When I was 10, my parents sent me to study in Singapore. Under the wonderful arrangement of the Lord, my mother and I acceptedof the in Singapore. Five years later, many Chinese people of the church left and the church was finally dismissed. So my mother and I went to the local church to have meetings. Gradually, I found that the people of the church were outwardly meek and lowly but intrigued against each other in secret and that they looked down upon the Chinese people so much, not at all like Christians. Later, my mother had the privilege of accepting God’s kingdom gospel and preached it to me. At that time, I verbally accepted it in order not to go to the church anymore.
After believing in God, when my mother read to me, I meekly listened but didn’t carefully ponder the truth in God’s word. I listened to lots of words about God’s almightiness and sovereignty, knowing: All things in the universe are operating under God’s sovereignty and the fate of all mankind is controlled by God’s hand, and we should obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement. But I still believed that my fate was controlled in my hands and that I needed to strive for my beautiful life by myself, not at all knowing God’s sovereignty. Later, through the experience of dealing with the matter of studying abroad in America, I had a little true knowledge of God.
After I graduated from high school, through discussion, my parents decided to send me to go to college in America. So, I went back to China to apply for my study visa. After half a year passed, most of the materials were well prepared and I, who was confident, looked forward to attaining my student visa in China. I made an appointment of the visa interview on the Internet and then went to Beijing with all the materials.
When arriving at the embassy, I saw that everyone waiting in line looked very nervous and that my mother also kept praying to God, asking God to guide us. But I was unworried, for I thought: My materials are well prepared. My English is good. What’s more, I have a tourist visa. So, it is a piece of cake for me to get the study visa. I am superior to them and absolutely can pass the interview. When it was my turn, I confidently handed my materials to the interviewer and fluently answered her several questions in English. However, she said that there was something wrong with my materials and that she was not so satisfied with my answers. Hearing this, I immediately got flustered. She asked me to complete the materials, but I knew that I was rejected. At that moment, I felt unspeakably sad in my heart: My materials were well prepared and I answered the questions in English fluently. There is no reason for me to be rejected. It must be that the interviewer does not let me pass it intentionally. Later, my mother told me that there was God’s good will in everything and asked me not to lose heart but toand rely on God. At the time, I didn’t listen to her but was intent on solving this problem by myself.
After that, I called an American agency. The agent told me that I could go to America first with my tourist visa and then apply for changing my visa there. After hearing this, I breathed a sigh of relief. But the agent continued, “There might be a great trouble when you enter America, because it has not yet been three months since you left America last time. What’s more, you are just rejected for a study visa. So, you probably will be repatriated by the customs.” The agent’s words made me nervous again and feel a bit depressed. “It seems that I cannot go to America now,” I thought. At the time, my parents comforted me, “It’s OK. We can have a try.” Then I bought the tickets and prepared to go to America with my mother.
On the plane, I was very upset. I couldn’t eat and sleep, keeping worrying: What if I cannot enter America? What if I cannot go to college in America? What about my prospect? Thinking of these, I felt very depressed. I was dizzy and completely had no thoughts to do any other things. Arriving at the customs, I felt more fearful and anxious. My mother noticed that and told me, “Don’t be afraid and worried. We pray to God in our heart, entrust this matter to God, and obey God’s arrangement. Whether we can enter is not determined by man, but based on God’s sovereignty and arrangement.” I, who was helpless and fearful, prayed to God with the mentality of trying, “Almighty God, I beg You to guide me. I didn’t come before You and read Your word with true heart before. If I can cross the customs, I will believe in You wholeheartedly and read Your word to worship You every day.” It was our turn after I prayed. To my surprise, the customs just asked me my purpose of coming to America and then let us enter. After we got out of the airport, my mother unceasingly said, “Thank Almighty God!” And I also thanked God in my heart. I knew that it was Almighty God’s guidance and protection that made us enter America successfully.
After experiencing this, I tasted God’s wonderful deeds and became willing toand rely on God in my heart. But I had been instilled into the poisons of Satan like “Man’s fate is controlled by his own hands,” and “Human effort is the decisive factor,” since I was a child, so I still relied on my own ability to do things that happened to me. When the agent told me that I could only apply for changing my visa after three months, I began to make preparations for the materials. I thought: I am in America now. There is nothing to worry about. I will get my study visa as long as I hand in my materials after three months. At the time, I completely put God in the back of my mind and didn’t fulfill my promise before God that I would believe in God and read God’s word wholeheartedly.
Three months later, I went to the lawyer with my materials. However, the lawyer told me it was very difficult to apply for the status now and I would probably be rejected. After I heard this, my nerves were stretched tight: How could things be like this? Do I still have the hope of staying in America? Could it be that my wonderful plan will be ruined before I get started? At the moment, I suddenly thought of the words I prayed to God at the customs and then realized: This is a reminder of God. There is God’s good will and the lesson I should learn in this matter. Thus, I immediately came before God and sought God’s will.
After returning home, I told my mother this matter. Then she read to me a passage of God’s word, “From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to perform your duty. You assume your role in the plan of God and in the ordination of God. You begin the journey of life. Whatever your background and whatever the journey ahead of you, none can escape the orchestration and arrangement that Heaven has in store, and none are in control of their destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work. Since the day man came into existence, God has been steady in His work, managing this universe and directing the change and movement of all things. Like all things, man quietly and unknowingly receives the nourishment of the sweetness and rain and dew from God. Like all things, man unknowingly lives under the orchestration of God’s hand.”
Only after reading God’s word did I understand: Everything I have is in God’s hand. My future path in life has long been predestined by God. What I will experience, where I will go, and what I will do—all these have long been arranged by God. What I should do is obey God’s arrangement and guidance. Before, I always did things depending on my own ability. Little did I know that I was rejecting and casting off God’s sovereignty. So, all I brought to myself was pain and disappointment. Now, I should put down my own plan and obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Only thus will I feel released. Thinking back to the time when I applied for studying abroad in America, I failed time after time, through which God made me come before Him and know His work. Though I had believed in God for several years, I was lack of true knowledge of God. Through this experience, I had a little knowledge of God’s sovereignty. This wasto me. Though I rebelled against and deceived God, God still had mercy on me and never gave me up.
At the moment, I thought of a passage of God’s word my mother read to me before, “During the time of God’s work of salvation, all those who canwill be saved to the utmost limit, none of them being discarded, as the purpose of God’s work is to save man. … God’s salvation of each one of these people shows them His utmost leniency, meaning that they are showed the utmost tolerance. So long as people turn back from the wrong path, so long as they can repent, then God will give them the opportunity to obtain His salvation. When people first rebel against God, God has no desire to put them to death, but instead does all He can to save them. If someone really has no room for salvation, then God will cast them aside. That God is slow to punish someone is because He wants to save all those who can be saved. He judges, enlightens and guides people only with words, and does not use a rod to put them to death.” Through God’s word, I came to realize: God gives me chances all the time and uses the people, events and things to lead me, so that I can come before Him and understand His will. I can no longer rebel any further and should live up to God’s painstaking intention. So I came before God to pray and repent, “O God! I am willing to bring my difficulty of obtaining a visa before You. No matter whether or not I can stay in America, I am willing to obey Your arrangement. I believe what You arrange is all for my good. In the future, I am unwilling to rely on my ability to do things that occur to me, but willing to rely on You, entrust everything into Your hand, and obey Your orchestration and arrangement.” After committing everything to God, I suddenly felt so released in my heart.
After that, I began to read God’s word every day and prayed to God while encountering things, letting God guide my direction. My mother asked me to attend meetings when seeing that I began to take the matter of believing in God seriously. In the beginning, I didn’t want to go, thinking that it was enough to read God’s word at home. Later, my mother read to me a passage of God’s word, “The work that God will do in the present age, as well as the turning points of His work can all be found within His word. If you do not read His word, you will understand nothing. Through your own eating and drinking of His word, fellowshiping with brothers and sisters, and your actual experiences, your knowledge of thewill become comprehensive. Only thus can you truly live it out in reality.” And then she fellowshiped with me, “From God’s word, we know: Reading God’s word every day is the spiritual life of us Christians. Only in this way can we establish the proper relationship with God and have an increasing knowledge of God’s will. However, our experience and knowledge of God’s word are rather one-sided, so we need our brothers and sisters who have more experience of God’s word to fellowship with us. In this way, we can better understand God’s word and God’s requirements to us, and can know how to practice and apply God’s word in our daily life. In addition, if we only read God’s word by ourselves, our growth in spiritual life will progress more slowly. Through having meetings with our brothers and sisters together and listening to different experiences and more knowledge of God’s word they share, we can accept the truth more easily and our growth of life in the spirit will progress more quickly as well.” Hearing her fellowship, I was willing to attend meetings.
In my first meeting, I saw a passage of God’s word, “Maybe you are a president, or a scientist, a pastor, or an elder, but no matter how high your office, if you rely on your knowledge and ability in your undertakings, then you shall always be a failure, and shall always be bereft of the blessings of God, because God accepts nothing that you do, and He does not grant that your career is a righteous one, or accept that you are working for the benefit of mankind. He will say that everything you do, is to use the knowledge and strength of mankind to divest man of the protection of God, and to deny the blessings of God. He will say that you are leading mankind toward darkness, toward death, and toward the start of an existence without limits in which man has lost God and His blessing.”
Under the inspiration and leading of God’s word, I found out the root of my failures of doing things, and that was: I believe that my fate is controlled by my hands and always rely on my own ability and knowledge to do things; I always have my own ambitions and desires and cannot obey God’s orchestration and arrangement. So, I become a failure and live a tiring life. I am just a created being and cannot control my fate. Recalling the past, no matter what I did, I relied on my own ability. If the things were not well done, I blamed Heaven and earth and complained that I was unlucky, often living in sadness and pain. Now, I came to know: Satan uses these atheistic thoughts and words to corrupt me, making me rely on my ability to resist God’s sovereignty, stray away from God further and further, and live in pain and darkness. God’s word tells me that I should rely on God, look up to God and obey God’s leading and arrangement no matter what I do, and that only thus can I have God’s blessings, guidance, and protection. At the moment, I understood: It is God’s love and salvation to me that I failed to pass the interview and had difficulties in changing my visa. Through it, God makes me come before Him and rely on Him and meanwhile overturns my wrong viewpoint of life. This is God’s blessings to me. Thinking of this, I was moved and felt grateful to God in my heart.
God’s word says, “When one looks back upon the road one has walked, when one recollects every phase of one’s journey, one sees that at every step, whether one’s road was arduous or smooth, God was guiding one’s path, planning it out. It was God’s meticulous arrangements, His careful planning, that led one, unknowingly, to today. To be able to accept the Creator’s sovereignty, to receive His salvation—what great fortune that is! … Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life.” Thanked God! It was God’s love that led me onward, so that I saw His wonderful deeds in my experience and had faith in walking the path of believing in God. From God’s word, I found the direction of my life. And I deeply felt that only when we accepted the Creator’s sovereignty and obeyed the Creator’s orchestration and arrangement could we free ourselves from all the concern and pain and have peace and joy in our heart.
Although the problem of my visa has not yet been resolved, I am not worried about it. In the following days, be it in prosperity or in adversity, I am unwilling to complain against God, but willing to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement. I believe that God’s arrangement is all for my good. I used to be confused about my future, not knowing why my life was so tiring and what the purpose of my coming to the earth was. Through reading God’s word and having meetings, I know that I don’t come in vain but have my own mission. Thank God! Now, I am performing my duty in the church, leading a full life every day, and growing under the watering and leading of God’s word. I thank God for His guidance and salvation!
By Kevin, the United States