Easter series: Three truths to peace (my earthquake story)

“Attention please: Due to the earthquake, the train will be stopped temporarily.”

Earthquake? What earthquake? I was dozing off in the underground train to the airport when the train stopped with the sudden announcement.
I looked out the window. Dark. Surrounded by the underground tunnel.

The announcement repeated in loops; reinforcing the fact.

Somehow there’s still internet reception, so I googled “earthquake Taiwan”. Found out there’s a 6.1 magnitude earthquake somewhere.

All the passengers were quiet. Are they “seasoned, earthquake-experienced” Taiwanese? I wondered.

“Lord, help us to be safe,” I prayed in my heart.

I didn’t feel any tremors. But uncertainty hangs in the air. Will we be ok? How bad could this be? Movie scenes of people trapped in rubble flashed through my mind.

“Lord, whatever it is, You’ll be here with us to go through it,” I prayed with assurance, and to assure my heart.

Then came the second announcement: “All trains service suspended. Please alight from the train.”

Droves of people trudged out the train with their luggage. Some went straight up the elevator, while I stood there on the platform with my husband wondering, where do we go now?

The third announcement came: “All passengers, please leave the train and platform for your safety.”

We doubled it outta there. Managed to hail a Uber after no taxi was available due to the sudden surge of passengers (or those who weren’t fleecing victims with hiked-up fees). Thank God, we’ve made it to catch the flight with merely half an hour between reaching the airport, dropping off our two big cycling bags and boarding the plane! Somehow, we miraculously boarded the plane.

“Thank you, Lord, thank you, Lord, thank you, Lord,” I prayed.

The next day, as I sat quietly back home in my living room, thinking of the incident, I can’t help but proclaim, “I’m glad I have God.”
Because—who do I pray to and go for help?

When we’ve exhausted all human efforts, and our last string is frayed to a point of breaking, where and who do we go to?

For me, knowing who God is—omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent(all-present); gave me the absolute, irreplaceable assurance that when things are beyond my control, God is still in control of everything. Even things I don’t quite understand.

It’s in times of desperation, when all hell breaks loose in our fallen world, I know without an ounce of doubt that He will either bring me out of it or through it. He is the only certainty in this life.

And if that earthquake day is my last day, I know where I’m heading to.

And though far from perfect, I did all I could in my life that hopefully counts in eternity.

These three truths: about the Almighty God, the death and resurrection of Jesus, and living with what really matters in mind, formed a foundation of peace in me which (when I remember to stop striving and fretting!), I fall back on time and again when things in life get crazy…or “earthquake-dy”.

Speaking of crazy, here’s a text conversation about that earthquake incident:
Friend: “Thank God for His covering! These moments feel like a lifetime when your life flashes before you.”
Me: “I didn’t have that moment. Just thinking of how to pee if we r crashed in. 🤣 (Sh*t that goes through my mind when in danger.) 
And that I have God. Period.

You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it. Romans 5:12-14 the Msg

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV

Further reading:

Why Easter in 2 minutes

The first man and woman God created fell for Satan’s deception; sin entered man and the world. 
That’s the start of the separation of an eternal, loving relationship between God and man. 
Satan = death, eternal separation from God and eternal suffering and pain. 
God sent Jesus to the world. 
Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah and Savior of the world.
Three days after His crucifixion and death on the cross, Jesus rose from the dead (resurrected)
He laid down His life and died for us (a sacrifice) and paid the full penalty for the sin of mankind.
With the resurrection, Jesus defeated Satan and the power of sin and death. For all who believe in Him will restore that eternal loving relationship with God and have eternal life in Christ Jesus. 

If this spoke to you, here’s a prayer to invite Jesus into (or back into) your life. 

Lord Jesus,
I believe You died for my sins
I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life
Please forgive me. I am willing to turn from my way & follow Your way.
Thank you that You died on the cross for me so that I could be forgiven and set free.
I receive You now as my personal Saviour & Lord & invite You into my life from this moment. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Easter series: The Saturday before Easter Sunday most people ignored

Good Friday is the day where Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his subsequent death.
Easter is celebrated by Christians as a remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, where Jesus rose from the dead three days after being crucified on the cross. It’s celebrated on Sunday. That’s why sometimes it’s referred to as Easter Sunday. 

Good Friday is “good” because we know what came on Sunday after the Friday when Jesus was crucified on the cross. We know three days later, Jesus rose from the dead.

We know the final score—victory. 

However, it wasn’t the case back then for the disciples and his friends who mourned for Jesus. Seeing Jesus took His last breath on the cross after being horribly tortured, crucified, humiliated. What happened to the Messiah, the Lord who performed miracles, who loved all, who said He’ll be with them, who’ll save them? He’s dead!  What happened to hope?

Can we imagine what was it like for them on that Saturday? That awful silence of hopelessness. Where’s God?!


 If there’s no resurrection, the entire Christian faith has no unshakable hope to offer anyone. 

But Christians (and even some non-Christians) know. We know the fact that Jesus will come alive three days after He died. And years after years, we have been celebrating and remembering this day we called Easter. If there’s no resurrection, the entire Christian faith has no unshakable hope to offer anyone. I would really then ask, what’s the point of anything?!

We celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But sometimes we may skip that in-between Saturday waiting room of our lives. 

We may become frustrated. Anxious. 
But nothing is as tragic as losing and giving up hope because we’ve forgotten about that Saturday. The in-between. 

I’m no theologian, but I choose to see a life lesson as to why the wait of that Saturday? Why not resurrect earlier? Perhaps it’s one of God’s ways for us in having faith? In identifying with hopelessness? In joining Him in suffering and through that, develop depth and compassion for others who are suffering? In deepening our dependency on Him? In developing patience? 

Without grasping this, we may get disheartened, disappointed, even furious at God, stomping away from Him when we couldn’t receive “the good life” we want. Maybe we have been faithfully following God when things happened in our life that provoked us to interrogate Him—why are You doing this to me?!

But since we know the final score, let’s persist in faith as we sit, wait, do, lament, hope for whatever we are waiting for. And know that even in the silence of the tomb, God’s with us. 

Waiting is one of the hardest things to do. It tests us. It tests our faith, our resilience, our patience. It reveals to us our relationship with God. It reveals to us who we are inside while we are in the waiting room. 

What’s your waiting room?

Further reading if you’d like:

Why Easter in 2 minutes

The first man and woman God created fell for Satan’s deception; sin entered man and the world. That’s the start of the separation of an eternal, loving relationship between God and man. 

Satan = death, eternal separation from God and eternal suffering and pain. God sent Jesus to the world. Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah and Savior of the world.

Three days after His crucifixion and death on the cross, Jesus rose from the dead (resurrected)He laid down His life and died for us (a sacrifice) and paid the full penalty for the sin of mankind.

With the resurrection, Jesus defeated Satan and the power of sin and death. For all who believe in Him will restore that eternal loving relationship with God and have eternal life in Christ Jesus. 

If this spoke to you, here’s a prayer to invite Jesus into (or back into) your life.

Lord Jesus,
I believe You died for my sins
I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life
Please forgive me. I am willing to turn from my way & follow Your way.
Thank you that You died on the cross for me so that I could be forgiven and set free.
I receive You now as my personal Saviour & Lord & invite You into my life from this moment. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

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I send one article a week exclusively to this mailing list before it’s posted on this site and anywhere else.

There’s no spam. Just honest, useful content to help walk toward a joyful life. Why not join us?

Send me HopeMail!


 

Where does our hope come from?

If you’ve been reading my articles, you’d have noticed that though the theme of my website and newsletter is “read articles and find resources to walk towards a joyful life”—I rarely have “ten ways to find hope in life, five secrets to find joy” kind of prescriptive articles. 
Because—life is anything but prescriptive. 
And—what do I know to tell you what to do?

There are also plenty of those articles on the internet and self-help books. I’m certainly not dismissing the value of those content for I too, at times, find some of them useful for moments in my life. 

At the same time though, I also felt swamped with well-meaning advice, tips and tools and what-have-yous. Sometimes, it even diverted me away from my true Counsellor. 

For who can know us ever so intimately than our Maker? Every worm, every sinew, every desire, every wicked thought, every hunger, every fear—He knew it before we did. Therefore our Maker is indeed the best personalised, bespoke, artisan Counsellor we could ever have. The greatest thing is? He will always come to us from a position of love and our best interests even if it’s sometimes, tough love. 

So what I’m saying is, the core of my articles is distilled into the title of my website: Knowing God—Finding Hope. And it’s in that order. 

And maybe my role is: through my writing, to nudge you to know God increasingly more in whatever ways (I’m absolutely sure God has His divine way for each of us), and through that—to find true, unwavering hope in Jesus amidst troubles—and walk towards a joyful life.

*Image: From The Message Bible, by Eugene Peterson.

Receive the HopeMail newsletter on Sundays.

I send one article a week exclusively to this mailing list before it’s posted on this site and anywhere else.

There’s no spam. Just honest, useful content to help walk toward a joyful life. Why not join us?

Send me HopeMail!