When I was about 4 years old, I started learning and singing the famous song, “My Grandfather’s Clock”. I could vividly remember that when I sang “But it stopped, short never to go again when the old man died,” I was puzzled at the lyrics. What did it mean by ‘died’?
As usual, I directed the question to my mum. She said that when people grow old, they die. Dying, I as was told, means not existing anymore. The thought of non-existence scared the wits out of me. I could not believe it. Why were we created to die? Nobody could answer me. This question lingered in my mind.
So I went through life as usual. Once in a long while, at night, my thoughts would run wild. I would think of what would happen when I die. There would no longer be ‘me’. I visualised myself as dust in the universe, integrated into whatever matter there was. I would not have thoughts. I would not have feelings. I would stop existing. At that juncture, I would break into a cold sweat. My heart would hammer at my chest. This fear was crippling and helpless. Struggling to stop myself from thinking about death, I would shut my eyes and try to sleep. The question continued to linger throughout my growing up years.
When I was in university, I was approached by schoolmates who wanted to evangelise. Every time, I would smile and decline. I was a free thinker. My mind was set on YOLO and living freely.
Then I went to Korea to study the Korean language. Again, I was approached by Korean evangelists. My knee-jerk reaction was to shun them. To me, it was a waste of time listening to them. In fact, I was so busily avoiding them that the only words I could recall were something along the line of “We pray that you’ll have a chance to hear the Gospel next time.”
Five years later, I met a friend whom I had not seen for some time. We started working together and he would share stories from the bible in our casual conversations. To be honest, I didn’t even know that the bible consists of stories. I thought it was just a book that recorded bits and pieces of ancient scriptures that nobody could really read or understand.
It was then that I started to hear about Adam and Eve and how by one man’s disobedience, sin was committed and death came into the world. Jesus was sent out of love and grace by Father to us. He came to conquer sin and save us from the clutches of death. By one man’s obedience, humanity was fully redeemed.
However, I was still skeptical. After all, I had taken the Atheistic view. How can I know there is a God? How is Jesus man and God?
At the same time, another friend invited me to watch the movie, “The Case for Christ”. It was about an Atheist journalist who went on a journey to prove that Jesus was conjured up by man. Thinking that there was no harm in learning more, I accepted her invite.
Through that movie, I learnt more about what God had done for the fallen world. I was exposed to historical, archaeological, psychological, medical and other evidence that prove that Christ exists and is who He claims to be.
The question that l had since young was finally answered. We were not created to die. We were created to be loved by God.
Nevertheless, I was still uncertain.
The friend whom I was working with taught me to find out for myself by asking:
Dear God of this world,
I do not know who you are and I have questions in my head. Questions that I want answers to. So I pray that you show yourself to me, that I might come to know you, for my heart is willing.
After I prayed, I went on to read The Case for Christ written by Lee Strobel. The more I do, the more I was convinced of the truth. For two months, I couldn’t bear to read the part where Jesus was crucified.
Whenever I had questions, people would come with answers even though I didn’t actively ask around. I believe that God had sent them.
Nevertheless, I was still uncertain.
On 30 Mar 2018 (Good Friday), I met up with these two friends. My friend’s fiancé also joined us and shared his experiences with the living God.
After dinner, my friend suddenly popped the question, “Are you ready?”
At that time, I had already heard the Gospel, attended service once and was already convinced of the truth.
Nevertheless, I was uncertain.
I thought I was supposed to experience joy. But something inside me was stirring. The world believes in seeing first then believing. What if it’s the other way round? Believe and see.
So I declared that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour and that He died for my sins and was resurrected. As we were praying together, my friend’s fiancé had a vision. He saw a flower blooming in the middle of a lush field. We searched for an image of the flower according to his description and found that it meant joy. Prior to this, he had no idea that I wanted to experience joy. I was very touched. God had heard me and sent this message to me.
From then on, even when I try hard to imagine death, I am no longer assailed by fear. I am not a random person created for unknown reasons and heading for death. My eternal life story continues in my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.