By Liu Xing
Xiao Qin was born in a poor family. When she was a little girl, she suffered the discrimination and bore the cold shoulder of people around her. After she got married, she lived in a humble old house which was rented with her families. When she saw others had nice houses to live in and extra houses to let out, she envied them continually. By comparison, she felt her condition was much too shabby. In order to get rid of this shabby life without money and house, she was determined to earn money to buy a house of her own, to live towering above others.
From then on, Xiao Qin was like a working machine, laboring in the business world without cease for a decade. In the first three years, she had worked as a fruit vendor, opened a vegetable stand, and worked as a storekeeper selling cigarettes, alcohol, and so on. She was fully occupied from dawn to dusk every day; she even took a coach to purchase specialties in the mountainous areas sometimes. Three years later, she rented a market stand to sell chicken and ducks. In order not to lose even one customer, she got up early and went to bed late, sleeping only four hours per day and even having no time to have breakfast. On occasions of the lunar New Year and other festivals, when her business colleagues closed up their stands to be with their families, she still occupied herself with her business. … That was why she often had a sore back and felt exhausted. However, to earn enough money to buy a house, she couldn’t tear herself away to have a rest. How many times she had dreamed about the big house in the future, about being looked up to and admired by others, and then she would grit her teeth, endure her suffering, and force herself to go on with her business.
Later, Xiao Qin bought a second-hand house. She was incredibly happy because she felt owning a house would raise her status in others’ hearts. But she wasn’t content. Two years later, she saw her business colleague bought a comfortable big new house. She felt, then, that her second-hand house was too small and was greatly inferior in comparison. So, she wanted to buy a beautiful new house and believed only in that way could people think highly of her. … Thus, she planned to buy a new house.
In order to buy one as soon as possible, Xiao Qin and her husband strived harder in the business world. They expanded their business by opening a chicken farm of 300 square meters, doing a self-marketing business. But due to bad management, they should have lost forty thousand yuan in a certain year. Under such a heavy blow, Xiao Qin’s husband suffered from heart disease and was often too ill to get up from the bed. Therefore, aside from managing their business with inadequate sleep, she had to take care of her husband, earn money to buy the house and pay off their debts…. The stress arising from all these weighed her down. But in order to buy a good house to live towering above others, she was willing to struggle on and never back up, regardless of the hardships. … So, she busied herself every day without any complaint.
After a struggle of eight years and with the twenty thousand yuan borrowed from their relatives, Xiao Qin fulfilled her wish by buying a 130-sqaure-meter new house which had three living rooms and two dining rooms in the downtown. Ever since then, her neighbors, relatives, and friends all rained praises on her, saying how capable she was because she started from nothing and bought a big house after purchasing a small one. At this moment, Xiao Qin’s vanity was greatly satisfied. However, the enjoyment from others’ praise and admiration was but temporary. In order to pay off the house debts, she had to fling herself into her business. A long period of overstrain, an inconsistent schedule, and mental stress, resulted in Xiao Qin suffering from all kinds of diseases: rheumatic joint pain, lumbar muscle strain, chronic colitis, vocal cord edema, and so on. And vocal cord edema led to her voice cracking. But to earn money to pay their debts, she went on with her work in spite of the illness and communicated with the customers with gestures. Seeing herself like a dumb person, Xiao Qin was in great pain and always washed her face with her tears. Then in as long as six years, Xiao Qin and her husband went around to seek treatment and spent much money, but their illness didn’t get any better. Besides, they always quarreled with each other for their house debts: She blamed her husband for not helping her, while her husband retorted with a grievance, “You say I can’t help you; isn’t it because I’m ill for the sake of the house?” Listening to his words, Xiao Qin felt a pricking pain in her heart. During so many years, she had her heart set on living in a big house, to be regarded highly and envied by others. But unexpectedly, all she got in return were debts, illness through overwork, and quarrels with her husband.
Gradually, Xiao Qin’s illnesses were getting worse: Many muscles of her body hardened, making it hard for her to bend and walk; tormented by her illnesses, she was still unable to fall asleep in the dead hours of the night. She often thought: Now, I’m living in a big, comfortable new house, leading a good life, and having won others’ praise and admiration. I should be happy but why do I feel no happy? What’s the meaning of my living like this, troubled by house debts and tormented by all kinds of illnesses? Can it be that my life will end in this way? The more Xiao Qin thought about it, the more she suffered. With emptiness and sadness filling her heart at the same time, she shouted loudly within: Who can save me from the sea of bitterness?
Just when Xiao Qin fell into despair, God’s salvation came upon her in the Spring of 2008. Brothers and sisters testified about God’s kingdom gospel to her and she accepted it with good grace. She saw God’s word say: “Your heart and your spirit have been wrested away by the evil one. Your eyes are obscured by darkness, and you can see neither the sun in the sky nor that twinkling star of the night. Your ears are clogged with deceitful words, and you hear neither the thunderous voice of Jehovah, nor the sound of the waters flowing from the throne. You have lost everything that is rightfully yours, everything that the Almighty bestowed upon you. You have entered an endless sea of affliction, with no power of rescue, no hope of survival, and all you do is struggle and rush about…. From that moment onward, you were doomed to be afflicted by the evil one, far away from the blessings of the Almighty, out of reach of the provisions of the Almighty, walking down a road of no return.”
“In truth, out of the myriad things in God’s creation, man is the lowest. Though he is the master of all things, man is the only one among them that is subject to Satan’s trickery, the only one that falls prey in endless ways to its corruption. Man has never had sovereignty over himself. Most people live in the foul place of Satan, and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that till they are half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny. And so people go through their whole lives in a daze of confusion, never once enjoying the good things that God has prepared for them, but instead being damaged by Satan and left in tatters. Today they have become so enervated and listless that they simply have no inclination to take notice of God’s work.”
After reading God’s word, Xiao Qin came to know that all the pain she suffered came from the deceit and corruption of Satan. She recalled that from her childhood, she had lived by the satanic poisons of “People struggle to go upward, but water flows downward,” and “No cross, no crown.” So she thought that by becoming rich and owning houses, she could both enjoy the luxuries of the world and win the praise and admiration of others. This was a beautiful life. After more than a decade of painstaking effort, she became a complete mortgage slave, toiling and struggling in the business world every day, and even couldn’t keep regular hours. This way, she spent all her energy and time on money earning, house purchase, and debt repayment. In the end, she had a new house and gained others’ admiration, but in return, she fell into debt and became disease-ridden. It was at this moment that Xiao Qin had the realization that her pursuit of fame, fortune, and position was a wrong outlook on life; it was a means of Satan torturing man and afflicting man, so it couldn’t possibly bring man happiness. She really thanked God from the depth of her heart. It was the revelation of God’s word that gave her discernment, made her see clearly the root cause of her painful life, and gave her the faith and courage to shake off the influence of Satan. She, once lost, finally found a direction and reliance of her life. Xiao Qin felt God’s love and salvation, so she made up her mind to believe in God and follow God earnestly!
Later, Xiao Qin often read God’s word, attended meetings with brothers and sisters, and sang hymns in praise of God. She saw brothers and sisters were completely honest with each other and equal in status, no matter rich or poor. She felt especially at ease, enjoying the peace and joy that she had never had before. Through fellowshiping God’s word during meetings, she understood many truths and mysteries that she hadn’t understood before; meanwhile, she saw that man’s life originates from God, so man should worship God since he is alive…. Xiao Qin was also very clear that, these truths she understood wasn’t something that could be bought with money. Before long, she performed her duty in the church, living an enriched life, and was more and more released and free in her heart …
Half a year later, Xiao Qin’s illnesses became much better before she knew it. One thing worth mentioning was that her vocal cord edema was miraculously cured. Xiao Qin was fully aware that God’s love had come upon her: It was God that healed her of her illness with His miraculous deed. She truly knew God’s almightiness and sovereignty, which strengthened her faith in God. Gradually, she didn’t work that hard for fame and fortune anymore. Instead, she put more time into performing her duty: She thought only by living like this could she feel assured within and her life be valuable and meaningful.
One day, Xiao Qin’s daughter said to her, “Mom, our community is not big; if we buy a car in the future, we won’t find a place to park it. I find the houses in the New City Development Zone are very beautiful; their community is big; their apartment is well-designed and sold at competitive prices. How about you selling this house and taking the proceeds as the down payment on a new house there? If we can’t pay in full, we can apply for a mortgage loan and I can help to pay the monthly mortgage with my salary. Mom, if we can really live in a house there, others will definitely look at us with a different eye.” Listening to her daughter’s words, she was kind of shaky. But then she thought: If I buy another new house, won’t I return to Satan’s snare and become a mortgage slave again? Xiao Qin realized that was wrong, so she hurried to pray to God, “Oh, God! My daughter advised me to buy a new house; I know it’s Satan using her to tempt me. Oh, God! My stature is small and I only have a shallow knowledge of truth. May You keep my heart from leaving You, so that I can stand on the side of You.” After the prayer, Xiao Qin thought of God’s word saying: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God — behind it all is a battle.” And then she understood: This occurrence is a war in the spiritual realm. Reluctant to see me believe in God and pursue the truth, Satan takes advantage of my daughter’s suggestion of buying a new house to tempt and disturb me, so that I will return to my old ways and be controlled and afflicted by Satan. Then she couldn’t but recall all the pain and torment she had suffered as a mortgage slave in the past. She knew well it was God that helped her shake off the yoke as a mortgage slave; it was due to God’s mercy and grace that she could live a happy life in the house of God nowadays. She could never be fooled by Satan again and went back to Satan’s snare. Therefore, she rejected her daughter without the slightest hesitation. In later days, her daughter still mentioned the matter of buying a new house to Xiao Qin many times, but each time, Xiao Qin was able to rely on God, and led by God’s word, she triumphed over the temptation.
One day, Xiao Qin’s sister came from afar to visit her. After exchanging greetings, her sister suddenly looked at her and asked her in surprise, “Sister, you look much better and your voice isn’t hoarse now. Come on. Tell me: What good medicine have you taken?” When Xiao Qin heard her sister’s words, tears of excitement welled out from her eyes all at once. She told her sister, “I have believed in God. It’s God that has cured my illness. Not only has my throat recovered, but also the various chronic diseases in me have become much better.” Then, Xiao Qin read God’s word to testify about God’s kingdom gospel to her; after listening, her sister accepted God’s salvation happily. Later, Xiao Qin often preached gospel to her relatives, friends, and clients, bearing witness to God’s salvation for her. Thus, many people returned before God’s throne in succession. At this, Xiao Qin was very grateful; her joy was beyond words.
One morning, Xiao Qin saw God’s word say: “Only if one knows God and has the truth does he live in the light; and only when his view of the world and his view of life change does he change fundamentally. When he has a life goal and comports himself according to the truth; when he absolutely submits to God and lives by God’s word; when he feels assured and brightened deep in his soul; when his heart is free of darkness; and when he lives completely freely and unrestrained in God’s presence — only then does he live a true human life and become a person possessing truth. Besides, all the truths you have are from God’s word and from God Himself. The Ruler of the entire universe and all things — God Most High — approves of you, as a real man living the true human life. What could be more meaningful than God’s approval? Such is a person who has the truth.”
Xiao Qin understood from God’s word that God is the truth, the way, and the life. Only if we come before God and accept the truth God expresses as our life can we get rid of our corruption, gain purification, and live in the care and protection of God. Only by pursuing the truth to know God, seeing people and things according to God’s word, developing correct values and correct outlooks on life, and walking the right path of life can we live a happy, worthy, and meaningful life. At this moment, Xiao Qin was more certain that the road she was taking was after God’s will. She was resolved to believe in God earnestly, follow God unyieldingly, and, preach the gospel and bear witness for God, walking the right path of life.
From: Grow in Christ