“What you crave today are exactly the things that will ruin your future, and the sufferings you endure today are exactly the things that will protect yourself. You should know these clearly, lest you fall into temptations and be unable to free yourself from them, and go astray into the dense fog and be unable to see the sun again. …” Every time I sing this hymn of God’s word, “Seeking Fleshly Ease and Comfort Will Ruin Your Future,” I will think of the scenes of my testing and rebelling against God, my heart full of remorse and gratitude.
In 1997, after I accepted the end-time work of the Almighty God, I was very zealous and threw myself into the gospel-preaching work. And I made this resolution before God: I will expend for God and satisfy God’s heart without being restricted by anything. But with the change of God’s work, when what God did was against my notions and my desires were not gratified, my “faithfulness” to God disappeared completely and my nature of rebelling against God was exposed to the light.
It was a day in 1999. I returned to my hometown from the place where I performed my duty, and met an old schoolmate of mine, whom I had not seen for many years. Seeing that he was in Western dress and leather shoes and wore a cell phone, like a rich man, I was very envious, and I could not help feeling myself miserable and shabby. A few days later, my sore spot was touched again by what my grandmother said, “If you don’t go out to work to earn money now, won’t your future be ruined? Who will think highly of you if you have no money? Look at your schoolmate. He has made so much money in other places and can buy this and that…. But what about you? You have nothing!” Instantly, the gorgeous appearance of my schoolmate rose before my eyes, and I felt very miserable and really wanted to look for a hole to crawl into. Grandmother continued, “Your uncle’s central scroll factory is short of hands and he wants you to go to help him.” “Ok! I’ll go!” I said without thinking. At night, I tossed about sleeplessly in bed, ruminating: Will I really go to earn money? What if I sink into the temptation and cannot extricate myself? But due to my vanity plus the temptation of money and my actual embarrassment, I began to doubt God’s words. I thought: Not necessarily. Will I be unable to stop myself if I go to earn some money? … After a struggle, I failed to withstand the temptation of money. Then I comforted myself, “Don’t worry. After I earn some money to better my situation, I will expend for God body and heart. I won’t be like the worldly people who cannot earn money enough.” So, I went to the central scroll factory the next day.
In the first days at the factory, I worked and lived the church life at the same time. And I often warned myself: I can never leave God! But gradually, I fell: I began to be fed up with eating and drinking God’s word and did not want to meet the brothers and sisters. Although at every meeting I said that money was not as important as life, yet when I returned to the factory I could not but be occupied with the work. And sometimes I even lulled myself by working ceaselessly, so that I could have no time to think about the disasters prepared by God which are rare in thousands of years. Thus, I chose to lead an empty life as the worldly people do rather than to find a real, good life in God’s word.
Later, in a meeting, my belly suddenly began to ache as if it were being hammered by something. I could not stand the pain and then withdrew into the room and lay down on the bed. But the pain still continued, and it made me writhe about on the bed. Seeing my condition, the brothers and sisters rushed me to the hospital. But the doctor said that he did not discover any illness in me. Then the brothers and sisters advised me to do soul-searching. However, I not only did not reflect on myself, but I was even more convinced that it would not do to have no money. I thought: If I am seriously ill one day and if I have no money for treatment, will I not have to wait to die? Thus, thinking the monthly salary of 400 yuan in the factory too low, I decided to go home and carve a career for myself. Then, I took out a loan of 6,000 yuan and started a central scroll factory. But in order to escape the end-time disasters, I pursued money with one hand and pursued the truth with the other, neglecting neither of them. Half a year later, unexpectedly, far from making any money, I lost more than 10,000 yuan including the principal and the interest. Now, I lost my sense and complained bitterly before God: “God, you wouldn’t let me make money, but you should not have made me lose my principal. You did so; how could I have the desire to follow you? Even though I was wrong, you should have allowed for my weakness….” At the moment, carried away by money, I did not have any place for God in my heart, and did not realize at all that God’s nature had come upon me. I still remained unrepentant, and even rebelled against God and left the church to learn hairdressing. I indulged myself in sin, forgetting God completely.
One day, I cycled to the field to fetch my father. When I came to a steep slope, a cruel dog suddenly jumped out of the roadside and rushed ferociously toward me. I desperately dashed down the slope on my bike, but the dog pursued after me and kept howling fiercely. I was so frightened that I shivered all over and sweated coldly, hanging my feet high. With a bang, I was thrown off my bike and fell to the path full of sharp stones, and then turned several somersaults and rolled into the ditch by the path. Now my legs could not move and my hands were numb. I was extremely scared: Could I thus be crippled? What if I become disabled? I endured the sharp pain and lay in the ditch expecting my father to come back quickly. At last, father came. Seeing me in so sorry a plight, he asked what had come over me. I said embarrassedly, “A dog chased me!” “A strange thing! Why did the dog not chase anyone but you?” Finally, with a tremendous effort, father got me from the ditch onto the bike and carried me home. Lying on the bed, I could not but think of father’s words: “A strange thing! Why did the dog not chase anyone but you?” All at once, I got enlightened. Thank God! This fall has awakened me! If today I had been killed by the fall or bitten to death by the dog, then what good would it do even if I had made much money? The more I thought about it, the more scared I became. Suddenly, I remembered God’s words: “Is the world truly your place of rest? Can you really receive a gratified smile from the world by escaping my chastisement? Can you really cover the unconcealable emptiness in your heart by your temporary enjoyment? You may be able to cheat any of your relatives, but you can never cheat me. Because you have too little faith, you still cannot find the joy of living even today. I advise you to truly spend half of your life for me rather than to labor all your life for the flesh in vain and endure all kinds of unbearable sufferings. Why love yourself so much as to escape my chastisement? Why escape the temporary chastisement from me and thus suffer eternal humiliation and chastisement? I do not impose any requirements on men. If men are really willing to obey all my arrangements, I will not treat them wrongly. But I need men to believe in me….” “Perhaps you have complained before, but no matter how many complaints you have uttered, God will not remember them. Since today has come, there is no need to trace the things of yesterday.” Then, a feeling of gratitude welled up in me. Man’s life is in God’s hand. It is the Almighty God who has given me a life. But how can I have the face to go back to God’s family now? I felt bitterly remorseful. I hated myself for being so obsessed with money that I rebelled against God. In the circumstances God arranged for me, I did not uphold justice and stick to the light and did not keep my faithfulness to God, but I followed my flesh and wallowed in the mire with satan. Thinking of the scenes that I tested God’s nature, disregarded God’s existence and God’s eyes searching man, ignored God’s discipline, and reasoned with God shamelessly, I could not help shedding tears of regret. Regardless of the pain, I knelt on the bed and prayed to God: “O Almighty God, I was too disobedient. I believed in you but doubted you. I believed in you but departed from you. I did not treat you as God at all. I really deserve to be cursed! According to my ways and deeds today, I should have been bitten to death by the dog, for you do not allow one to serve two masters, even less allow one to believe in you but have no you in his heart. Only today have I seen that without you, I was so pitiable. I lived in filthiness but did not feel disgusted or feel that I was being fooled by satan. O God, I am willing to commit myself to you completely. May you have mercy on me once again and keep my heart, so that my heart can be given to you. After I recover, I will leave the barbershop, fling myself into the gospel work, and fulfill the duty that a created being should fulfill, so as to repay your love and comfort your heart. I will no longer bustle about for money or rush about for the flesh.”
Thank the Almighty God for his love. He saved me again from sin with chastisement and judgment and made me return from the wrong path to pursue a meaningful and worthy life. The love of the Almighty God is so long, wide, high, and deep that I can’t express it in words. I am willing to make this resolution before God: From now on, I will never leave God again. I will follow God closely to the end and repay God who loves man as his own flesh and blood.
Xuanzhou City, Anhui Province