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: If Jesus writes a letter about suffering and betrayal

Sometimes God speaks in the first person. That’s how personal He is in our relationship with Him. Perhaps, He is speaking to some of you who are reading this. –Dear child,
I’ve suffered. I get it. I get you. I’ve been there. In the darkest pit; in the most traumatic pain. Rejected by those who loved me. 

“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” Psalm 22:14–18  ESV

But I suffered for a cause—so that God’s will may be fulfilled. 

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” Luke 22:42 NIV

I’ve gone through it all and paid all debts, once and for all your past, present and future wrongs.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us” 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV

Most of all, I’ve made a way to connect you back to God, to an eternal, loving relationship. 

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

I’ve given you the ultimate hope that no one and nothing could ever snatch away from you. The Devil’s scheme is defeated. Death is beaten. 

“But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:10 NIV

Suffering will one day cease. 

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4 NIV

I’m here, my child. In your darkest pit, I’m with you. Even though you can’t see me, I’m with you, you are not alone. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. I love you. I always have; I always will.
You're Gonna Be Ok (Lyric Video) - Brian & Jenn Johnson

I know it's all you've got to just be strong
And it's a fight just to keep it together
I know you think that you are too far gone
But hope is never lost
Hope is never lost

Hold on, don't let go
Hold on, don't let go

Just take one step closer
Put one foot in front of the other
You'll get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness
You're gonna be ok

I know your heart is heavy from those nights
But just remember that you are a fighter
You never know just what tomorrow holds
And you're stronger than you know
You're stronger than you know

Hold on, don't let go
Hold on, don't let go

Just take one step closer
Put one foot in front of the other
You'll get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness
You're gonna be ok

Just take one step closer
Put one foot in front of the other
You'll get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness
You're gonna be ok

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!


 

Ten things I want at my funeral

Ten things I want at my funeral. melindayeoh.com

Me to a friend: “Random. Hi, if I go home to the Lord before you, would you be the worship leader at my wake? Those from the gut; awesome worship to the Lord. None of those polite, reserved, shy, awkward kind of worship, please.”

Friend: “Um, sure, Mel, I would be honoured to.”

Me: “Yay.”

 

I was watching a Youtube video and worshipping along when the above thought came into my mind. I’ve always love to worship, singing my heart and love out to the Lord, my Heavenly Father. And I thought—this is how I want my wake and funeral to be too.

Singing and perhaps even some dancing unto the Lord.

Since my imagination is running wild now, let’s have some fun.

 

Here are the ten things I want at my funeral:

  1. There’ll be good food. Ice-cream, even.
  2. I’ll have my customised printed funeral programme. Aesthetics, please.
  3. The programme will feature some of my writings. It’ll have my story of coming to Christ, and why I believe in Jesus.
  4. I’ll have thank-you notes to people. (Which reminds me, I need to write them in advance)
  5. Ah, perhaps a hashtag for social media posting. Erm, maybe not. Certainly not.
  6. And then, I’ll need a theme, so that the entire look & feel will be pulled together.
  7. Good music in the background.
  8. Guestbook. Or maybe not. Some people may say the wrong things to my loved ones, like, “be strong!”, “don’t be sad, she’s in Heaven.” And I won’t be around to punch those people in the face.
  9. Some photos for memories to be tastefully displayed.
  10. My see-you-again speech. Of course, I’ll have to pre-appoint someone to do this for me.

Prayer:

Dear God,
Let my funeral to be a celebration of a life well-lived for You.
A life lived for others.
A legacy of well-loved people and beautiful relationships.
Things that’ll last for eternity.
Yes, there’ll be mourning, sadness, weeping.
But, there’ll always be hope.
For it’s a temporary goodbye for those who believe in Christ.
Because of what Christ has done on the cross—died and rose again. Christ is alive!
Death is not the end.
All praise, honour, and glory to You.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 


Receive the HopeMail newsletter.

Once a week, I’ll share stories of life experience and thoughts about growing through different circumstances in life.
No fluff. Just honest writing.

Send me HopeMail!

 

 

Featured image by Andreas Weiland on Unsplash

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”

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.

 

 


Receive the HopeMail newsletter.

Once a week, I’ll share stories of life experience and thoughts about growing through different circumstances in life.
No fluff. Just honest writing.

Send me HopeMail!

Death is not the end.

It’s Good Friday today. The day where the ultimate sacrifice for man were done, the ultimate love story happened.

More than 2000 years ago today, the son of God, Jesus was hanging on the cross after being flogged, spat at, a crown made of thorns forced down His head, nails pierced through both hands and hung on the cross with two thieves beside Him; ridiculed and mocked… “Since you said you are God, save yourself! How can you save us when you can’t save yourself!”

2pm is when He breathed His last breathe on the cross and said, “It is done.”

6 hours of slow death.

Easter Sunday is the day He is resurrected. That completes the cycle of life. So that death is beaten. So that death is not The.End. But, the beginning of eternal life.

  • reflections on Good Friday