Blessed Through Illness: A Story of God’s Love

Du Juan    Japan

I was born into a poor peasant family, and was looked down upon by others from childhood. Sometimes we were even unsure where our next meal was coming from, not to mention having snacks or toys. Because of poverty, I had to wear the loose and large clothes my sister had worn since I was a child; so I was often laughed at by my classmates at school and they were unwilling to have association with me. As a result I had a very miserable childhood. From then on, I told myself inwardly: When I grow up I must make a lot of money and be an important person, so that I will no longer be looked down upon by others. Because my family was poor, I had to leave school before graduating from junior high school and went to work in a pharmaceutical factory in the county. In order to make more money, I often worked overtime till 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., but I couldn’t earn as much money as I expected at all. Later, when I heard my sister could earn the money in five days equal to my monthly wage by selling vegetables, I immediately quit my job in the pharmaceutical factory and started to sell vegetables. After a while, I found selling fruits was more profitable, so I switched to selling fruits. After I married my husband, we opened a restaurant. I thought: In this way, we should be able to earn much more money, which will allow us to gain others’ admiration and live a superior life. However, we hadn’t made much money after we ran the restaurant for a period of time. I began to worry: When can I live an enviable life?

Later in 2008, by chance I heard a friend say that a person who went to work in Japan could earn a day ten times as much as in China. I was thrilled to hear that. However high the brokerage fee was, my husband and I made a snap decision to go to Japan. I thought: If a little doesn’t go, much cash won’t come. As long as we can work in Japan, we will earn more money back. In order to realize my dream, I soon devoted myself to work after arriving in Japan. My husband and I were under a lot of stress, for we needed to work thirteen or fourteen hours a day. I was so worn out every day after work that I had no heart to have a meal but only wanted to lie myself down and have a rest. I almost cracked up because of the fast-pace life, but I thought that I would become wealthy after years of struggling and that even though I felt bitter and tired now, my life would be beautiful in the future. So, I slaved at my work like a moneymaking machine every day. In 2015, I finally collapsed because of the heavy work. After a check-up in the hospital, the doctor told me that I had a slipped disc trapping nerves and that if I continued to work, I would be bedridden and incapacitated. This news came as a bolt from the blue. My life was just becoming better and my dream was coming true, but I fell ill. I was not reconciled to that and thought: I’m still young and can struggle through the hardship. If I don’t make more money now, when I return to China, won’t I be more humiliated? Then I gritted my teeth and went on with work in spite of the illness. However, a few days later, I became so ill that I couldn’t get up at all.

I felt so desolate when I lay in a hospital bed with no one taking care of me. Why have I got into such a plight? Would I really be imprisoned in bed? How I wished someone could accompany me. But my husband had to work and my son needed to go to school; my boss and colleagues were only concerned with their own interests so nobody would truly care for me. Seeing all manner of patients in the hospital ward, I couldn’t help but think: What is on earth man living for? What kind of life is the most meaningful? And does the possession of wealth really bring happiness? Reflecting on my nearly thirty years of struggling, what have I got? I once worked in a pharmaceutical factory, sold fruits, ran a restaurant, and now work in Japan. So far, although I have earned some money, I have no one to tell my misery to. I thought my beautiful dream would soon come true in Japan—A few years later when I returned to China, I would become a rich person and live an admirable life. However, now I am lying in the hospital bed and even in danger of being bedridden and incapacitated, living a bitter life in a wheelchair for the rest of my life…. Thinking of that, I truly regretted that to make money and pursue to stand above others, I nearly sacrificed my life. Then tears of grievance, pain, and bitterness flowed down my cheeks. I couldn’t help crying out, “O Heavens, please help me! Why is my life so tiring and bitter?”

Just as I was in distress and helplessness, I was blessed through the illness—Almighty God’s salvation came to me. I, by coincidence, got acquainted with three sisters from the Church of Almighty God. Through communicating with them, I came to understand the origin of man’s illnesses, and know the root of my misery; and I, who had never had faith, found the direction of life and was aware for whom man should live. One sister recited to me a passage of Almighty God’s words, “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. So this suffering was brought on man by Satan, and it only came after man had been corrupted by Satan and became degenerate” (“The Meaning of God’s Experiencing the Pain of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). Another sister communicated with me, “When God first created man, they didn’t experience birth, death, illness and old age, nor did they have troubles or worries, but lived a carefree life in the Garden of Eden, enjoying all the good things God bestowed upon them. However, after they were tempted and corrupted by Satan, they didn’t listen to God’s words any longer and had betrayed God, lost God’s care and protection, and thus lived under the domain of Satan. Satan used various poisons to corrupt and trample on man’s body and mind. As a result, man got illnesses, lived a hard life, and felt pain and sorrow in the spirit, and the miserable conditions of the world made man feel the inability to go on living. All of this only came after man had been corrupted by Satan.” It wasn’t until I heard the words of Almighty God and the communication of the sister that I knew: Originally, man led a very happy life under God’s blessings without illnesses or worries; but since man was corrupted by Satan, they have lost God’s protection and got various illnesses and pain. At that time I found Satan more than abhorrent and detestable and realized it was Satan that caused me to suffer deeply all these years.

Then the sister went on to communicate with me, “God cannot bear to see mankind continuing to be corrupted and damaged by Satan, so He is incarnated on earth once again and expresses the truth to save them. As long as man obeys God’s words, understands the truth from God’s words and recognizes the ugliness of Satan and thus rejects it, and pursues to obtain the truth, he can break free from Satan’s affliction and live before God once again.” On hearing that God had personally come to save man, I was very excited. I really didn’t want to be harmed by Satan anymore. So I told my pain and confusion to the sisters, “I haven’t figured out why my pursuit to stand out among others has eventually brought me so much misery. Is this also Satan’s affliction?” One sister read a passage 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” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh). The revelation of God’s words cleared up my confusion. I was a typical example of those Satan had destroyed through “fame” and “gain.” In order to stand out among others and make more money to be highly regarded, I had lost myself, becoming a moneymaking machine, and even would sacrifice my health for “fame” and “gain.” I indeed had become a slave of money and fame. Because of my erroneous view of pursuit, I strived to be an important person and didn’t stop until I knocked myself out. Seeking fame and wealth really made me live in great misery and tiredness. Had it not been for the revelation of Almighty God’s words, I would have never known my view of pursuit was wrong, and that it was actually a method used by Satan to afflict man.

As the sisters frequently came to fellowship about Almighty God’s words with me, gradually I was ever more certain about the work of Almighty God, and at the same time had much more discernment of the methods and ways used by Satan to afflict man. During this time, I saw what happened to one of my female colleagues. She came to Japan with her husband to strive for money. Though they had earned some money, yet later her husband began to feel unwell and had to return to China for treatment, only to find that he had already been in the advanced stage of cancer. After hearing the news, they were in no mood to come to Japan again for making money, and their whole family were living in fear and grief. Almighty God says, “People spend their lives chasing after money and fame; they clutch at these straws, thinking they are their only means of support, as if by having them they could keep on living, could exempt themselves from death. But only when they are close to dying do they realize how distant these things are from them, how weak they are in the face of death, how easily they shatter, how lonely and helpless they are, with nowhere to turn. They realize that life cannot be bought with money or fame, that no matter how wealthy a person is, no matter how lofty his or her position is, all people are equally poor and inconsequential in the face of death. They realize that money cannot buy life, that fame cannot erase death, that neither money nor fame can lengthen a person’s life by a single minute, a single second” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh). My friend’s misfortune made me further realize that man’s life is most precious, and also see that countless lives have been damaged by Satan through “fame” and “gain.” At that moment, I felt incredibly fortunate to have accepted Almighty God’s work. If I hadn’t read God’s words, I would have never seen through the fact that man has been afflicted by Satan; then I would be devoured by Satan sooner or later.

Later, the sisters from the Church of Almighty God often came to my house to see me. Because I couldn’t move my waist, they gave me a massage and cupping. One sister who has the knowledge of traditional Chinese medical treatment suggested that I massage some acupuncture points to improve my condition. And they volunteered to help me with the housework and cared for me like my relatives. They were not my relatives, but they were dearer than my family. I was really moved when getting such care from them in a strange land without friends. I kept saying to them, “Thanks!” However, they said, “We are family. We have long been sisters since God predestined and chose us thousands of years ago. It is only that we were separated for too long and have just found each other now.” And here so touched was I that I lost control of my emotions, and we shed tears on one another’s shoulders. Then I further felt an inexpressible kindness to the sisters and my heart was full of gratitude to Almighty God all the more.

Unknowingly, I was healed little by little. Having experienced the suffering of my illness, I recalled my past. Under the dominion of Satan’s erroneous outlook on life, “A man should aim to be an important person,” I had always pursued to stand out among others. However, what it brought to me was nothing more than suffering and bitterness, without the slightest peace and joy. I had experienced a painful journey, and I was not willing to fight against fate anymore, much less seek fame and fortune, for it was no longer the life I wanted. At present, I no longer work at high speed every day like a moneymaking machine but lead a regular life every day. In addition, I attend meetings with my brothers and sisters, reading God’s words and sharing my experiences and understanding of them, and learn to sing the hymns of God’s word. And I live a very happy life and feel unprecedented ease and peace in my spirit. I saw the following words of God, “When one has no God, when one cannot see Him, when one cannot clearly recognize God’s sovereignty, every day is meaningless, worthless, miserable. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and irrelievable suffering, such that one cannot bear to look back. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I understood: The meaning of man’s life is to conduct himself according to God’s words and submit to the Creator’s sovereignty and arrangements. This is true human life. With this understanding, I was willing to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements. I had realized this: The amount of the possessions one gains in his life doesn’t depend on his own hands but God’s sovereignty. What’s more, regardless of how much wealth someone possesses, it is merely worldly possession, which he can’t bring when born or take when dead. Because of this, I was willing to completely commit the rest of my life to God and not pursue to be an important person admired by others but to be one who obeys God. Now I’ve got a job which only requires me to work three or four hours a day. Although my boss is a Japanese and we don’t speak the same language, he is very considerate toward me. Each time when he tells me what I need to do, he speaks to me in words that I can understand and never puts pressure on me. I further feel that only if man obeys God can he live easily and happily.

Whenever I am alone, I often think back to my journey of coming before God. If it had not been for the illness which caused me to cease to chase after fame and fortune, I would still work for money like a moneymaking machine in the world until dead. Satan used fame and fortune and illness to afflict me, whereas Almighty God took this opportunity to bring me before Him, and through His words let me clearly see that Satan is the source of man’s corruption and that it devours man by means of fame and fortune, so I have broken free from the bondage of fame and fortune, have a right outlook on life, and feel released in my spirit. Thank Almighty God! All the glory be to Almighty God!

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