When I was in my teens, I lived in the deep valleys of Wolmyeongdong where I was oppressed by my environment and the agonies of poverty. I really couldn’t take ahold of my heart. Because I could not control my heart, I could not control my body, and every day, I felt no joy. There was not even a hint of hope.
Naturally, my days were filled with complaints. I shed tears and pounded the ground with my fists. I was alone. I could only lament and weep over my miserable life.
I had my own reasoning: “People whom God predestined to live well are living well off while others don’t get His help. It’s because of Him that I’m going through these agonies!” That was a thought that entered my mind. I could not love God nor Jesus, and I did not have a proactive faith.
I just didn’t see hope in God or Jesus. I could not even blame my parents or my ancestors. I just thought this was the life that God predestined me to have.
How could I maintain a normal and proper life when I had such bizarre thoughts and ideas? Thinking about it now, they were clearly thoughts that went against God’s principles. My heart did not feel normal joy.
Since I believed that God had already determined every human being’s fate, I thought that humans had no other choice but to live as predestined. No one taught me about this, but as I observed how things were, this was the conclusion that I reached through my own realizations.
Really, it was my own realization.
You should not come up with your conclusions based on your own understanding. If you fail to correctly understand the Will of God and the thoughts of the Lord, your life will end in ruin. Indeed, I was entertaining truly dangerous thoughts. They were destructive ideas that I thought of on my own.
Those who commit suicide also end their lives because of the wrong conclusions they come to believe.
I abandoned myself to a thought that said, “God predestined me who lives in this remote valley of Wolmyeongdong and those who live in the surrounding areas to stay here until we die. Even if we try to leave, we cannot go to the cities. The city dwellers were predestined to live in the cities by God.”
Life in Wolmyeongdong, a place deep in the mountains, was so miserable that I couldn’t help but think this way.
Truly, I was holding onto ridiculous thoughts and holding onto a ridiculous philosophy of faith. As a result, I did not think of trying to move to a better place or city. I simply thought that a well-off and prosperous life in Wolmyeongdong would be to till the land and make it into an orchard where I could plant apple trees and various other fruit trees. If I did that, then I could at least pick and eat the fruits each season and enjoy my life like paradise.
I thought to myself that operating an orchard and living that way was the best and most ideal future.
I ruminated over and over: “Since I don’t have money to buy meat, I should raise rabbits as well as chickens so that I can slaughter them from time to time whenever I feel like eating meat. Then I would be healthy while believing in God and Jesus. Such a life would be the happiest life and the greatest blessing within the domain that God has permitted me to have.”
I had this kind of fantasy in my head, but that idea didn’t come true as quickly as I had hoped. Truly, each day of my life was full of miseries.
Filled with questions, I began praying deeply towards the end of my teenage years. I told God in my prayers that I was living in Wolmyeongdong because He had predestined it but that I still wanted Him to help me live well. I was really absurd back then.
At that time, as I read the Bible and offered long and deep prayers, I slowly realized that God and Jesus were different from how I had imagined Them to be. I gradually came to know that my view of “life run by fate” and God’s view of human life differed. That was when I set myself free from my mistaken perspectives and mistaken theories about God, which I had come up with on my own.
As a result, I began making more efforts and worked harder. I understood that through my endeavors I could escape the pressing agonies of my life and escape the world of pain that I lived in.
I also realized that when problems occur, the solution was not in what humans did. When I prayed, my current predicaments and horrible fortune changed for the better. I experienced my reality improving even though I didn’t do anything except for offer prayers.
The Lord made me personally experience such situations many times and clearly taught me that even if I didn’t do anything, if I prayed, God and the Lord would work to improve my situation.
As I prayed, I came to realize anew about conclusions that I drew on my own regarding God, Jesus, and my own destiny. I came to know the Will and law God had set for humans.
Have you also drawn wrong conclusions on your own about God, the Lord, and yourself, and as a result, have you been worried and concerned, feeling agonized?
If so, pray and gain the correct understanding. Get out of the domain of agony and let joy and hope flow in from God.
If you deem God’s Will as you mistakenly see it, you will end up creating distance between God and yourself, between Jesus and yourself. You won’t feel like believing in God or Jesus or loving Them absolutely. With me too, if you have incorrect perspectives of me according to whichever way your heart and mind sway, worries and concerns, anxieties and pain will overtake you. You need to know and understand God’s heart properly through prayer.
~Excerpt from the Sunday Message of February 21, 2010; Pastor Jung Myung Seok