“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
My dad has a lot of stories to tell. I have not heard all of them, but I briefly know how his life was before he married my mother. It was a difficult time during the Cultural Revolution in China. He didn’t have any “high school” education. Political persecution, religious persecution, the tragic death of his mother and sister, relatives’ betrayal, secretly moving to Hong Kong to start another life…these are just a glimpse of His past.
Few days ago, he shared with me something I didn’t know as he encouraged me in my musical study.
He told me how when he was young, he spent a lot of time studying Chinese fengshui and physiognomy. This I have known for a long time. With little education and hoping to have a better future, my dad self-taught himself these skills along with playing the violin, calligraphy, and painting through reading books.
When he moved to Hong Kong, he started making a living by teaching the violin, teaching painting, and selling tea-leaves. He started saving bit by bit.
Now this is the part I did not know. He saw the success of those who made a lot of money by pracitcing fengshui and reading palms for others. These expertises were popular in Hong Kong and still are. These people were earning a lot of money while he was working day and night but getting paid less. He regretted very much for not becoming a “fengshui” master. He could have been one of them, enjoying the steady stream of income.
But my dad continued, “Looking back, however, I thank God for having prevented me to go that way. Had I devoted myself into studying fengshui and physiognomy more, I would have ended up further and further away from seeking Him. Instead, today, I have the spirit of God in me. I am also enjoying playing the violin everyday to keep myself healthy.”
This may be one of the most overly used verse, but I do believe my father’s story of the Father’s sovereignty is a classic example of “All things work together for good…to those called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).