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?!

But Christians (and even some non-Christians) 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. Click To Tweet

If there’s no resurrection, and death is the end, I would then ask, what’s the point of anything?!

 

So yes, we celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But what happened on Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday…when there’s silence and seemingly no hope?

 

I’m no theologian, but I choose to see a life lesson as to why the wait of that Saturday? Why not resurrect earlier?

That Saturday represents the in-between waiting room of our lives. That in-between we’d love to skip. 

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. 

Perhaps that Saturday its 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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No fluff. Just honest writing.
 

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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.

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It is done. Christ is risen

Christ is risen. melindayeoh.com

Because of Christ, who died for us and in three days—rose again.

You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?
John 11:25-26 The Msg Continue reading “It is done. Christ is risen”

What is church? (animated video)

What is church? (animated video) melindayeoh.com

What is church and what is the church supposed to do? This 2:36 minutes animated video by artist, pastor and teacher Steve Thomason explains it succinctly.

 

For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is fulfilled in one precept, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF [that is, you shall have an unselfish concern for others and do things for their benefit]. ‭‭GALATIANS‬ ‭5:14‬ ‭AMP‬‬

 

 


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Featured image by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash

Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart: A New Year’s Eve reflection

Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart: A New Year's Eve reflection. melindayeoh.com Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

As I wondered what to write for this post, I started to reflect on the year, all that has happened—my husband’s cancer diagnosis, a work crisis, and an ongoing heartache of a broken relationship…this song came into my mind.

Continue reading “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart: A New Year’s Eve reflection”

Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die

Everbody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die

I’m introspecting about this massive irony of why we want to go to Heaven, knowing that all pain and suffering will end…yet, we don’t want to die.

We want to preserve our lives on earth. Preserve it for…?

If I think back to my late parents, they suffered and died of cancer—I would think it’s a relief that they no longer have to suffer from their illness.

More importantly, they no longer have to go through suffering on earth, and because of what Christ had done on the cross—they have eternity in Heaven.

And at the resurrection, bodies that won’t decay.
No more sin.
No more physical and emotional pain.
No more physical and emotional suffering.
But a loving, eternal and perfect relationship with God.
Paradise.
Heaven!

So, I’m joyful that they are literally in a better place. ‘Better’ is such an understatement in this case.

 

Why did Jesus sacrifice and die on the Cross?

 

Yet, I miss my mum terribly. I wish she’s alive here. More years on earth…

…for what?

In a few years, she would need to be the caregiver to her husband. She would witness her husband who she adores— wither and die of cancer, leaving her alone.
More years on earth; more pain.

I vividly remember her suffering from cancer. The agonising pain. How her robust body shrunk to nothingness. Her skin hangs from her skeletal frame. Unable to eat nor do anything. I remember seeing the patients in the cancer ward—bald, pale, skinny, frail.

My heart bled. My head spun. I don’t understand this.

Why Lord? Why can’t their sufferings be shorter?

 

Why don’t we want to die, when Heaven is a much better place?

Is it because we carnally cling to what’s earthly?

Is it because while we are spiritual beings; we are still in an earthly body? Hence our instinct is to protect our flesh?

Is it because we have so many things we want to do, dreams yet to be fulfilled—we want more time to tick them off our list?

Is it because we don’t understand the concept of time from God’s perspective?

Is it because we can’t grasp the fact that our days on earth are numbered?

Is it because we have loved ones, and we don’t want to be separated with them? Alas! The day would definitely come. The question is, would we meet again and where?

We pray and plead for God to heal our loved ones. But one day, they too will die.

 

Death is unavoidable. So, why do we want to prolong what is inevitable?

If Heaven is a much better place—where there’s no more pain and suffering, why wouldn’t we want that something better to happen sooner than later?

For death to come later would mean going through heartaches and pain. Why on earth, would we logically want that in their lives?

Would our reasons be…selfish?

Or, is it because of the instinct of love ingrained in us by our Creator God—that we don’t want to be separated in a loving relationship?

 

Our original programming is of wanting to be together with God, and never be separated from His love.

God is love. He knows love is awesome.

(The word ‘awesome’ used here is not the casual way of how we use it nowadays. Fried chicken is awesome, the holiday is awesome. No. Its meaning is pure. Awe. Majestic. Godly.)

He created us to have a loving (eternal) relationship with Him. We weren’t meant to be separated from Him.

But when sin entered man, we were separated from the eternal relationship with God.

What’s left is a void, an emptiness of human beings. Not knowing in us, we’ll always yearn for connections and relationships.

And so instinctively, we don’t want to be separated from the person we love.

So, would that mean that while we are mortals on earth—we’ll always have this paradox of wanting Heaven for us and our loved ones, but not wanting to die?

 

Heaven and Earth were once fully united.

Excerpt from the video:
The union of Heaven and Earth is what the story of the Bible is all about, how they were once fully united, and then driven apart, and about how God is bringing them back together again.

Perhaps that makes some sense to me. Of wanting my husband to be with me till we are old and grey, even though there may be suffering ahead in life. Let’s get crinkly together, my love!

Perhaps I can make peace with that. To accept because of how we were created by God, we will always have the instinct of love, and the pain of separation.

While I’ll persist and pray for his healing, I’ll claim my peace in having the most significant promise—when it’s our time to go, Heaven is waiting with a place for us.

Thus, the need to learn to trust God knows what is best, and when the time comes—pray for the peace to let go.

 

 


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No fluff. Just honest writing.

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