God who presides over man’s fate. No matter what we are capable of, we can neither control our own fate nor build a beautiful homeland with our own two hands. Everything is predetermined by the Creator. Understanding the truth in this aspect, I am willing to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement and walk on the right path of life to worship God. Thanks be to God! All the glory be to God!