Blessings Due to Sickness —Essay on God’s Love
I was born into a poor family in a rural village. Since I was a child, I lived a tough life and was looked down upon by others. I sometimes did not even know if I would have my next meal, let alone snacks and toys. Since my family was poor, when I was little, I would wear what my older sister used to wear. Her clothes were usually too big for me. As a result, when I went to school, the other kids would laugh at me and they would not play with me. My childhood was very bitter. From that point on, I would secretly tell myself: Once I grow up, I will be somebody and make lots of money. I won’t let others look down on me again. Since my family had no money, I was forced to drop out before junior high school. I went to the county town to work in a medicine factory. In order to earn more money, I would frequently work until 9 or 10 PM. However, the money I earned was not enough to reach my goals. Afterward, when I heard that my sister was able to earn in five days what I earned in a month selling vegetables, I quit my job at the medicine factory and went to sell vegetables. After a period of time, I found that I could make even more money selling fruits, so I decided to start a business selling fruits. After I married my husband, we started a restaurant business. I thought that now that I had a restaurant, I would be able to earn even more money. Once I could earn a considerable amount of income, naturally, I would win other’s admiration and regard. Other people would start looking up to me and at the same time, I would be able to live a better life. However, after operating the business for a period of time, I discovered that I was actually not making a lot of money. I started getting anxious. When would I be able to lead a life that others would admire?
In 2008, by chance I heard a friend say that working for one day in Japan was the equivalent of working ten days in China. When I learned this news, I was very happy. I felt that finally, I had found a great opportunity for earning money. I thought that I should secure the greater benefit by sacrificing the lesser. All I needed to do was go to Japan to work and I would be able to recoup my expenses. In order to realize our dreams, my husband and I did not care how much the agent fee would be. We decided to go to Japan immediately. After we arrived in Japan, we were able to find a job very quickly. Each day, my husband and I worked for 13 or 14 hours. Work stress was quite significant. I was completely exhausted all day long. After work, all I wanted to do was lie down and rest. I did not even want to eat. I found it difficult to endure such a fast-paced lifestyle. However, once I thought about the money I would have after I struggled for a few years, I encouraged myself: Even though it is difficult and tiring right now, later on, my life will be wonderful. I must go on. As a result, each day I worked my fingers to the bone as if I were a money-making machine. By 2015, I collapsed under the heavy work load. I went to the hospital for an examination and the doctor told me that I had a herniated disc and that it was pressing against a nerve. If I continued to work the way I was working, I would eventually be bedridden and unable to care for myself. This news hit me like thunder from a clear sky. I became extremely weak right away. My life had just begun to be better off, and I was getting closer and closer to my dream. I never would have thought that I would get sick. I refused to give up. I thought: “I am still young. I just need to clench my teeth and get through this. If I do not earn more money now, by the time I go home, I will not have a lot of money. Wouldn’t that be even more embarrassing?” As a result, I clenched my teeth and dragged my weak body back to work. However, after a few days, I was so sick that I literally could not get up.
I felt very miserable as I lay on a bed in the hospital with nobody to take care of me. “How do I end up in this situation? Could it be that I will actually be unable to get out of bed?” I really hoped for someone to be by my side. Unfortunately, my husband was at work and my son was at school. My boss and my colleagues were only focused on profit. They basically did not care at all about me. The ward was filled with all kinds of sick people. I could not help but think deeply: For what purpose do people live? How can one live a meaningful life? Can money really buy happiness? I reflected on what I had after 30 years of struggling. I worked in a medicine factory, sold fruit, ran a restaurant and came to Japan to work. Even though I did earn some money all these years, however, I endured much sadness. I had thought that once I reached Japan, I would be able to realize my dreams very quickly. After a few years in Japan, when I returned to China, I would be able to start a new life as a rich person and be envied by other people. However, now I was bedridden and faced with the possibility that I would no longer be able to take care of myself and that I would bitterly spend the second half of my life in a wheel chair…. At the thought of this, I started to regret that I had risked even my own life in order to earn money and get ahead in life. The more I thought about this, the more bitter tears began flowing down my face. In agony, I couldn’t help but cry out: God! Save me! Why is life so cruel?
Just when I was in pain and helpless, that was when Almighty God’s salvation came to me and my “sickness” became my “blessing.” What a great coincidence that I knew of three sisters from The Church of Almighty God. Since they had communicated with me, I understood where my illness was coming from and I knew where my suffering was coming from. As a person who never had any faith before, I was now someone who had a life direction and I knew who I should be living for. The sister recited a passage of Almighty God’s words for me: “Where did the pain of birth, death, illness and old age present throughout the life of man come from? Because of what did people first have these things? Did man have these things when they were first created? They didn’t, did they? So where did these things come from? These things came after man was tempted by Satan and their flesh became degenerate, such as the pain of the flesh, the troubles and emptiness of the flesh and the extreme wretchedness of the world. Satan began to torment man after it had corrupted them. Man then became more and more degenerate, the illnesses of man were deepened, and their suffering became more and more severe. Man felt more and more the emptiness, the tragedy and the inability to go on living of the world, and they felt less and less hope for the world. So this suffering was brought on man by Satan, and it only came after man had been corrupted by Satan and became degenerate” (“The Meaning of God’s Experiencing the Pain of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). One of the sisters told me that when man was created in the beginning, man did not have the pain of birth, death, illness and old age nor did he have anxiety and distress. Instead, he led a carefree life in the Garden of Eden, enjoying all the good things that God had bestowed upon man. However, mankind betrayed God and no longer listened to God starting from when mankind was enticed and corrupted by Satan. God no longer watched over, protected and blessed man and he lived under Satan’s domain. He lived according to Satan’s laws. He started living for fame, status, money. We humans thus schemed against each other. We fought each other fiercely. We deceived one another, and we even killed one another. This was where our illness, the difficulties in our life, and the pain and sorrow in our hearts was coming from. This pain and distress causes each and every person to feel that life on earth is extremely bitter, tiring and difficult. These things all emerged after Satan had corrupted man. It is Satan that harms us. After I listened to what the sister had to say, I came to understand: In the beginning, we were living under the blessings of God. Our lives were happy and there was no sickness or distress. After Satan corrupted us, we lost God’s protection and we started getting sick and we started enduring all kinds of suffering. At this point, I truly felt that Satan was very despicable. I also understood that the pain that I had been suffering all these years resulted from Satan.
The sister continued to communicate with me: “God cannot bear watching mankind continue to be corrupted and harmed by Satan. He even incarnated once again, lives among men and expresses the truth in order to save us from our corruption. As long as we listen to God and understand the truth within God’s word, we will be able to distinguish and see clearly all the methods and ways that Satan corrupts mankind. We will see through to Satan’s evil essence and have the strength to abandon Satan, throw off Satan’s harm, return before God, obtain God’s salvation and in the end, be brought by God to a beautiful destination.” When I heard that God had personally come to save mankind, I became very emotional. Since I really did not want Satan to continue to harm me, I told my sisters about my pain and doubt: “I just don’t understand. Why is it that I feel so much pain from seeking to be better than everybody else? Could it be that this is due to Satan as well?” The sister read some more of God’s words to me: “Any great or famous person, all people in fact, anything they follow in life relates only to these two words: ‘fame’ and ‘gain.’ Is this not so? (Yes.) People think that once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them to enjoy high status and great wealth, and to enjoy life. Once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them in their pleasure-seeking and unscrupulous enjoyment of the flesh. People willingly, albeit unknowingly, take their bodies, minds, all that they have, their futures and their destinies and hand them all over to Satan in order to attain the fame and gain they desire. People do this without ever a moment’s hesitation, ever ignorant of the need to recover it all. Can people still have any control over themselves once they go over to the side of Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They are also completely and utterly unable to free themselves from the quagmire they have sunk down into…. So Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts until all they can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision to both maintain and obtain fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds man with invisible shackles. These shackles are borne on people’s bodies, and they have not the strength nor courage to throw them off. So people trudge ever onward in great difficulty, unknowingly bearing these shackles” (“God Himself, the Unique VI” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh). The revelation of God’s word caused me to have a sudden flash of insight. I was a classic example of someone who had been enslaved by Satan, someone who was destroying himself through the seeking of fame and gain. I had lost myself in the pursuit of being better than others and earning much money to be envied. I basically became a money-making machine. For fame and fortune I had even sacrificed my own health. I was indeed a slave to fame and gain. Directed by the outlook on life of earning money and becoming an object of envy, I struggled hard to achieve my goals until my body basically had enough. These desires for fame and gain caused me much physical and emotional suffering. If it wasn’t for the revelation of Almighty God’s words, I would never have known that the things that I was seeking were wrong. In fact, it was one of Satan’s ways of harming man.
Gradually, as those sisters frequently came to visit me and communicate Almighty God’s words to me, I became more and more convinced of Almighty God’s work. At the same time, I became better at distinguishing the methods and ways that Satan harms man. During this time, I noticed the situation of one of my female colleagues. In order to earn money, she and her husband came to Japan to work. Even though they had both earned some money, her husband started to have some physical difficulties. He had no choice but to return home for treatment. The result was that he was found to have late-stage cancer. After they found out about this, they no longer wanted to come to Japan again to earn money. The whole family was living in fear and sorrow. Almighty God said: “People spend their lives chasing after money and fame; they clutch at these straws, thinking they are their only means of support, as if by having them they could keep on living, could exempt themselves from death. But only when they are close to dying do they realize how distant these things are from them, how weak they are in the face of death, how easily they shatter, how lonely and helpless they are, with nowhere to turn. They realize that life cannot be bought with money or fame, that no matter how wealthy a person is, no matter how lofty his or her position is, all people are equally poor and inconsequential in the face of death. They realize that money cannot buy life, that fame cannot erase death, that neither money nor fame can lengthen a person’s life by a single minute, a single second” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh). My colleague’s misfortune made me feel even more so that life was indeed precious. At the same time, I could see the way Satan was using “fame” and “gain” to harm the lives of many people. At this very moment, I felt extremely lucky that I was able to receive Almighty God’s work of the last days. If I did not read Almighty God’s word, I would never have been able to see through to the truth of how Satan harms man. Sooner or later, I would have been swallowed alive by Satan.
Afterward, the sisters from the church would frequently come to my house to see me. Since I could not move my hips, those sisters would help massage me and do some cupping on me. One of the sisters who was medically trained told me that if I pressed a specific acupuncture point, it would bring relief to my condition. They would also take the initiative and help me with my household chores. They took care of me as if they were my family relatives. As an expatriate in a foreign country, I was without a friend in the world. Today I truly felt moved that these sisters took care of me better than my own relatives would. I thanked them again and again. However, my sisters told me, “Thousands of years ago, God predestined and selected us. Now, He has arranged for us to be born in the last days and to accept God’s work of the last days. Together, we walk this path. This is the rule of God. We were actually a family a long time ago already. It’s just that we got separated and it wasn’t until now that we found each other.” Once my sisters said this, I could no longer control my emotions and I hugged them with tears running down my face. At this moment, I felt a closeness with my sisters that I cannot describe. My heart was even more grateful to Almighty God.
Unconsciously, I was getting better and better. After experiencing the pain and torment of this instance of sickness, I reflected on how I had been under the control of Satan’s incorrect life perspective of “striving to be better than everyone else.” All along, I sought to stand out among my peers and lead an abundant life so that others would admire and envy me. However, I never thought what I would obtain instead was pain and sadness. I did not get even a bit of peace and happiness. I have tasted this process of pain and I am no longer willing to fight against destiny nor am I willing to seek fame and gain. This is not the life I want. I’m no longer like a high-speed money-making machine. Instead, I lead a regular life every day. Aside from going to work, I frequently attend meetings, read God’s word and share my own experiences and understanding with my brothers and sisters. I also learn to sing hymns of God’s word and live happily. I have gained a kind of assuredness and peace that I never tasted before in my heart. One day I read the following passage of God’s words: “When one has no God, when one cannot see Him, when one cannot clearly recognize God’s sovereignty, every day is meaningless, worthless, miserable. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and irrelievable suffering, such that one cannot bear to look back. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I understood that the meaning of man’s existence is to live according to God’s words and to obey the rule and arrangements of the Creator. This is a true human life. The things that man can obtain in his lifetime do not depend on him busily rushing about and working frantically. Instead, it is based on God’s rule and God’s preordination. At the same time, I also understood that it does not matter how much wealth that someone accumulates for it is all just worldly possessions. You did not bring it with you when you were born and you cannot take it with you after you die. After I had this understanding, I was willing to obey God’s rule and arrangements. I had the second half of my life completely entrusted to God. I no longer sought the admiration of others. Instead, I sought to be someone that obeys God. Now, I work three to four hours a day. My boss is a Japanese. Even though we cannot communicate through words, my boss looks after me. Each time he asks me to do something, he uses simple words to communicate his message to me. He never gives me stress. I feel even more so now that, as long as man obeys God, he would be able to live a relaxed and happy life.
Whenever I am alone, I frequently think back to the process of my coming before God. If it was not for my sickness which stopped me from seeking fame and gain, I would still be a money-making machine in the world. I would be blind to this until Satan’s devastation kills me. Satan harmed me by using fame, gain, and disease. Contrarily, Almighty God used my sickness to bring me before Him. Through His words, I clearly saw that Satan is responsible for man’s corruption. I also saw clearly how evil and despicable it was for Satan to use fame and gain to swallow people up. I was finally in a position to throw off the shackles of fame and gain and establish a proper life perspective. My spirit was liberated. God is so almighty and wise! I’m thankful that God has loved me and saved me. All the glory be to Almighty God!