Obeying God’s Plan for Your Life and Getting Rid of Pain

Obeying God’s Plan for Your Life and Getting Rid of Pain

In this noisy and materialistic society, competition is everywhere. We are generally not content with the status quo, which causes our needs to arise and our desires to grow. Some people look very ordinary, but they dream that they can be as beautiful as Snow White and become the focus of public attention, and thus they boldly enter the beauty clinic. However, they are disfigured after plastic surgery. As a result, the pain will be with them all their lives. Some are born in a poor family, but they hope that they can become rich and live a life where they are above others. Therefore, they try every way to strive for that all their lives. But finally, they are mentally and physically exhausted and suffer the torture of illness in return, and at the same time, happiness is rather distant from them. Some have been very unfortunate in their official career, but they wish that they can be successful. They contemplate how to achieve a high rank all day, thus flattering and toadying up to those in charge and even doing illegal things. … In short, we are struggling all our lives to realize our own ideals, but many times we end up empty-handed and our lives pass quickly. We constantly strive hard to realize these ideals and are still unwilling to stop even if we have paid a terrible price. Such is the case with later generations. What is the real reason for this? God’s word cuts to the point and reveals the source of this issue, “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Pondering God’s word, I realize that all kinds of pains we have suffered in pursuit of our personal interests are not caused by our being born unlucky, but by our holding on to the mistaken viewpoints and having extravagant desires. Our pursuit and paying a price are in order to tower above others to satisfy our ambitions and desires. We always think that we will live out a life with true value and meaning if we can stand out from the crowd and become someone to be looked up to. On the contrary, if we can’t fulfill this and we are looked down on and left out in the cold, we’ll think it meaningless and degraded to live like this. So, each of us has taken fame and gain as the goal of our pursuit and thus strives to become an outstanding and special talent as well as to turn ourselves extraordinary and superior. No matter what we do, we always work hard to achieve this goal. In fact, everything God has planned for us is the best, and can also meet our needs, but we always have too many insatiable demands, dissatisfied with our current situations. We want to surpass others in life and work to become the best and brightest who is admired by all. If we can’t achieve our goals, we will feel great pain and suffering in our hearts. Clearly, if we do not recognize God’s sovereignty and arrangements but want to rely on our own thinking to alter our fate to satisfy our desires, in the end we will definitely fail. The only way for us to live freely is to turn back to God, place ourselves in God’s hands, and allow God to rule over and arrange everything for us. Just as God’s word says, “So no matter how far you have walked in life, no matter how old you are now, no matter how long the rest of your journey is, first you must recognize God’s authority and take it seriously, accept the fact that God is your unique Master. Attaining clear, accurate knowledge and understanding of these truths regarding God’s sovereignty over human fate is a mandatory lesson for everyone, is the key to knowing human life and attaining the truth, is the life and basic lesson of knowing God that everyone faces each day, and which no one can evade. If one of you wishes to take shortcuts to reach this goal, then I say to you, that is impossible! If you want to escape God’s sovereignty, that is even more impossible! God is man’s only Lord, God is the only Master of human fate, and so it is impossible for man to dictate his own fate, impossible for him to surpass it. No matter how great one’s abilities, one cannot influence, much less orchestrate, arrange, control, or change the fates of others. Only the unique God Himself dictates all things for man, for only He possesses the unique authority that holds sovereignty over human fate; and so only the Creator is man’s unique Master” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). God’s word points out the only way for us to get rid of these pains. That is to recognize God’s sovereignty and predestination, change our mistaken viewpoints, put aside the extravagant desires in our hearts, and accept God as our sole Master. Only in this way can we live in joy and peace, freely and happily! In truth, when each of us comes into this world, our life destiny has already been arranged by God. God has long ago preordained everything for us, which includes the families we are born…

The Story of a Winter Jacket and a Leather Whip

On one particular winter, a man was lost in the mountains. He was very cold and hungry, so he sat down and took a break. Because it was in the middle of a cold winter, once he stopped walking, he would surely freeze to death. However, he didn’t know that he was very close to his home. After a while, a warm-hearted man passed by and advised him to go home quickly. Though he shivered with cold, he didn’t get up. The warm-hearted man could only give him his winter jacket and then left. Soon after, a carriage passed by. Seeing that this man was about to freeze to death, the coachman knew that the most important thing to do was to make the man move his body. So, he used his whip to beat the man and scolded him. The man was outraged by the coachman. He got up immediately and wanted to fight with the coachman. The coachman started to drive his carriage, and the man kept chasing behind. While running, the man felt that his body was becoming warmer and his mind became clearer; moreover, he saw his house was only a few steps away from him. At this moment, he realized that the driver had saved his life. Having read this story, all of us are glad that the man was lucky enough to meet the carriage, and that the driver used a special way to save his life. In the meantime, this story tells us that no matter what we encounter in life, do not judge it only with our minds; there are some hidden messages or stories behind everything. In this story, the man was very grateful when the first warm-hearted man gave him the winter jacket, but the winter jacket could only bring temporary warmth for him; it could not save his life. He would freeze to death if he stayed there too long. However, the driver whipped the man, and in our view, the driver seems to have done something wrong, but the driver actually saved the man’s life. From this story we can understand that things that conform to our conception might not be the best; on the contrary, some ideas or ways that we are not willing to accept might be more beneficial to us. It reminds me of those brothers and sister who are still holding on to the Age of Grace. When they heard that the return of Lord Jesus, Almighty God, has come and done the work of judgment and chastisement, some of them cannot accept it, thinking that God is merciful and God always bestows man grace; it is impossible for God to do the work of judgment; if God judges man, man will be condemned and die. As a result, they refuse God’s work in the last days. Are these views correct? In the Age of Grace, all believers of the Lord Jesus accepted the Lord’s salvation and got endless grace from the Lord. As time went by, these believers thought that the Lord is a God that bestows grace upon man, and thus they believed that God is meant to be merciful and God will always give man grace. So when they hear that Christ of the last days, Almighty God, has expressed words to do the work of judgment and chastisement, many of them do their utmost to deny Almighty God and refuse to accept His work. However, all the work the Lord Jesus had done in the Age of Grace was according to the needs of people at that time. At the late period of the Age of Law, people could not keep the law and were in the danger of being put to death by the law. Therefore, God incarnated in the name of the Lord Jesus and started His salvation work in the Age of Grace. The Lord Jesus was crucified, became mankind’s eternal sin offering and bestowed rich grace and blessings upon humans. However, although our sins are forgiven by the Lord Jesus, our sinful natures have not been removed completely. We live in a situation of committing sins in the day and confessing at night, committing sins involuntarily and unable to get rid of the bondage of sin. Therefore, we have only enjoyed the Lord’s grace and mercy, but have not ridden our sinful nature. We still need to experience God’s deeper salvation. Almighty God says, “God has already carried out one stage of the work of grace in the flesh, and has already bestowed material blessings upon man—but man cannot be made perfect with grace, love, and mercy alone. In man’s experiences he encounters some of God’s love, and sees the love and mercy of God, yet having experienced for a period of time, he sees that God’s grace and His love and mercy are incapable of making man perfect, and incapable of revealing that which is corrupt within man, nor are they able to rid man of his corrupt disposition, or make perfect his love and faith. God’s work of grace was the work of one period, and man cannot rely on enjoying the grace of God in order to know God” (“Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God”). The word of God tells us that we cannot know God completely and attain perfection only by God’s love, grace and blessings. Because we have not broken free from our corrupt disposition, we still belong to Satan, and thus we cannot be saved. If we want to break free from our corrupt disposition and receive God’s salvation, the only way is to accept Almighty God’s work of judgment and chastisement in the last days. Almighty God says, “Through what is God’s perfection of man accomplished? Through His righteous disposition. God’s disposition primarily consists of righteousness, wrath, majesty, judgment, and curse, and His perfection of man is primarily through judgment. Some people don’t understand, and ask why it is that God is…

flowers in snow

How Can Christians Get Reborn?

All along I kept thinking: Why does the Bible say “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isaiah 40:31) and “your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalms 103:5)? Today I finally understood the meaning of these words … “The lifespan of eagles is the longest among the birds in the world. They can live more than 70 years. However, in order to reach this age, when they are 40, they have to make a serious and difficult choice. At that age, their claws are no longer sharp or agile and they even can’t catch prey; due to the aging process, their beaks become curly and long, to the extent that they can almost touch the breast feather; and their feathers become heavy as a result of calcification, which makes them no longer agile and have difficulty in flying. At this time, they only have two choices: Wait to die or experience a 150-day painful metamorphosis and then spread their wings once again. If they choose the latter, they would fly to the summit of a high mountain, nest on a rock and perch there, and temporarily stop flying. After that, they would peck the rock with their aging beaks despite of bleeding until the beaks fall out. Then they would wait for the growth of a new beak. After a long period of 50 days, eagles would begin entering a new phase of metamorphosis. They would pull their aging and hard nails one by one out of their claws with the new beaks. After regenerating new nails, they would pull out the calcified feathers one by one. This is a process of repeated bleeding, a process of experiencing the taste of death. While their blood is bleeding drop by drop, their life is revived day by day. The first flight after the metamorphosis shows that the only one transformation of eagles in their lifetime comes to an end. They again soar freely and the boundless sky again becomes their paradise. The metamorphosis enables them to live another 30 years. The rebirth of the eagles gives the old saying ‘Put the troops in death ground and they will live’ a true explanation!” (“How Do Christians Experience Transformation Like Eagles” on Gospel Website of Christianity). After reading this story, I felt shocked in my heart. Eagles are valued as the king of birds, and according to their boldness and spirit they deserve this title. But who has ever thought that what eagles experience in gaining a new life is such a bloody test, and that it is just the metamorphosis that gives them a second life. They choose to give up the beaks, pull out the nails and feathers, and shed blood, because they clearly know that only after the pain of death, can they gain a new life, and that sharp beaks and claws and strong feathers will allow them to spread their wings again. We can’t imagine what eagles have experienced in that 150 days. But it must be a process full of battles between flesh and will, a combination of danger and rebirth, and even more an experience of pursuing a new life. Only after they have fully experienced such tribulations, can they once again spread their wings and fly in the sky. The eagles’ second life gives me an inspiration: The path we Christians walk is the path of being born again. What we experience is a process from knowing sins to confessing sins, and at last removing sins. The Lord Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The Lord’s words tell us that if our old life doesn’t die, we cannot gain a new life, much less enter into God’s kingdom. If we want to be born again and changed into new people and enter into God’s kingdom, we can’t be satisfied with standing still, keeping those outmoded rules and laws in our life, or having some outward changes and good behaviors. Instead, we must step forward and attain transformation in our sinful nature. For we, though having been redeemed by the grace of the Lord Jesus and enjoying abundant grace from Him, still live in the situation of sinning each day and confessing each night, and are still caked in grime. The Bible says: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrew 12:14). “But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). From these verses, I came to understand that God is holy and righteous, and thus He absolutely doesn’t allow filthy and corrupt people to enter into His kingdom. So, how can we get reborn as new people and achieve purification? This question had puzzled me for years until one day I read two passages of words from a gospel website. “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in…

Word of God

I Got the Way to Shake off the Shackles of Money

By Bong, Philippines I wanted to be rich. I was born into a peasant family in the Philippines. I had a big family and we led a poor life when I was young. I remembered when I was in high school, once I was not allowed to take the exam because my family had no money to pay for the exam fee. My mother begged the school to give me a chance, but they refused. It was not until my mother gave them an IOU that they agreed. That thing had a great impact on me. I was very indignant that without money one could do nothing in this money-centered society. At that time, I made up my mind to be a rich man in the future. I sacrificed my health in exchange for money. After graduating from high school, I attended a vocational school to learn car repairs. In school, I studied hard. While other students were all out playing, I was still studying mechanical skills. At night, while others were asleep, I was still immersed in my studies. After graduation, I came to Manila to seek a job. But because I didn’t graduate from a famous university or have any connections, I failed to find any job. At last, I had to work in my uncle’s car repair factory. In order to earn more money, apart from repairing cars, I also helped my uncle manage his finances and take stock. I worked from dawn to dusk every day; sometimes when others went home after work, I was still working overtime to take an account of stock. After I got married, I had three children. In order not to let my children live the same poor life as I did, I worked harder than before. During the day, I worked in the garage; after work, I drove my electric tricycle to transport passengers till two o’clock in the morning. Thus I could only sleep for three or four hours every day. Although I got four days off every month, I still didn’t take a rest but went to earn extra money. Through a period of struggle, I finally bought a house and a car. However, unexpectedly I got hypertension due to staying up and overworking for a long time, which plunged me into despair. I thought: “Without good health, I can’t earn more money; thus, my wish to be rich will be shattered.” The doctor suggested that I should cooperate with treatment and not exert myself. After that, while cooperating with the treatment, I still worked hard to earn money day and night. Only when I felt very uncomfortable did I take a rest at home. But seeing that I made less money than before after rest, I felt reluctant and unhappy, so I often endured pains to earn money as a driver. Consequently, my disease got so serious that I had no choice but to stay at home to rest, relying on medicine to maintain my health. God’s salvation came upon me. In June 2017, Pastor Jayce and his wife came to visit me. They told me that the Lord Jesus has come back and launched a new work. And Pastor Jayce fellowshiped with me, “The Lord Jesus was nailed on the cross for us to forgive our sins, but He didn’t eradicate the root of sins within us. Thus, we are still living in a state of sinning and confessing. In answer to the needs of us corrupt mankind, the Lord returned in the last days and has carried out a stage of the work of judging and purifying man with the word on the basis of the redemptive work. …” I was greatly touched by his fellowship. I had believed in the Lord for many years, but I still pursued a luxurious life and didn’t attend meetings regularly, bound by sins all along. At this thought, I truly felt the root of sins is still in me. The more I listened, the more I felt that Brother Jayce’s fellowship came from God, so I decided to investigate the gospel. Later on, he testified to me that the return of the Lord Jesus in the last days is Almighty God, and fellowshiped with me about the truths of the incarnation and the three stages of God’s work of saving mankind. Through the fellowship about these truths, I became completely certain that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. Then my wife and I readily accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. I went astray again. After accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days, I could keep gathering at the beginning, but a period of time later, I felt it would impede my making money if I often attended meetings. I thought: “Making money is most important, so it’s enough that my wife attends meetings. I should spend more time on work.” Afterward, I didn’t go to assemblies anymore. My wife and my brothers and sisters fellowshiped with me many times, but I didn’t listen to them at all and insisted on making money. After that, I put most of my time into making money: During the day, I worked in the factory; at night, I earned extra money as a driver. I kept rushing around in this way for several months. During that period, my car was always breaking down, but I didn’t pray to God or retreat into the spirit to reflect upon myself. One day in December 2017, when I was about to run my car, I found its engine didn’t work, which would take me much time to repair, so I could only go home. I was thinking inwardly on the way: “Ever since I didn’t attend meetings, my heart has strayed farther and farther from God. What I think about every day is how to make more money and all I pursue is nothing but material things.” I saw through the root of my suffering. After arriving home,…

How to Be Useful Vessels of God

How to Be Useful Vessels of God

By Jiaxin I heard a story: A group of colorful and beautiful pencils are about to leave the factory. Then they will go to different places to work and welcome their new life. First, they will suffer being sharpened by knives, because only through that can they begin to work; then they will be routinely criticized by rubbers, because only rubbers can correct the mistakes in their work; finally, they shall be held by one hand in their entire life, because only in this way can they perfectly fulfill their function, their way ahead be finer and their steps be steadier. Pencils spend their whole life experiencing these three processes: being sharpened by knives, being criticized by rubbers and being held by hands. Only through the three processes can they fulfill themselves. Otherwise, they will be worthless. Only after believing in the Lord did I know: Each of us is a vessel in the Lord’s hands. In order to let us realize our value and functions, the Lord arranges many sufferings in our entire life, including smiting, discipline, trials and refinements. Only through experiencing these environments can we turn into a useful person, shoulder heavy burdens for the Lord, and gain His perfection of us. Otherwise, we will be worthless. Just as the Bible says, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tries the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3). “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” (Zechariah 13:9). After being corrupted by Satan, we are full of satanic corrupt dispositions in our heart and soul, such as arrogance, conceit, crookedness, cunningness, selfishness, despicableness, and so on. We often live in these corrupt dispositions, unable to extricate ourselves from them. We are tortured to be extremely miserable so that we often cry out, “How could we free ourselves from the control of these satanic dispositions?” God’s words give us the answer. God says, “So if people do not have several years of refinement, if they don’t have a certain amount of suffering, they will not be able to avoid the bondage of corruption of the flesh in their thought and in their hearts. … Only in suffering can lessons be learned, which means being able to gain truth, and understand God’s intention. In fact, many truths are understood within experience of painful trials. Nobody says that God’s intention is known, that His almightiness and wisdom are understood, that God’s righteous disposition is appreciated in an environment of ease or in favorable circumstances. That would be impossible!” (“How to Satisfy God in the Midst of Trials”). From God’s words, I understand that only after experiencing the sufferings and trials arranged by God, can we cast aside our satanic dispositions, get rid of the bonds and control of them and no longer live in sin. Without a certain amount of suffering, we could never see through satanic disposition’s affliction on us and won’t forsake and abandon the bondage of Satan on us from heart. Although smiting, dealing, trials, and refinement bring pain to our flesh, only through these can we be perfected by God. Just like the gold, only through refinement can it be purer. Sufferings and trials are our cup of blessings, and even more the path we must take to become mature in life to be a useful vessel.   » Read more on our Why does God allow pain and suffering page, or click on the related articles below. • Required Reading for Christians: Trials—Another Kind of Blessing From God • What Should We Do When We Face Trials? Learn From the Story of Job • Why Does God Test Us? Have You Felt God’s Goodwill?

My Joys and Sorrows After Achieving Success

My Joys and Sorrows After Achieving Success

By Ziyi, Italy When I was in elementary school, every summer or winter vacation my cousins would come home in their cars, bringing back various presents. All the relatives, friends and neighbors would come over and our house would be full of people. Seeing how they all cast admiring gazes at my cousins, I felt very envious. At that time, I made a resolution to myself: “I must strive hard to achieve something in the future so that I can be outstanding like my cousins. I want to bring honor and glory to my ancestors, and lead an aristocratic lifestyle.” After working hard, I achieved modest success. After graduating from technical school, I was very lucky to find a job as an office clerk in a foreign company. In the beginning, I was secretly happy with myself: “No matter what, I now work in an office, so no one can deny that I’m a white-collar worker.” But I didn’t expect that because I had a low position and poor qualifications everyone else could boss me around in the office. My self-esteem was severely damaged, but my ambition was stimulated. I resolved to make other people look at me with new eyes through my own efforts. Therefore, I worked harder and spent all my spare time learning the company procedures and all about the products, and generally gaining professional proficiency. Every day, I worked from dawn to dusk, and I hardly took time off all year round. In five years, I practically went nowhere but the dormitory, canteen and office. Finally, my years of hard work paid off: I was promoted from ordinary office clerk to salesperson, then manufacturing manager, then purchasing supervisor, then imports and exports supervisor, and in the end I became an executive in the company and was admired and looked up to by others. Those who once despised me nodded and bowed in front of me. Such an achievement made me feel glorious and proud. But as I came into contact with more and more people, I saw that there were a great number of successful people who were richer and more powerful than me. Thus, my sense of satisfaction gradually faded. I thought: “Although I have gained a high position and the support and admiration of my colleagues, I’m still working for other people. As they say: ‘You have to be crazy to be highly successful.’ I’m still young; why don’t I start a business by myself? As the old saying goes: ‘People struggle to go upward, but water flows downward.’ I shouldn’t be content with my current situation, but should seek to progress.” Several years of work experience had given me enough faith and courage, so I quit the high-paying job as an executive to start my own business. Later on, I opened a store selling cosmetics of a famous brand. To fulfill the high performance targets I set for my company every month, I had to work out various marketing plans besides managing the store. No matter how many customers there were during the day, I always stayed in the store all the time and didn’t go home until very late at night. I had no holidays of my own. Sometimes I felt very tired, but at the thought of the success that was just around the corner, I would exert myself again and keep persisting. After a few years, I achieved a fair amount of success and made some money. Then I expanded my store, and bought a car and a house. All my relatives, classmates and neighbors around me cast gazes of admiration at me, and my parents were also proud of me. Sudden diseases left me in unbearable pain. Just when I was tirelessly busy with my business and enjoying a sense of achievement, I started to have some health problems. I often felt faint and had numbness in my hands. After having an examination in the hospital, I was surprised to learn that I actually had cervical spondylosis and periarthritis. The doctor said to me in a serious voice: “These diseases cannot be eradicated. The treatment can only help you relieve your pain. You must take good care of yourself, take more rest and avoid overworking. Otherwise, your diseases will get worse and worse. Though these diseasesaren’t deadly, they will influence your quality of life if they get serious. You are still young, so you must pay more attention to your health. If yourcondition goes on like this, you might get muscular atrophy, or even quadriplegia.” The doctor’s words made me think of those people I knew who suffered from cervical spondylosis or lumbar diseases. Both their work and quality of life were negatively influenced; some of them even seemed to be half- paralyzed and could do nothing. Thinking of all this, I felt very disheartened. I had never expected that I, who was barely 30, could get diseases which occur mainly among people in their 50s or 60s. When I was driving home, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing down my face. Thinking back on all those years, I felt I was like a wound clock that ticked round and round and couldn’t stop. In the following days, I went to the hospital for treatment every few days. I tried all kinds of treatments to treat my cervical spondylosis and periarthritis, such as physical therapy, massage, cupping, acupuncture, traction and small needle-scalpel therapy. These treatments cost me a lot of money, but were of no help to me. On the contrary, they left a shadow on my mind: The sound of the acupuncture needles going in kept echoing in my head. Every time I went into the hospital, my heart would start pounding; when I thought of the pain brought by traction and acupuncture, my legs felt weak. Many times I thought: “I’ve built up my career and gained money and reputation through hard work, but my health is now ruined. I spent nearly half of my…

Appreciating God’s Love From the Miraculous Efficacy of Houttuynia Cordata

Appreciating God’s Love From the Miraculous Efficacy of Houttuynia Cordata

By Guan Liang In my childhood, whenever I got a feverish cold, my mother would pull up a handful of houttuynia cordata on the ridges between the fields and decoct it for me. Not long after I drank the decoction despite its pungent smell, I would feel much better. At that time, I knew nothing about houttuynia cordata except that it could be used to alleviate fever and that the fishy taste it left in my mouth would linger there for a long time. In the evening I could still taste the decoction of it which I drank in the morning. For this reason, I had little liking for it. It was after I saw another wonderful efficacy of houttuynia cordata that I didn’t so dislike it. I remember that time my mother accidentally cut her hand while she was harvesting rice and the wound was bleeding. She picked several leaves from the houttuynia cordata, rubbed them, and pressed them onto the cut expertly. Soon the bleeding stopped and after dressing the wound, she continued with her work. Only when I saw this did I know that houttuynia cordata’s heart-shaped leaves could actually stanch bleeding and reduce swelling. And this has remained in my memory ever since. Over thirty years had passed. In the fall of 2016, I moved to a small town. A friend of mine, seeing me have a bad cough, gave me a packet of houttuynia cordata and told me that it was a natural remedy, which could bring many benefits but no harm to people, and that I could drink water infused with it in normal times. But when I thought of how houttuynia cordata tasted, I didn’t feel like trying it. Therefore, I put it aside and ignored it. In the spring of 2017, I accidentally saw that on an area of three or four square meters next to my yard, there grew some plants with heart-shaped leaves, looking kind of like houttuynia cordata. I picked a leaf from them and smelled it to see if it was really houttuynia cordata. The minute I smelled it, I was hit by a strong smell, which was exactly the same as that of the houttuynia cordata in my hometown. At that moment, for some unknown reason, I suddenly felt the smell so intimate and comfortable. This aroused my interest in houttuynia cordata, and I searched the Internet for information about it. I learned that it’s a natural antibiotic, able to reduce inflammation and destroy bacteria, and that it’s also an ingredient of a great many medicines. These findings made me look at the little houttuynia cordata with new eyes. Afterward, once when I was flicking through an old medical book, I stumbled upon a passage of words about houttuynia cordata: “It has the effects of clearing heat and dissipating carbuncle. … It is anti-bacterial and possesses strong inhibitory effects on Staphylococcus aureus. Its decoction with 0.0025 wt% concentration still can inhibit the growth of bacteria. It’s utilized for the treatment of pulmonary abscess and lobar pneumonia. As for those who have a fever and cough with stinking and thick sputum, the mix of houttuynia cordata and bellflower will help them eliminate phlegm. …” When I saw these effects of houttuynia cordata, I was thrilled, because I had been afflicted with pneumonia since my childhood. I frequently coughed up purulent sputum and there were several times when I even coughed up blood. Later, after an examination, I was diagnosed with lobar pneumonia. For the sake of having my disease cured, I had tried many medicines, medicinal paste, and got quite a few injections, which cost me a lot of money, but none of them worked. In late July of 2017, I suffered an attack of pneumonia again. It lasted for days and caused me to lose over 5kg of weight. The disease really brought me an awful lot of trouble. So when I learned about the use of houttuynia cordata, I thought: “It is so healthful and could help inhibit the growth of bacteria and my friend also recommended it. So, though the bout has passed and I’m not feeling anything wrong with me now, it is still a good idea to daily drink the infusion of it.” And that’s what I did. After a few days, I achieved very good results: I clearly found myself more energetic than before, and the feeling that there was always sputum in my throat was gone. More surprisingly, before, my gums would bleed almost every time I brushed my teeth, but now, that actually never happened again. Since then, I persevered in drinking the infusion of houttuynia cordata every day, and the disease I had suffered from for years was nearly cured. When I experienced these miraculous effects of houttuynia cordata, I shared it with the friends around me and they benefited a lot from houttuynia cordata as well. I never imagined that this little plant had actually so many uses. It was really amazing! Thus I developed a liking for houttuynia cordata from then on. One day, I saw the following words in a book: “Among all things, God created some plants, animals, and all sorts of grasses that are particularly of use for taking care of injuries or treating illnesses in humans. … For instance, if you get a fever, catch a cold, suffer an injury from physical work, a stomach ailment from eating the wrong thing, or develop certain diseases due to living habits or emotional issues, such as vascular diseases, psychological conditions or diseases of the internal organs—there are corresponding plants to cure all of these. There are plants that improve blood circulation to remove stagnation, relieve pain, stanch bleeding, provide anesthesia, help people recover normal skin, eliminate blood stasis in the body, and eliminate toxins from the body. In short, they can all be used in daily life. They are of use to people and have been prepared by God for the human body in…

The Marvelous Relationship Between the Varnish Tree and the Cork Tree

The Marvelous Relationship Between the Varnish Tree and the Cork Tree

By Chen Xin Every time I thought of my hometown, what first came to me was the mountain chain behind my house. On it there was a verdant wood, trees and hedgerows, and all sorts of strange rocks, and the intoxicating perfumes that all kinds of trees shed. This wood was my only paradise of childhood. However, my family always exhorted me not to play in the varnish trees woods behind our house. I was very confused about it and curiously asked my mother why. As I asked her again and again, she told me the reasons. It turned out that the resin of the varnish tree can be used in making lacquer, which can be used to paint the furniture and coffin, and is water-proof, durable and expensive. What’s more, the seed of varnish trees can produce edible oil. Though the rate of producing oil is low, the oil made from it can prevent stomach cancer. Therefore, it is worth much and also brings our life a lot of help and benefits. Even so, people very rarely dare approach varnish trees, because the delicate fragrance they give out is allergizing and can cause skin rashes, making people unbearable itching all over. In serious cases, the skin would be inflamed, red and swollen. Even though after injections and medication, the rash won’t clear up until several days later. The wonderful thing is that there is also a kind of stunted tree, cork tree, on the mountain. When someone has a skin allergy, as long as he bathes himself with the water in which he boils its branches, he will recover. In this way he can achieve a faster result than by taking medicine. Because people will feel very uncomfortable once they have this kind of rash, many of them don’t dare approach this woods of varnish trees. It seems that the varnish tree is mentioned with horror. This is the reason that parents don’t allow their children to play in the woods of varnish trees. I remembered when I was young, my parents often told me I should not touch or approach varnish trees, because this kind of trees could cause the skin break into rash and make people very uncomfortable. Even injections and taking medicine wouldn’t work. I asked them in confusion, “Is that really so serious?” Seeing me obstinate, my parents urged me again and again. At that time, I only listened to these words doubtingly and forgot them soon. Soon, someone asked my grandfather to make a few catties of lacquer for him to paint a coffin. Led along by my curiosity, I secretly followed my grandfather into the wood of varnish trees. I was wondering whether severe skin rashes could occur with contact with the raw sap, and even more I wanted to see how my grandfather tapped varnish trees. Soon, he found me and nervously urged me to go back quickly. I shook my head stubbornly and rolled up my sleeves to show him that I didn’t have any rash. Seeing me like this, he shook his head helplessly and went to do his own work. He made T-shaped gashes in the branches of varnish trees and then the milky juice flowed out, and when it flowed into his bucket, it turned black. Regardless, he didn’t allow me to approach the varnish trees. When I came back home with him, seeing my body was no eruption, I was secretly very pleased and said to my mother, “I don’t fear the varnish tree. Look, I don’t have a skin allergy.” However, not long after I went to bed, I began to itch all over, which made me so uncomfortable that I cried. Then flashing a light, my father had to go behind our house at midnight to break some branches of cork tree and boiled them. After I bathed myself with the water that he boiled them with, I didn’t itch gradually. However, there were still many red spots and some scratches on my body; my face puffed up, to the extent that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. After the rash disappeared, I discussed with my friends, “What kind of tree’s function is more powerful?” Some of them said, “The varnish tree’s function is more powerful. People all dare approach it.” The others said, “I feel it should be the cork tree. It can cure the rashes caused by the varnish tree.” There were more people that agreed on the first opinion, including me. We felt, “Varnish trees are large and tall, covered with rich leaves. The seed of them can not only be sold, but can produce edible oil. The sap within them can be used in making lacquer to paint the furniture. Therefore, the varnish tree’s function is more powerful.” Some others said, “Though the cork tree is small and short, its function is more powerful than the varnish tree’s. If we have rashes caused by the varnish tree, only when we use the water that we boil the branches of the cork tree with to bathe ourselves, will we get better faster. So the cork tree’s function is more powerful.” In the end, none could bring the others around. I still thought in my heart that the varnish tree’s function was more powerful because it not only brought us a lot of help and benefits, but terrified many people. I also heard a story from my grandfather: Before liberation, when bandits came into the village to rob the villagers, the villagers hid themselves in the wood of varnish trees with their grain and things of value. They wore hats made of branches of cork tree to prevent the skin rashes, but the bandits didn’t dare come in for fear they would have rashes. After the bandits left, the villagers got out and came back home in safety. In the turbulent years, this wood of varnish trees silently kept people safe in this way. After I told this story to my friends,…

Wonderful Herbs: The Bane of Liver Cancer

Wonderful Herbs: The Bane of Liver Cancer

The protagonist’s mother got liver cancer. The doctor said that she could live for a year if she had an operation, and if not, three months at most. By chance, she learned that there was one kind of herb that could cure liver cancer.

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