The Lord has come secretly before disasters. How can we welcome Him?
A single person, a huge suitcase, an international flight, an unfamiliar city in a foreign country: that was the scene when I went abroad for the first time in my life. With no family or friends or acquaintances around me I had never been in such a strange situation before. As I could only say a few things in Korean, such as “안녕하세요 (Hello!)” and “감사합니다 (Thanks!),” my nervousness and worry far exceeded my curiosity and excitement about life abroad.
My first stop in the strange country was the school. There I was accommodated in a particularly small room, but I had to pay two hundred and fifty thousand won, that is, 1500 yuan. Without too much money, I knew it was necessary to find a part-time job. However, when I requested my new classmates to help me find one, they told me that those who couldn’t speak the native language could only get a job of washing the dishes. I was unwilling to do that kind of job, but in order to get money, I still said, with my face flushed, “Okay, I can do that.”
However, asking and waiting from day to day, I only got such an answer, “There is no vacancy for dishwashers of late. You’d better ask around.” I could only force a smile and said, “It’s alright. If there be any, please tell me.”
After class, I walked home with a heavy heart. Thinking that I had to pay accommodation fees soon and prepare tuition of the next term, and then counting the last little money in my purse, I fell in a state of considerable distress, fears replacing worry in my heart. On the clamorous street, looking at others’ radiant smiles, and listening to their laughter, I envied them so much that I couldn’t help heaving a deep sigh. And at the same time, fears, grievances, loneliness and helplessness directly welled up in me, tears flowing down out of control.
At that moment, I suddenly remembered that before I left home, my mother urged me, “Lele, I won’t be with you after you go abroad. No matter what happens to you, remember to rely on God and look to God more. God is almighty; He is beside us, and as long as we call on Him, He will help us at any time.” Yes, I am a believer in God. I have set my resolve before Him—after going abroad, I will often pray to God and rely on Him to pass through any difficulties, so that I can be tempered in each aspect. Yet when I encountered difficulties, I put all my will out of my mind. Thinking of this, I prayed to God in my heart, “O God, what should I do? I haven’t found a job up to the present. Now I have little money; how can I continue living here? Oh, God, I am afraid. Please help me!”
Afterward, I saw, “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.” I thought: Right! All things are under God’s rule and arrangements, and they will naturally develop according to God’s plan. Although I am in trouble, God is almighty, and I believe God will help me and make suitable arrangements for me. Now the only thing I can do is to pray to God, seek His will, and accept and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements. After understanding some of , I felt much relief in my heart, and were not as depressed as before. Then I prayed to God to entrust my difficulties to God again and to ask Him to guide and help me.
One day not long after this, a classmate of mine told me that a pizzeria wanted a part-time worker. My eyes lit up, and I said urgently, “Let me try.” Soon after, I went to that pizzeria as I wished. The boss said I would be on probation for a week, and if I qualified, I would be employed. Thinking that getting this job meant I would have money to pay for my tuition and costs of living, and then I could settle down to studying and living here, I felt pretty happy, although I wouldn’t be paid that week.
However, there were many kinds of pizza with different recipes. Just coming here, I was unfamiliar with these recipes, and learning them was rather complicated for me. Although I kept reminding myself that I must be careful not to make mistakes, I still mixed up those recipes on the fifth day, and then I made a mistake. Just then, my boss shouted at me before other workers and mocked me. Facing this situation, I was extremely embarrassed, feeling my self-esteem was severely damaged, so I couldn’t help crying loudly. Later, I heard my workmates say, “When he looks for some new employees, the boss always finds faults with them in the probation period, so that they will be forced to resign. Then he can use the free labor force all the while.” Hearing these words, I felt terribly disappointed, thinking I couldn’t continue to stay here.
After getting home, finding that my money wasn’t enough even for my rent, thinking that I still didn’t get any job, I sat on the bed listless. I looking into the empty night sky through the small window, a sense of misery and loneliness crept up within me. I could not help but tell God about all the pain in my heart, “O God, what should I do? I have nowhere to go. O God, where are You? Please lead me on the path ahead of me.”
After prayer, I thought of a passage of, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the , and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:31-34). At this moment, I experienced a sudden revelation, and I told myself inwardly: Don’t worry. God knows my difficulties; He will keep me from lacking food and clothing, much less lead me into a dead end. In the midst of difficulty, I need only to pray to God and rely on Him, and seek His will. God will arrange everything.
Then I felt particularly relieved and enlightened. I couldn’t help recalling time after time when I experienced God’s work and saw His wondrous deeds from the time of my belief in God until today: Once, in China, I had to find a new house in one day. It seemed very difficult. I thought I had little chance to find one. However, by unceasingly calling out and praying to God, and truly relying on and looking up to Him, I rented a house that very night, and it was very suitable. I thanked and praised God from the bottom of my heart. In addition, before I came abroad, I had to deposit 70,000 RMB in my own name, but my family didn’t have so much money. We were anxious about this. When we didn’t know what to do, my uncle lent me 70,000 yuan on his own initiative, so that I came abroad successfully.
Everything in the past was still as fresh as ever in my memory, which made me feel that God kept leading and guiding me all along. Now God led me to come here, let me learn to rely on Him and look up to Him in the difficulties of my life, so as to make me strong-willed and grow constantly in stature. This was God’s good attention in His salvation of me. At the thought of this, I was weeping. The tears were not of misery, but rather full of emotion. Because of God’s love, I no longer worried about my future, and I believed God would open up the way for me to overcome all the difficulties.
Afterward, by chance, I was recommended to teach Chinese in an academy of Chinese. Before the interview, I was a little nervous. Then I knelt to the ground and prayed to God, “God, thank You for preparing this interview for me. I am willing to rely on You and look up to You. Whether I can pass the interview is in Your hands, and I will obey Your rule and arrangements.” On the bus to the academy, I pondered God’s words, “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.” Indeed! Whether I will be agreeable to the dean and whether I can pass the interview is in God’s hands and decided by God, for God rules and controls the heart and spirit of everyone. At this time, the nervousness and worry slowly faded away, and I could face this interview calmly.
Eventually, the result came out. The moment I was told to be a Chinese teacher there, I wept. I thanked God repeatedly from my heart, and I really realized the meaning of the word “Where man’s abilities end is where God begins.”
However, the tuition and living expenses were very expensive in Korea, so I couldn’t maintain myself only by taking this job. But now I was not as worried and anxious as I had been before. Instead, every day, I could pray to God and read God’s words properly, and I hummed the hymns of God’s words when walking. I felt enriched in my heart.
The wonderful thing was that a student of mine soon recommended me as a teacher in an international kindergarten. It was close to the academy and so it was convenient for me to do the part-time job there. What was more unexpected was that during the time when I worked at the kindergarten, more and more parents hired me to teach their children in a one-on-one tutoring, so I started to be a private teacher as well. In this way, I earned enough money for my living expenses and the tuition of that term, even the tuition of the next term. And gradually, my Korean improved some. I could communicate with others when I took a bus, went shopping and did my business at bank, etc. Sometimes, on my way to work, looking up into the blue sky, smelling the flowers, and listening to the birds singing, I felt so satisfied and happy that I couldn’t help but gently hum the songs praising God.
In the middle of night, when everything was quiet, I lay awake on the bed and recalled the whole time I was abroad. Each thing appeared before my eyes like a movie, remaining fresh in my mind. In the past, I had been in tears, in sadness and in fear, but by seeking and praying, I obtained God’s leadership and guidance step by step. I truly felt God’s love and His presence with me, and saw many wonderful deeds of God, thus gaining some understanding of His almightiness and sovereignty, and having more faith in Him.
On my future path, no matter what difficulties or obstructions I encounter, I will always hold on one resolve: No matter how difficult it is in the future, I will not be afraid, because I have God with me.