When the Lord returns, how can we recognize His voice and welcome Him?
By Shen Ai, Singapore
I worked in a restaurant. I worked 12 hours every day and only had two days’ holiday each month. Because there were only a few workers in the restaurant and many customers coming to it, we did a lot of things every day: mopping the floor, wiping the tables, clearing the dishes, serving the customers, making coffee, and so on. I kept busy as soon as I started to work, having no time to take a rest. After a whole day’s work, I often ached all over with tiredness, and sometimes my arms were also swollen and painful. When I came back from work, it took me a long while to recover from that. As a Christian, I must have my own spiritual devotions’ time. But when I returned home from work and wanted to read God’s word, I fell asleep unknowingly with fatigue; sometimes I even couldn’t attend the meetings because the work was busy. While seeing that the brothers and sisters around me were full of energy in pursuing the truth and were all preaching gospel to repay God’s love, I felt very anxious in my heart. I also wanted to understand more truths quickly, so that I could perform the duty of a created being and preach God’s salvation to more people. So, I consulted my sister and decided to look for a job that was relatively easy. My sister then fellowshiped with me and told me to pray to and rely on God more in the matter of finding a job,’s sovereignty, and obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements.
One day, I happened to see that an electronics company were recruiting new workers in our local place. There were good treatments, high salaries, and long rest time in the company. But while seeing the interview time, I began to worry: The interview is on July 3rd, and if I pass the interview, I need to go back to my native country to renew the visa on July 17th. However, my boss demands that we must apply one month earlier if we want to resign. And we can only leave the job when new workers are recruited. If I pass the interview, I will have to resign from the job right away. But there’re only fourteen days. Will the boss agree? Can the restaurant recruit new workers in such a short period of time? I felt very conflicted in my heart. So, I told my difficulties to my sister and sought. My sister fellowshiped, “All things are in the hand of God. We shouldn’t live in difficulties. We should pray to God first and rely on God to attend the interview.” I thought: Yeah. God rules over all things. Whether I can pass the interview and whether the boss allows me to resign are all under God’s sovereignty. I shouldn’t think wild thoughts with my conceptions and imaginations. Then, I prayed to God, asking God to guide me and saying that I was willing to obey His orchestrations and arrangements no matter what the result was. After the prayer, I felt steadfast in my heart, so I registered for the interview and had the materials prepared.
A few days later, I received a phone call from the agency, and I was notified to hand in my materials on Friday. I got flustered on hearing this: How should I do now? Friday is not allowed to ask for leave in my restaurant. So how can I go to hand in my materials? Will the boss allow me to ask for leave? I was in a dilemma and didn’t know how I should do. At the moment, I thought of God. Then I immediately prayed to God in my heart, “O God! I don’t have true knowledge of You, so I always lack faith. On the matter of asking for leave, I look up to You and commit it into You. May You guide and lead me. I’m willing to experience Your work and cooperate with You practically.” After the prayer, I called my boss with an obedient heart. Surprisingly, my stern boss actually agreed. This made me experience what God says, “The heart and spirit of man are held in the hand of God, and all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things.” From, I understood more clearly: All things are in God’s hand. The thoughts and ideas of my boss are also in God’s hand. It is just that I have too many imaginations and conceptions and always measure the things I encounter with my own thinking. This makes me have no . It is God who opens up a way out for me, so that my boss allows me to ask for leave today. God is by my side and is my ever-present reliance. I had more faith in God after understanding this. With the guidance of God, I should no longer be full of misgivings and fears. I was willing to rely on God to attend the interview. No matter what the result would be, I was willing to obey God, without my own choice.
The next day, I received the notice of the interview. While arriving at the company, I saw that there were many people coming for the interview. I overheard someone who had passed the interview say that this company recruited those who had working experiences. At these words, I was nervous and agitated in my heart, feeling that there was little hope of passing the interview. I waited and it was finally my turn. I took a deep breath and went inside. After a brief greeting and self-introduction, the interviewer asked me, “What kind of job have you done? Do you have working experiences in electronics?” I answered honestly with embarrassment, “No.” “Sorry. What we want to recruit are those who have working experiences,” said the interviewer. So, I was not offered the job because of having no working experiences.
Returning home, I slumped into the sofa and felt very depressed, thinking: It’s difficult for me to meet a company with good treatments. But I failed to pass the interview. Could it be that I would continue to work in the restaurant? My arms are still swollen from tiredness and my brothers and sisters are all preaching the gospel zealously, but I hadn’t yet found a suitable job. How should I do now? I felt anxious in my heart. Then I prayed to God, “Oh, God! I was not offered the job in the electronics company. I felt so bad in my heart. But I’m willing to obey You. I believe that Your orchestrations and arrangements are most meaningful. May You lead me in the matter of looking for a job.”
After prayer, I thought of God’s words, “When confronting real-life problems, how should you know and understand God’s authority and His sovereignty? When you do not know how to understand, handle, and experience these problems, what attitude should you adopt to show your intention, your desire, and your reality of submitting to God’s sovereignty and arrangements? First you must learn to wait; then you must learn to seek; then you must learn to submit. ‘Waiting’ means waiting for the time of God, awaiting the people, events, and things that He has arranged for you, waiting for His will to gradually reveal itself to you. ‘Seeking’ means observing and understanding God’s thoughtful intentions for you through the people, events, and things that He has laid out, understanding the truth through them, understanding what humans must accomplish and the ways they must keep, understanding what results God means to achieve in humans and what accomplishments He means to attain in them. ‘Submitting,’ of course, refers to accepting the people, events, and things that God has orchestrated, accepting His sovereignty and, through it, coming to know how the Creator dictates man’s fate, how He supplies man with His life, how He works the truth into man. All things under God’s arrangements and sovereignty obey natural laws, and if you resolve to let God arrange and dictate everything for you, you should learn to wait, you should learn to seek, you should learn to submit. This is the attitude that every person who wants to submit to God’s authority must take, the basic quality that every person who wants to accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements must possess. To hold such an attitude, to possess such a quality, you must work harder; and only thus can you enter into the true reality.” God’s words pointed out the way for me to practice. What kind of job I will do in the future is ordained and ruled over by God. It is not decided by my own choice. As a creature, I should give up my own intentions and ideas and learn to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement. As for what kind of job I will look for, I should come before God to seek and wait, waiting for the job God has prepared for me.
Two days later, a sister told me that the company I went for an interview was still recruiting new staff and asked me whether I wanted to have an another try. Hearing this, I felt a wave of excitement in my heart, but also worried that I would be rejected again. I thought: The company recruits those who have working experiences in electronics. But I have no such experiences. Could it be possible for me to pass the interview? But the sister told me that the company recruited again. Is therein it? After thinking over and over again, I decided to try again. If I still couldn’t pass the interview, I would look for other jobs.
The next day, I went to another agency to hand in my materials. Right when I was about to go downstairs after handing in my materials, the former agency called and asked whether I had sent my resume to other companies to apply for a job. I said, “I have handed in my materials in another agency just now. I want to try again in that company.” The staff of the agency said, “I don’t suggest that you try again. Our company is the most famous one in Singapore. If you failed to pass the interview through our company, there would be even less hope for you to pass it through other agencies. You can measure it by yourself!” After hanging up the phone, I was in a quandary about what to do: Should I go or not? Finally, when thinking that I had handed in my materials, I decided to go and have a try regardless of the results.
On the day of my interview, when I arrived and saw that the interviewer was just the one who refused me last time, I thought: It’s over! I will surely be rejected today. It’s no more than a few days since my last interview. She must still remember me. Right when I was at a loss what to do, I remembered a passage of God’s word I read before: “In one’s heart, one must at least know, ‘I will do everything in my power and leave the rest to Heaven.’ How can a person do everything in their power? Like this: ‘I am feeding my sheep normally, preventing them from getting sick, not letting them freeze or go hungry. I am not calculating how many lambs they will give birth to each year; I do not know how many they can—that is a matter for God to decide. I will just fulfill my responsibilities by feeding them until they are full and plump, and keeping them from lacking nutrients. By next year, as for which sheep can give birth to lambs and which cannot, or which of them can have however many lambs, and how many they can give birth to in total, all of this is in God’s hands. I do not know, nor have I made any requests. I also am not planning around it; these are God’s affairs.’ If they have done this, haven’t they had a submissive attitude toward God?” God’s words made me understand: Whether I can pass the interview is not decided by me. All things are controlled in God’s hand. What I should do is to do everything in my power and leave the rest to heaven. While thinking of this, my heart calmed down a lot. When it was my turn to have the interview, I calmly answered her questions. Unexpectedly, she just asked me several simple questions and let me pass the interview. When hearing the result, I was so excited that I almost jumped up from the chair. I kept thanking God in my heart. It’s truly God’s almightiness and wondrousness. Thanks be to God!
From my experience, I see that it is all wrong to view the people, matters, and things that we encounter with our own conceptions and imaginations. God’s mind won’t shift or change according to man’s thoughts. God rules over and orchestrates all things in the most meaningful way. After experiencing this interview, I feel that mybecomes closer. When we learn to look up to God and rely on God on the matters that come upon us in our life, regardless of whether it is big or small, we’ll surely see God’s hand and see that God is always by our side, leading and guiding us. Thanks be to God! All the glory be to Almighty God! Amen!
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