By Ming Li
There was a time when all I thought about was money. Then, unexpectedly I got into a car accident, and in the midst of my helplessness and suffering, it was thethat showed me the reason behind why I had been living for money. At that point, I entered a new chapter in my life.
I had no qualifications or skills, but even a little guy can have big dreams. I dreamed of one day becoming rich, of living the high life. I took a job as a foundryman in a factory in an effort to make more money than my peers. Though the money was good, the work was very damaging to my health. Most people can only work in a place like that for 3–5 years because over time people tend to get TB, asthma and other diseases. What’s more, the work was extremely dangerous: My workmates would often get their hands trapped and crushed in the machinery, eventually leaving them permanently disabled. But I put my safety out of mind in order to make more money, taking enormous risks every day to do the dirtiest, most tiring work. I risked my life for six years in that dangerous, punishing environment. My boss ended up forcing me to resign out of fear that I would become ill and he would be held responsible. Afterward, I started doing hard labor on construction sites to make some money. Come rain or shine, I always went to work so that I wouldn’t fall behind the others. Even when I felt exhausted and my back was sore and aching, I didn’t miss a day. As I watched more and more money coming in, I felt all the toil and tiredness were worthwhile.
And then, my wife came to believe in God. She saw me always busily rushing around, struggling bitterly to make money, so she encouraged me to share her. However, I still believed that money was what mattered and that in this money-driven world, without money, nothing could be achieved. My wife saw that money had taken me captive and asked the brothers and sisters to preach me , but I had no time for that. On the pretext of needing to earn more, time and again I refused . Then all of a sudden, my car accident served as my rude awakening …
One day in October 2014 at one o’clock in the afternoon, I noticed it was almost time to go to work, so I hurried to get on my motorbike and drove off. A truck came crashing into me as I was turning at a crossroads—I didn’t have time to dodge it, but just heard a thump. I was thrown five meters along with my motorbike. After falling unconscious for several minutes, I desperately summoned the strength to sit up, but my entire body was so numb that I didn’t even feel any pain. I couldn’t summon a single ounce of strength.
I pulled up my trouser leg and saw that the bone of my right calf was broken; the bloody flesh barely held together by the skin. The back of my foot had been twisted around to the front. The people crowded around me were talking all kinds of nonsense. “He’ll be crippled after this….” “I’m afraid he’ll end up in a wheelchair.” Hearing this was as upsetting for me as if I had received a prison sentence. There was a buzzing sound in my head and the tears just came pouring out. I thought: That’s it, my life is really over. I spent half my life struggling to make money only to end up crippled. What use would all the money in the world be? How could I go on living if I was to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair? The more I thought about it the more upset I became, and I was overwhelmed with pain and suffering. It felt as if the sky had come crashing down. Around 20 minutes later and an ambulance came and took me to the county hospital where tests showed that my tibia was badly broken, and my fibulas shattered. I needed an operation as quickly as possible.
By that time, my wife had also rushed to the hospital. I was quickly rolled into the operating theater. After the anesthetic from surgery wore off I was in agonizing pain. My wife quietly comforted me, saying: “I will pray for you. When you are suffering, call on Almighty God; God will help ease your pain.” She also had me listen to a hymn of God’s words, “Only God Loves Man Most.” I heard my wife say God would lessen my pain, so I listened to the hymn of God’s words again and again. Incredibly, my heart was suddenly soothed and my physical pain greatly eased. Every time my wounds hurt, I cried out from my heart, “My God! My wounds hurt so much, I can hardly bear it. My God! Save me!” What was amazing was that every time I called out to God, my physical pain greatly decreased and I could feel God helping me. At those moments I felt I had something to lean on. The brothers and sisters found out that I’d been in a car accident and they all hurried over to see me. They were even better than family even though we weren’t related. They warmly asked after my health, encouraged and comforted me, told me to have faith and to pray more. In this money-obsessed world where hearts are cold and compassion is rare, my brothers and sisters still cared for me this way—this love came from God. I was deeply moved.
That night there was no one else in the ward, and my wife read me: “It is not humanity that holds the power of life and death, not some being in the natural world, but the Creator, whose authority is unique. Mankind’s life and death are not the product of some law of the natural world, but a consequence of the sovereignty of the Creator’s authority.”
My wife told me in fellowship, “We know from God’s word that God reigns over everything in the universe and is sovereign over us throughout our lives. Our fate is wholly in God’s hands. Although we do not see God with our earthly eyes, still He is always with us; day and night, He watches over and protects us. Just as in your car accident, your motorbike was thrown five meters but your head and most of your body were fine—only your leg was struck. God was quietly protecting you. If He hadn’t been, you wouldn’t even have survived.”
Hearing God’s word and what my wife shared with me in fellowship, my heart was very moved. I thought back to when I was hit so hard by that truck. If it hadn’t been for God’s protection, I don’t know what would have become of me! Especially when the pain in my calf became hard to bear, I simply prayed to God and listened to hymns. Then the pain eased. Seeing God’s wondrous deeds, I knew in my heart that God really existed and I felt that God was there supporting me.
Once my wounds had healed a bit I was discharged from the hospital to recover at home. During this time, I watched lots of videos of the church, and the brothers and sisters often came to my house to share fellowship on God’s word. I enjoyed listening to them and felt that God’s word really is wonderful. At one gathering, we read this passage in God’s word. God says, “‘Money makes the world go round’ is the philosophy of Satan and it prevails among the whole of mankind, among every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been instilled into the heart of every single person and is now affixed in their heart. People went from not accepting this saying to growing used to it so that when they came into contact with real life, they gradually gave tacit approval to it, acknowledged its existence and finally, they gave it their own seal of approval. … Is it hard to get this out of someone’s heart? It is very hard! It seems that Satan’s corruption of man is thorough indeed! So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? Don’t you feel that you couldn’t survive in this world without any money, that even one day would just be impossible? People’s status is based on how much money they have as is their respectability. The backs of the poor are bent in shame, while the rich enjoy their high status. They stand tall and proud, speaking loudly and living arrogantly. … Satan corrupts man at all times and at all places. Satan makes it impossible for man to defend against this corruption and makes man helpless to it. Satan makes you accept its thoughts, its viewpoints and the evil things that come from it in situations where you are unwitting and when you have no recognition of what’s happening to you. People fully accept these things and take no exception to them. They cherish and hold these things like a treasure, they let these things manipulate them and toy with them, and this is how Satan’s corruption of man becomes deeper and deeper.”
One of the sisters told me in fellowship, “We have been corrupted by Satan and are living based on ideas inculcated by Satan such as: ‘Money is first’ and ‘Money makes the world go round.’ We think that with money we have everything; if you don’t have money, you can’t hold your head up high; you can’t live a single day in this world without money. Satan’s maxims have long since become part of our lives and we hold nothing but money in our minds. Those who have money can never make enough and those without struggle desperately to make it. All mankind has been corrupted by Satan’s evil tendencies. All worship money, have become slaves to money, and risk their lives for money. Even when offered God’s, they are unwilling to acknowledge it but only when facing death do they realize that life is more important than money. Take Wang from our village—over 50 years old, a labor contractor, he owned two houses and a car and had hundreds of thousands in savings. Still he wasn’t satisfied. He struggled desperately to make money until finally he got lung cancer, and left the human world full of regret. There are also all those famous entrepreneurs who’ve earned millions and millions, but when they fall ill, they come to realize that the value of money was nothing but a passing mirage. Man comes into this world without money and leaves without it too. In fact, no matter how much money a person has, it is useless in the face of illness and disaster. It cannot give us life itself. Only in standing before God, seeking the truth and worshiping God will we receive God’s care and protection.”
Hearing God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I suddenly saw the light: The ideas that, “if you have money, you have it all” and “without money nothing is achieved,” originally came from Satan. But I had regarded these as words of wisdom; they had driven me throughout my life. I thought back on how I had been dominated by these ideas and had considered money more important than my life. I believed that money was the currency of life—only with it would others respect you. I was even willing to risk my life, busily rush around all day, working ten hours or more just for the sake of earning more money. Come rain or shine, I never took a break. Even as my back was sore and aching, I was still happy to work. When the brothers and sisters shared the gospel with me many times I always refused them, fearing that I would lose an opportunity to make money. It wasn’t until I had my accident that the strong desire to go on living led me to look deep inside myself, and I understood what it was I truly needed. Lying in bed I thought back over those years of bitter toil. In my efforts to make money, I had paid too high a price. Only I knew the suffering I had experienced. Though I had made a bit of money, that money couldn’t save me in the face of a crisis. In the face of my health issue, money could not ease my pain at all. Looking back on those years, I saw that Satan had me caught in a web of lies. I was spun in circles by Satan’s manipulations and machinations. I had paid for that with my mind and body, living a life of hardship and exhaustion. Even when offered God’s salvation, I refused it. I saw the evil ideas with which Satan had gripped my heart. Its motive was to distance me from God, to prevent me from receiving God’s salvation. Not heeding what was revealed within the word of God, I failed to see through Satan’s evil designs. Now I understand that to live well in this world, man cannot depend on money. We can only rely on God to survive. My accident had woken me up and I wanted to transform my perspective on life. I was no longer willing to pursue profit at the expense of my life or to let Satan continue to harm and trample on me.
From that point on, I read the word of God every day, and listened to sermons and fellowship. I felt an unparalleled peace and happiness. My leg also slowly recovered. One evening, my wife asked me to read the word of God with her. I saw God says, “Regardless of differences in ability, IQ, and willpower, people are all equal before fate, which makes no distinction between the great and the small, the high and the low, the exalted and the mean. What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator.”
“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.”
My wife said, “God’s word is very clear. The meaning of life lies in following God’s word, submitting ourselves to the Creator’s sovereignty and arrangements. Only in that way can we truly live our lives well. It is God who determines how much wealth we have in life. Whether we have money or not does not depend on our working hard: It depends entirely on our Creator’s plan for us. If we think about the past when we failed to recognize God’s sovereignty, we were constantly struggling against our fate, always running to and fro for the sake of making money. We were even willing to trade our very lives for money without the slightest hesitation. We led lives of hardship and exhaustion, not experiencing any of the joy in life. That is all because we didn’t know God and were unable to submit to what He has designed for us. From now on we must act according to God’s word, learn how to submit to His sovereignty, and reform our absurd, erroneous thinking of loving money as much as our own lives. Then we can walk the correct path of life, seeking the truth and believing in God.
I said, “That’s right, now I understand after reading the word of God. It is certainly God who determines whether a person is rich or poor in life. No matter how much I busily rush around, I will never surpass God’s sovereignty—my experience is proof enough of that. Before I thought that if I had money, I had everything; with money, I could live the high life, and I struggled desperately to make money. But my accident woke me up; no amount of money is worth trading for my life. Now I’m willing to transform my old ideas, submit to God’s sovereignty and rule, and become a man who has submitted to God.”
My wife said, “That’s right, we need only believe in God and seek the truth, then we will have God’s blessing.”
One year later through God’s mercy, my leg had basically healed. I had been freed from my wheelchair and no longer needed my walking stick; I also became able to do some light work once again. That’s truly thanks to God! I no longer lived by Satan’s absurd, erroneous ideas. Instead I faithfully submitted to God’s sovereignty and arrangements. God didn’t treat me unfairly. A relative of mine who ran a factory gave me a piece of machinery so that I could work at home, which essentially resolved my financial issues. Now I accept my duty as a created being: I don’t struggle desperately as before. Though I don’t have as much money as I used to, I have found peace of mind. I live with a sense of freedom and liberation. God gave me a special kind of love through my accident. I thank God from the bottom of my heart!
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