I was on my way to the school canteen to have lunch with one of my female colleagues and fellow invigilators of the examinations. On our way to the canteen, we chatted freely while a female student was walking beside us.
“For what purpose to you think human beings come to the world?” I asked. “For suffering,” My colleague answered.
The girl student walking alongside us said voluntarily, “Wow, that’s exactly what I think! Otherwise, what’s the meaning of life? I cannot find it.”
Before I knew God, I thought the same way as they do because I lived in darkness. I often wondered about the meaning of life which eluded me.
In this world, people are struggling for fame, money, social status and vanity. But I cannot find the true value of these commodities, for I know that the material things I cannot do without are rather limited in value. I wish I could find something profound in life by reading some literary works in order to live my life, but it is just like the drizzle that can only make the surface damp for a while. What I have been longing for is a river that can immerse my soul in eternal joy and peace!
Like most Chinese people, I am told that we came to the world by accident, just like everything else in this universe. How can I find eternal meaning in something that happens just by accident? If all things come to the world by accident, then there is no eternal purpose in life and there is no ultimate meaning for us to live in this order-less and dark world. For this reason, I used to complain about the darkness, hopelessness and meaninglessness of this world. I was also worried about many things I didn’t have control over. I was worried about the environmental pollution, about the corruption of the world and of human nature, about the shortage of agricultural land in China…. In short, the things I used to worry about were numerous. Because of this, my dear husband gave me a nickname: Qiren, an ancient legendary figure in China who was always worrying that the sky would fall down. He would pretend to look up at the sky and joked, “Let me see if the sky has fallen down!”
But now I found meaning in the Bible, the Word of God. It makes my eyes and soul light up! To me, life’s meaning comes from the godly view of the origin of the universe and life. I have often been amazed by the beauty of things in the universe. For example, the blue sky, a leafy tree, a small flower, a fallen leaf, a chirping bird, a curious toddler… etc. They are so wonderful that I cannot help marveling at their beauty and wondering about their origin.
Of course, now the uneasiness and worries in my inner heart are gone, for I have come to believe that God is in control of everything. My eyes have been opened up by the Word of God and I have seen hope. I come to know that God is the Creator and He has a beautiful plan for everything He created. In Philippians 4:6-7 the Bible says: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be make known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The Word of God has really set my soul free! Indeed I’ve got inner peace in my heart — which is really a great blessing from God. This precious inner peace makes me live a better and more joyful life. I’ve come to realize that the reason why I was so moody is that I used to focus on the world where there is no true hope at all; but now God has led me to focus on the Heavenly Kingdom where hope abounds, making me light-hearted and joyful. In Colossians 3:2 the Bible says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” I found that the Word of God has power in it, for whenever I follow His Word, it seems that I’m armed with weapons!
The verses that have benefited me most are 1 Timothy 6:6-10, which say: “Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing , we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.”
The Word of God makes me realize that I’m a sinner. For example, my worldly worries and moodiness are actually the embodiment of my insecurity, showing my lack of faith. They point to my sinfulness and weakness and that I need help from God, the Savior. People around me think that I’m so foolish as to believe in God who is invisible. They believe that the visible things such as money and social status are more reliable. But I don’t care about their opinions or what they think of me.
From the beginning of 2009, I benefited greatly when I started reading the Bible carefully. But the real beneficiary of my inner joy and peace is my husband. He finds that God has made me a happier and more light-hearted woman, besides being a more pleasant, patient, loving and considerate wife! Although he is not yet a believer, he has found great changes in me. He doesn’t call me Qiren anymore. What he says most is, “What time are you going to the church for the Bible study?” And I hope one day he will say, “What time are we going to the church?”
Written by Jessie Liu Xinjuan
Edited by Pamela Choo
for United Bible Societies, China Partnership