Fortune and Misfortune

By Dujuan, Japan

I was born into a poor family in a village in rural China. Because of my family’s economic hardships, I would sometimes have to go without eating, to say nothing of snacks and toys. What’s more, all my clothes were hand-me-downs from my older sister. Because her clothes were usually too big for me, my classmates would laugh at me and refuse to play with me. I suffered greatly throughout my childhood. From that point on, I resolved to myself: When I grow up, I must make a lot of money and rise above my peers. I won’t let others look down on me again. Since my family had no money, I was forced to drop out before graduating from junior high school and work in a medicine factory in the county town. In order to make even more money, I would frequently work overtime until 9 or 10 p.m., but, despite my efforts I earned just a small pittance. At some point I heard that my sister was able to earn in five days selling vegetables what I earned in a month, so I quit my job at the medicine factory and went to sell vegetables. After a while I found that I could make even more money selling fruits, so I decided to start a fruit business. After I married my husband, we opened our own restaurant. I thought that now that I owned a restaurant, I would be able to earn even more money. Once I could earn a considerable amount of income I would naturally win the admiration and regard of my peers and, at the same time, I would also be able to live the lifestyle of an elite. However, after managing the business for a while, I found that we couldn’t make that much money. I started getting anxious and worried. When would I be able to lead a life that others would admire?

In 2008, a random opportunity came up. I learned from a friend that in Japan one day’s wage was roughly equal to ten days’ wages in China. When I heard this I was overjoyed. I thought that I had finally found a good opportunity to make money. Although the agent’s fees to go to Japan were expensive, I thought to myself: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained. No matter how much the agent’s fees are, as long as we have jobs in Japan, we’ll be able to recoup the money quickly.” In order to realize our dreams of leading a better life, my husband and I decided to go to Japan right away. After we arrived in Japan, we were able to find jobs very quickly. Each day, my husband and I worked for over ten hours. Work stress was quite significant and I felt completely exhausted all day long. After work, all I wanted to do was lie down and rest—even eating seemed like a chore. I found it difficult to endure such a fast-paced lifestyle. However, when I thought about all the money I would have after struggling for a few years, I would encourage myself, thinking: “It might be hard work now, but in the future you’ll lead a wonderful life. So keep going and don’t give up.” So, each and every day I worked my fingers to the bone, grinding relentlessly like a money-making machine. In 2015, I finally 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 a bolt from the blue. Immediately, I became extremely weak. My life had only just started improving, 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’m still young. I can just grit my teeth and push through this. If I don’t make more money now, and return to China with such meager earnings, won’t I lose even more face?” And so, I kept on dragging my sick body to work every day to make more money. However, after a few days, I was so sick that I literally couldn’t get out of bed.

Lying there on a bed in the hospital with nobody to take care of me, I felt absolutely miserable. “How did I end up in this situation? Am I actually going to end up bedridden?” How I hoped in that moment for someone to sit by my side. Unfortunately, my husband was at work and my son was at school. My boss and colleagues were only concerned with their own personal profit; none of them showed me the least bit of care. When I looked around the sick ward at all the various patients, each absorbed in their own suffering, I experienced a kind of inexpressible sadness and couldn’t help pondering: What’s the purpose of life? How can one live a meaningful life? Can money really buy happiness? I reflected on what I had to show for 30 years of struggling. I had worked in a medicine factory, sold fruit, run a restaurant and come to Japan to work. Even though I had indeed earned some money during all these years, it had come at the expense of my own happiness, and there was no one to whom I could relate my suffering. 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 life anew in wealth and splendor and become the envy of my peers. However, now here I was, lying in a hospital bed and even facing the prospect of spending the whole second half of my life confined to a wheelchair and in constant pain…. At the thought of this, I started to regret that I had risked my life just 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 calling out in my heart: “Oh, heavens! Save me! Why is life so cruel?”

Fortune and Misfortune

Just when I was sunk most deeply in pain and helplessness, Almighty God’s salvation came to me and my sickness became my blessing. By chance, I became acquainted with three sisters from The Church of Almighty God. Through reading God’s words together with them, I understood that all things in heaven and on earth do not arise out of natural processes, but are created by God, that God is the Master of the entire universe, that man’s destiny is also in God’s hands, that God has all along guided and supplied mankind, and that He constantly looks after and protects mankind. I felt how greatly God loves man. But there was something I still didn’t understand: God rules and presides over our destinies, and we ought to be happy and joyful, so why do we still suffer illness and pain? Why is life so hard? Where exactly does life’s pain come from? One day, I told the sisters about my confusion. One sister read out 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 humans come from? What caused people to have these things? Humans did not have them when they were first created, did they? So, where did these things come from? These things came after humans were tempted by Satan and their flesh became degenerate. The pain of the flesh, its afflictions and its emptiness, as well as the extremely miserable affairs of the human world all came after humans were corrupted by Satan, from when Satan began to torment people; the result was that they became more and more degenerate. The diseases of humanity grew more and more profound, and their suffering became more and more severe. More and more, people sensed the human world’s emptiness and tragedy, as well as their inability to go on living there, and they felt less and less hope for the world. All this came after Satan’s corruption. Thus, this suffering was brought down upon humans by Satan, and it only came after they had been corrupted by Satan and they had become degenerate” (“The Meaning of God’s Experiencing the Pain of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). The sister fellowshiped with me, saying, “At the beginning when God created men, God was with them, and He took care of them and protected them. At that time there was no birth, ageing, illness or death, and no worries or annoyances. Men lived free of anxiety and care in the Garden of Eden, delighting in all the things that God bestowed upon them. Mankind lived happily and joyfully under God’s guidance. But after mankind was enticed and corrupted by Satan, they betrayed God and heeded the words of Satan over those of God. For this reason mankind lost the care, protection and blessing of God, and fell under the domain of Satan. For thousands of years, Satan has consistently used such heresies and sophistries as materialism, atheism, and evolutionism, as well as the absurdities and lies publicized by great men and celebrities to deceive and harm people: ‘There is no God at all,’ ‘There has never been any Savior,’ ‘One’s destiny is in his own hand,’ ‘Distinguishing oneself and bringing honor to his ancestors,’ ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ ‘Man will do anything to get rich,’ ‘Money makes the world go round,’ and ‘Money is first,’ and so on. After mankind accepted these absurdities and heresies, they denied the existence of God, denied God’s sovereignty, and betrayed God. They desired to rely on their own two hands to create a happy life. Man’s disposition also became more and more arrogant and conceited. They became ever more self-righteous, selfish, crafty, and evil. All manner of connivance, intrigue and competition arose between men in their struggle for status, wealth and personal profit. They fought with and cheated each other, in the process becoming increasingly anxious and exhausted. Ultimately, this caused them to become ill, to experience pain and suffering and to become spiritually empty. These pains and anxieties make us feel that man’s life in this world is too trying, too tiring, and too full of suffering. This all came about after Satan corrupted man, it was Satan harming us, and it was also the bitter consequence of mankind denying God, distancing themselves from God, and betraying God.”

The sister continued her fellowship with me, saying: “God cannot bear watching mankind continue to be corrupted and harmed by Satan and so He incarnated twice among men to redeem and save us corrupt humans. Especially in the last days, the incarnate Christ has expressed millions of words; they are the truth that allows people to wrest themselves from Satan’s corruption, to be purified and fully saved. As long as we listen to God’s word 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, break free from Satan’s harm, return before God, obtain God’s salvation and in the end, be brought by God to a wonderful final destination.” When I heard that God had personally come to save mankind, I became very emotional. I really didn’t want Satan to continue to harm me, so I told my sisters of my pain and confusion: “There is a matter I don’t quite understand. A proverb says, ‘Man struggles upwards; water flows downwards.’ I’ve worked so hard to stand out and live a comfortable life, and according to societal norms, this would be seen as being idealistic and ambitious. Could it be that this way of life is also a way in which Satan harms us?”

The sister read another two passages of Almighty God’s words to me: “During the process of man’s learning of knowledge, Satan will employ any method, whether it be explaining stories, simply giving them one piece of knowledge, or allowing them to satisfy their desires or satisfy their ideals. What road does Satan want to lead you to? People think there is nothing wrong with learning knowledge, that it is the natural course. To put it mildly, to foster lofty ideals or to have ambitions is to have aspirations, and this should be the right path in life. If people can realize their own ideals, or make a go of a career in their life—is it not more glorious to live that way? To not only honor one’s ancestors in that way but also to possibly leave one’s mark on history—is this not a good thing? This is a good thing in the eyes of worldly people, and to them it should be proper and positive. Does Satan, however, with its sinister motives, just take people to this kind of road and then decide it is done? Certainly not. In fact, no matter how lofty man’s ideals are, no matter how realistic man’s desires are or how proper they may be, all that man wants to achieve, all that man seeks for is inextricably linked with two words. These two words are vitally important to the life of every person, and these are things Satan intends to instill in man. Which two words are these? They are ‘fame’ and ‘gain.’ Satan uses a very subtle kind of way, a way very much in concert with people’s notions; it is not any kind of radical way. In the midst of unawareness, people come to accept Satan’s way of living, its rules of living, establishing life goals and their direction in life, and in doing so they also unknowingly come to have ideals in life. No matter how high-sounding these ideals in life seem, they are just a pretext that is inextricably linked to fame and gain. Any great or famous person, all people in fact, anything they follow in life relates only to these two words: ‘fame’ and ‘gain.’ 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 actually 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 take refuge in Satan and become loyal to it in this way? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They have also completely and utterly sunk down into a quagmire and are unable to free themselves. Once someone is mired in fame and gain, they no longer seek that which is bright, that which is righteous or those things that are beautiful and good. This is because the seductive power that fame and gain have over people is too great, and they become things for people to pursue throughout their lives and even for all eternity without end. Is this not true?” (“God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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 for fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds man with invisible shackles. These shackles are borne on people, and they have not the strength nor courage to throw them off. So, unknowingly, people bear these shackles and trudge ever onward in great difficulty” (“God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

After finishing reading God’s words, the sister fellowshiped with me regarding the facts and reality of Satan’s use of fame and gain to corrupt man. Only then did I understand that all those who hold power in this world and who control mankind are the evil forces of Satan, that famous and revered people are devil kings who corrupt mankind, and that the atheism of Marx and the theory of evolution advanced by Darwin have deceived and corrupted mankind to the extreme, and have led mankind to shun God and betray Him. It was only then that I realized that the books I had read in the past were all filled with Satan’s poison, Satan’s philosophy, and Satan’s logic. If it were not for the word of God that revealed to me how the devil Satan has corrupted mankind, I would still be deceived and controlled by Satan, strenuously struggling in the darkness. There is nothing wrong with man having ideals and aspirations per se, but in the process of man’s pursuit of his ideals, Satan uses all kinds of methods to imbue men with its methods and principles of survival, enticing men to live only for fame and gain. When men expend and strive for fame and gain, they no longer search for what is light, and how to live a meaningful life, because the allure of fame and gain is so great for us, and we become so obsessed with it that we have no way of extricating ourselves. These are the shackles with which Satan binds our bodies, the conniving plots by which Satan corrupts men. Reflecting back, in the pursuit of excelling above my peers and earning money to win the admiration of others, I had lost my sense of self, became a soulless, money-making machine, and even sacrificed my health for the sake of fame and gain without the slightest misgiving. I had truly become a slave to money, fame and gain. Because I was under the control of a mistaken view of life expressed in the saying “Distinguishing oneself and bringing honor to his ancestors,” I made great efforts to struggle on, always wanting to be better. I was never satisfied, and I only stopped because I had worked my body to the brink of collapse and had no other choice. The pursuit of fame and gain had really made my life so difficult and tiring! If it was not for the revelations of the words of Almighty God, I would never have known that my pursuit of wealth and fame and gain was mistaken and that this is one method by which Satan seriously harms people, much less would I have seen through the sinister motives and conniving schemes by which Satan corrupts man. After this, the sister read to me several passages of the words of Almighty God, and through her fellowship about the word of God and the different methods and ways in which Satan corrupts mankind, I understood that by constantly seeking fame and gain over these years, I had been overwhelmed by pain, and in the end had fallen ill. All of this pain was the result of not believing in God and knowing the truth—I had been harmed and corrupted by Satan!

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