“All things are in God’s hand!” In the past, I only acknowledged this word of God with my lips but was not convinced of it in my heart. I always thought that if I did not earn money I could not live my life. Therefore, though I had followed the Almighty God for five years, I had never intended to give up money and pursue the truth wholeheartedly. Not until God’s discipline came upon me did I wake up.
Once, I remember, a brother asked me to go preaching the gospel with him. I, afraid of being kept from earning money, was unwilling to go. Seeing that I valued money so much, the brother said to me, “Brother, God’s will has long been revealed to us and God’s day is at hand. If you don’t prepare good deeds while it is still today, when God’s gospel work ends, it will be late; even if you want to prepare good deeds then, you’ll have no opportunity. At that time, no amount of money can save you.” When I heard these words, I did not examine myself but instead resented him in my heart. But in order to escape disasters, I reluctantly performed some duty while earning money. Although God’s family constantly fellowshipped about the importance of preparing good deeds and fellowshipped that man should have a conscience and should fulfill the duty of a created being to repay God, yet I remained indifferent and followed leisurely all the same, sticking to the pagan viewpoint that “man cannot do without money.” Because I was busy earning money, my spiritual living was very abnormal, and in the end I simply gave up eating and drinking God’s word. Thus, I struggled for money like an unbeliever.
In July 2003, my legs suddenly ached a little. But I, who was numb, did not know to examine myself and still labored to earn money every day. Later, my legs ached more and more terribly. Not until early August, when I really could not bear the pain, did I stop earning money reluctantly. At this time, I not only did not realize that it was God’s discipline, but I complained, “I’ve always been in good health; how come I get this illness today? I’m even unable to leave my bed!” I lay in bed for quite a few days, and even my meals I had to ask my family to bring to my bed. I was very distressed in my heart. Helpless, I turned on the CD player and listened to the hymn of God’s word “Only by Forsaking Your Flesh Can You See God’s Loveliness”: “If you genuinely love God and do not satisfy your flesh, you will see that what God does see that what God does is very proper and very good and that it is right for him to judge your unrighteousness. Sometimes God chastens and disciplines you and raises up circumstances to temper you, forcing you to come before him. Then you will always feel that what God does is really good and that God is so lovely.” I pondered as I listened. Thank God that he inspired me. I suddenly understood this: The coming of the illness is God disciplining me. It is God’s love coming upon me! Then, I could not help reflecting on the course of my years of following God. The many past events of my disobeying God startled me. I was simply an unbeliever. My heart was fully occupied with money, without any place for God. God has spoken so many words, but I disregarded them; I even misunderstood God and complained that God’s requirements were too high. I was really a beast. If God’s discipline had not come upon me today, I would not have known to come before God to examine myself, and I would still be entangled in money, unable to extricate myself. If that continued, would I not, because of seeking after money and rejecting the truth, be eliminated by God in the end and fall into everlasting punishment? At this thought, I felt afraid for myself and also felt grateful for God’s discipline to me. O God, thank you that you have saved me. Thank you that you have not discarded me, the numb and obtuse person. From now on, I will rebel against the flesh, stop pursuing those things outside the truth, and let no schemes of satan succeed on me. I will break free from under satan’s power of darkness, and pursue to expend for God, to gain the truth bestowed by God, and to live out a worthy and meaningful life. Through undergoing God’s such discipline, I have truly realized that all things are in God’s hand indeed; no one and no thing can escape the manipulation of God’s hand!
Lu’an City, Anhui Province