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 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 people first had 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 the temptation of Satan, after man’s flesh became degenerate. The pain of the flesh, the troubles and emptiness of the flesh and the extreme wretchedness of the world came from Satan’s torment of man after it had corrupted them. Man then became more and more degenerate, the illnesses of man were deepened, their suffering became more and more severe, and man felt more and more the emptiness, the tragedy and the inability to go on living of the world. Man felt less and less hope for the world, and these are all things that came about after Satan had corrupted man” (The Meaning of God’s Experiencing the Pain of the World). 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 , 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). 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.
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Now, disasters are occurring frequently everywhere. In the Philippines, the pandemic and the famine have not passed yet and powerful Typhoon Molave, Goni and Tropical Storm Atsani have landed. Biblical prophecies of the coming of the Lord have been fulfilled. It stands to reason that the Lord has returned—so why have we yet to welcome His arrival? Will we not be plunged into the great tribulation if this carries on? And just what should we do to welcome the Lord’s coming?