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Gospel Reader

No Longer Working Flat Out for Money, I Find a Happy Life

130

By Dan Chun, Indonesia

“You’re really overestimating yourself if you think you can send your kid to college when you have no money!”

“Exactly. That’s just trying to go beyond your means for vanity’s sake. If you’ve got no money, then you should make your kid go out and find a job. Forget about college!”

…………

When I asked my relatives and close friends if I could borrow money to cover college fees for my child, their cutting remarks felt like a knife stabbing into my heart again and again. I felt upset and helpless, and I couldn’t help but sigh: “This is reality: Without money, I can only be at the very bottom of the pile, and even friends and relatives look down on me!”

I Find a Happy Life

To Avoid Being Ridiculed, I Begin to Work Hard to Earn Money

After my husband died, my life where all the basic necessities had been provided without any undue worry was gone. There was little money left in the bank and my son was still in elementary school. There were many things to pay for after that: My daughter was studying at university and the costs were high, and the burden of maintaining a family of three generations fell squarely onto my shoulders. I didn’t want to be poor, much less have to endure the disparaging looks and contemptuous glances of others, so all I could do was to clench my fists and tell myself: “In this society where money rules supreme, everyone is looking to make money and only people with money can get things done. As long as I’m willing to work hard then I will certainly make a lot of money, live a good life and not be looked down on by other people anymore!” So I began my life of desperately trying to make money.

I had been a dressmaker before, so I found a job making clothes. Because I hadn’t done it in so long, however, I was very rusty, and I couldn’t even finish two sets of clothes in one week. Despite this, the boss still gave me some clothes to make that had a complicated style and which came in various patterns, and which no one else was willing to make. This meant that it took me even longer to make just one item of clothing and, what’s more, I was getting paid per item. It was really unfair for the boss to allocate the work in this way and I wasn’t happy about it. But in order to make money, all I could do was stay quiet and swallow this unfair treatment. Because the money I was making wasn’t enough to cover basic expenses, I had no choice but to sell the things in our home that were worth anything in order to subsidize the housekeeping money. I didn’t become downhearted, however, but instead became determined to work hard and earn money to change this predicament. Gradually over time, I became able to make one set of clothes per day, and I began to earn a little more. But I disliked making clothes for a boss who didn’t pay enough, so I found another boss to make clothes for. So I could make more clothes, I got up just after five each morning and, once I’d taken my son to school, I went to work and would work until one or two o’clock the next morning. Sometimes, when there was a lot to do, I would work until three or four the next morning. During that period, I was often so busy working that I neglected to eat meals, and when I got hungry, I would just drink some water to fill me up. As I was not eating regular meals and was not getting enough sleep over a long period of time, I developed stomach pains and headaches. Sometimes my stomach would hurt so much that I wasn’t able to straighten my body, and my head would hurt so much that I just wanted to bash my head against the wall to ease the pain. Despite all this, I still wasn’t willing to take a rest. When the pain got too much, I would take a couple of painkillers and just carry on working. As time went on, I developed a tolerance to the painkillers so that they no longer had any effect. My stomach would still frequently throb with pain, and sometimes when my illness got very bad, it would hurt so much that I would just lie wrapped up in my quilt and cry. But I still silently gave myself comfort and encouragement, saying to myself: “This pain won’t last. I’ll definitely keep going. Only by making lots of money will people not look down on me anymore!”

Busying Myself for Money, I Develop a Sudden Eye Condition That Almost Costs Me My Sight

After a year, I’d managed to make some money, so I decided to renovate our home and I bought all new household appliances. My relatives, friends and neighbors then no longer kept their distance when they saw me, but instead they began to call out greetings to me and visit my home, and they spoke highly of me and flattered me. It felt wonderful to hear them say these things, and I really came to appreciate the fact that things are different when one has money! Afterward, in order to make more money, I became like a wind-up clock and just worked all the time.

For several years, I had been somewhat short sighted, and my eyesight had been a little blurry. Sometimes I would feel a stabbing pain in my eyes, and at night the pain would be almost unbearable. I wanted to go to hospital to get my eyes checked over, but I felt that not only would it cost me money, but it would also be a waste of time, and so I gritted my teeth and carried on working. One day, my elder brother saw that my eyes were all red, and he rebuked me, saying, “If you go blind then you won’t be able to do anything at all, and then any money you’ve saved will be useless. Go and see a doctor as soon as you can!” I was afraid, too, that I really would go blind and then I’d have no way to earn money, so I went to Singapore to seek medical advice. After examining my eyes, the doctor told me that they were severely inflamed and enjoined me not to do my job anymore, otherwise I would go blind in both eyes. This news came like black clouds covering the sun, and it frightened me so much that my legs felt wobbly. I couldn’t help but worry and feel anxious, and I thought: “It’s been such a struggle to better the lives of my family, how could I have gotten this illness so suddenly? If I really do go blind, who will look after my family? And if I can’t then earn any money, won’t people look down on me even more?” Thinking this, I decided that the only thing I could do was to take a break from work and go for treatment.

I was shocked to discover, however, that just two short weeks of treatment cost me the equivalent of six months’ savings. Moreover, my eye illness could not be totally cured, but instead I had to continually take imported medicine to alleviate the symptoms. Faced with this predicament, I couldn’t endure it any longer. Sitting in front of my sewing machine, the past rushed through my mind like a tide: My husband’s death, the disparaging looks and ridicule of the people around me, working day and night for years to earn money, and the distress caused by my headaches, my stomach pains and the pain in my eyes…. In an instant, I felt an incomparable sense of desolation and helplessness, and I couldn’t help but think: “What have I actually gained from working myself to the bone all these years? I haven’t even earned that much, and I’ve developed so many illnesses. How am I supposed to live like this…?”

I Find a Happy Life

Distressed and Bewildered, God’s Salvation Comes to Me

One day, I met a Christian on Facebook. She was sincere and was very concerned about me. She often talked to me about matters of faith in God, and when she did so I felt warm inside. Through chatting with this sister, I found out that all things in heaven and on earth, including mankind, were created by God, that before mankind was corrupted by Satan, they listened to God and obeyed Him, and that under God’s care and protection they lived a life free from any worry or anxiety, and free from the pain of old age, sickness and death. After mankind was seduced and corrupted by Satan, however, they no longer listened to God and became estranged further and further from God. They lost God’s care and protection, sicknesses and troubles afflicted them more and more, and their lives became ever more painful. So as to enable mankind to be free of Satan’s harm, God is constantly performing His work to save mankind. Firstly, God proclaimed the law and led nascent mankind in their lives on earth, and He allowed them to know what sin is; after that, God Himself became flesh and was crucified for mankind’s sake, thus redeeming mankind from the clutches of Satan, and allowing them to confess and repent their sins; in the last days, God has once again become flesh and has come into the world to express the truth and perform the work of judging and purifying mankind, so as to allow man to be free of the shackles of sin once and for all, to attain God’s salvation, and to restore mankind to the original, wonderful life they enjoyed in the Garden of Eden. Now, only by accepting God’s salvation in the last days, by reading God’s words and understanding the truth more, by seeing clearly the means and methods by which Satan corrupts mankind, and by pursuing the correct goals, can we be free of the harm caused by Satan and live a life of peace and freedom. From the sister’s fellowship, I came to understand that the root cause of pain in our lives is the corruption of Satan. I also came to understand a little about God’s work to save mankind and about God’s will, and I joyfully accepted God’s work of the last days. Afterward, I began to attend meetings and, together with the brothers and sisters, we read God’s words, fellowshiped about our experiences and understanding of God’s words, and sang hymns in praise of God. I began to enjoy the peace and joy brought by the work of the Holy Spirit, and I no longer felt so distressed.

Our Fates Are Actually in God’s Hands

One day, I told the sister about my painful experiences over the previous few years of working flat out. The sister listened to me and then showed me a passage of God’s words: “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature?” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination”).

The sister then gave fellowship, saying: “God is the Creator, and God rules and controls all things. Whatever our fate may be and how wealthy we will be in life are also controlled in God’s hands, and they are not decided by our own plans or hard work. There are some sayings that go ‘Man’s destiny is determined by God,’ ‘Man proposes, God disposes,’ and ‘Heaven’s plans supersede our own,’ which precisely illustrate this point. But because we have been corrupted by Satan and have been educated and influenced by Satan, we take such heretical fallacies of Satan as ‘There is no God at all,’ ‘There has never been any Savior,’ ‘One’s destiny is in his own hand,’ and ‘You must win your own happiness’ to be true sayings, and we begin to deny God’s existence and deny God’s sovereignty, hoping in vain to plan out our own lives by means of our hard work, and build happy lives for ourselves. In order to realize our ideals, we strive to work hard and we struggle, expending all of our time and energy, even at the expense of our own health. But what is the outcome of all this? Do we obtain the happy lives we want? Many people rely on the strength of their own two hands and on their hard work to hustle for money for years and years. Ultimately, however, not only are they unable to change their fate, but on the contrary their struggle against their own fate causes them a great deal of physical and mental suffering. We can see from these facts that God rules and arranges the fate of all mankind. We are just tiny created beings who are simply incapable of controlling our own fates. What’s more, by living by the heretical fallacies of Satan, we just grow further and further from God, and we end up falling into an abyss of pain, to be toyed with and harmed by Satan. Only by coming before God and worshiping God, accepting and submitting to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, as well as by reading more of God’s words, understanding the truth and having the correct goals to pursue, can we rid ourselves of our painful lives and live in peace and happiness.”

After listening to God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I thought back over my rough experiences over the past few years and realized that I had indeed been dominated by the heretical fallacies of Satan; I had not recognized God’s sovereignty, much less been aware that our fates are held in God’s hands. I had given my all, trying to change my fate and live a life that would cause others to look highly upon me through my hard work and struggle, but in the end not only did I not fulfill my desires, but my body had become wracked with illness, and my life had become one of suffering. God’s words allowed me to understand that our fates are in His hands and that we absolutely have no control over them ourselves! Once I’d understood these things, I wanted to believe in God in earnest and give up the life of desperate work, and I wanted to understand more truths, so I arranged a set time to meet together with my sister and read God’s words. I then both worked my job and contemplated God’s words, and I learned to sing hymns of God’s words. Living in this way made me more at ease and peaceful than I had ever felt before.

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