Worry Too Much About Gain and Loss? See Through a Key Question

By Chenchen

In our entire life, with great reluctance, we always lose what we are obsessed with; and meanwhile, unknowingly, we always gain what we are contemptuous of. Obsession, which is fruitless, can only increase the burden in our simple lives. We become pained, perplexed, bitter, and helpless for clinging to our own pursuits. But as the years goes on, we gradually see through these things and then our mind becomes tranquil.

The process of becoming mature is also a process of learning to give up. Only when we put aside our desires, can we gain more. Throughout our lives, we are always struggling for fame, vanity, status, and love. Even if we clearly know the sufferings it brings to us, we still want to give it another try. Once I asked a friend infatuated with a girl, “Why are you still wooing her, since she evidently won’t say yes?” He replied, “I am not willing to give up easily.” I had nothing to reply but to sadly watch him making efforts for love. Finally, without any fruit, he was tired, pained and had to give up. After going through reverses and failures, my friend became much seasoned and silent. As an outsider, I didn’t know if I should rejoice at his maturity or grieve for his unstarted love.

People all say human life is full of eight sufferings: suffering of birth, suffering of old age, suffering of sickness, suffering of death, suffering of being apart from the loved ones, suffering being together with the despised ones, suffering of not getting what one wants, and suffering of the flourishing of the Five Skandhas. I once asked, “What does man live for?” Someone replied, “For suffering.” “Why are we always suffering?” “Because we can’t gain what we want, or lay down what we should lay down.” Yes, we have been kicking against fate all our life, always confidently believing our fates are in our own hands. Only through loss on loss can we realize the great truth. However, when looking back, we will find the best times have already gone yet we get nothing. And Years of strife are just in vain.

Fortunately the Creator doesn’t abandon us who live in misery. To save us from the painful life, He uses His words to wake up our heart and spirit. By chance, I saw a passage of God’s words on a gospel website, “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives. … If people cannot truly recognize the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate and over all things of human, if they cannot truly submit to the Creator’s dominion, then it will be difficult for them not to be driven by, and fettered by, the notion that ‘one’s fate is in one’s own hands,’ it will be difficult for them to shake off the pain of their intense struggle against fate and the Creator’s authority, and needless to say it will also be hard for them to become truly liberated and free, to become people who worship God” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).

This passage allows me to know the root cause of why we can’t treat gains and losses correctly. It is that we don’t recognize the sovereignty and arrangements of the Creator. Thus we always struggle against the fate on our own to show our competence. Once defeated, we will blame others and sink into apathy. We cannot accept we are so weak, cannot view our powerlessness correctly, still less forgive our being crushed. We seem to forget we are just ordinary men in this world. We do not have the Midas touch, nor can we control our fate; the only thing we can do is to do whatever we are capable of and obey the divine will.

Divine will is an old and mysterious topic. No matter whether they are near-illiterate farmers or wise scholars, they can all feel the existence of fate subconsciously. More and more people find that the divine will, just like the spring wind, can only be touched and felt with our hearts. There are many unexpected divine wills throughout the eventful years, through which, we can know the authority and power of the Creator and see the goodness and good intention of God. I think only when we realize the divine will represents the irresistibility and irreversibility of fate, can we know the Creator’s power of ruling over everything; only when we understand the Creator is responsible for our life, can we correctly treat gains and losses.
The Bible records a man who gained God’s praise. He is Job. Facing the loss of vast wealth and children, he could treat it calmly, and express from the bottom of his heart, “… the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). That he could rationally treat the gain and loss stemmed from his knowledge and true faith of God. He knew that all he had including his wealth was not born of his labor but granted by God.

Job’s attitude toward God’s blessings is what we each should imitate. We should always thank God for His sovereignty, no matter what we gain or lose in our life. Only in doing so can we live freely and without restraints.

Postscript:

The Creator has already prepared everything for us. We should thank and feel fortunate for His blessings.

The Creator has made a good planning for our life. We should not face it defiantly and passively but rather learn to obey His ordination. And unknowingly, we will see that His sovereignty for our fates is the most suitable.

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