when I first told my friends that I was going to write a book on death, it means that I was stupid enough to lead a conversation to an end. “So what’s the point of talking about death anyway, young man?” I am sure you will have the same sort of questions like this in your mind. “So what are you going to write again? I am sorry I didn’t catch what you’ve said clearly.” Reactions from my friends didn’t surprise me much, because death is actually the most distanced thing from our daily life, not too many of us would have experienced death in order to discuss about the topic without being dead. And dead people don’t give us news updates after they passed away. Really there is Nothing we can pass on the the next generation who will die.
As Christians, we probably have heard about life and resurrections being preached at churches every Sunday. But there is something has been hidden in sermons, and death is one of them. Not because pastors don’t want to talk about death, but they know what we don’t want to hear about it. So “Happy sermons” are just right for us at churches. But the Bible has been filled with big amount of bad news really. Still feeling too far away from talking about death?
If big deaths are too far to get out awareness, what about little death – a universal theme we actually experience everyday? The little death but no less than the big death? In this book project, the main passage was taken from Matthew 14:22-33 “Jesus walked on water” to share some thoughts on trials in our walks with the Lord with young Christians, and to help us to understand facts of little death we have experienced daily so we can have communion with Christ.
1. This Crisis Grows
This chapter opens a theme of the book called “the little death”, a universal theme we actually experience everyday, the little death but no less than the big death. How people deal with this growing crisis is not just a strategic problem solving issue, it is actually a serious about rooting in Christ.
2. The heart of the matter
The heart of the matter appears when we don’t understand our “daily bread” isn’t coming from this world but God himself. In reality, achievements from studies and work could win us a lot of applause, and putting God on hold. When trails attacked our self-glorified heart, we were swallowed by death.
3. Taking the first step
This is my approach to the heart of the matter through which is through “repentance started from me.” Without facing God with humbleness, love, unworthiness and his highness, our prayer is meaningless, even during trials, if we want to walk on water like Jesus, we’d better get out of our boats first.
4. Fear not, He is near
Going through trials, we need courage from other Christians; it is different from asking someone to keep faith. If we call the little death as a new adventure, this was how Peter walked on water. This revelation Jesus revealed that every step we’ve walked in trials, God is near.
5. Your side or His side
The doubt issue is a trusting God issue, and we fell into these moments when trials turn us into a directionless corner. Rather than asking God to come to us, we should keep listening and walking with the Lord, as he didn’t just ask us to stand on water.
6. His timing is always right
Our Christian walks with God are difficult; the Lord’s timing for trials has a purpose for our spiritual growth. From the start to the end, it signified the little death. When we thought death was the end, it is actually just a journey of resurrection from death.
7. When we forget, we go under
Quite often, we have treated God as a genie in trials. Reminding ourselves being servants of the Lord in this world is critical, self-glorified with will power make us to forget relying on God. Only if we build a solid foundation in Christ, when life gets tougher, we may stand still.
8. Little Faith, Big Fear
In this nation, we are advanced to operate everything in a fast paste, not much of getting things done, but gaining time to move from one event to the next. However, the reality is that when we fast forward God’s plan, things become harder, and we totally ignored his existence and creations.
9. Courage starts with little Faith
Courage is a key element for people who are going through little deaths. It is different from keeping faith to God, but recognise and believe God is carrying us in this journey. As Christians, we shall bring courage to those who are walking through the little death; with every step, God is watching.
10. Only Grace
When we thought we were on the right track, the Lord changed our plans. It is not about the Lord stopped us from doing something we thought were important, but to recognised that the Lord is the real provider to us, not ourselves. Only Grace through the lord can bring us comforts.
11. Life isn’t about waves, but Jesus
So often our focus points were waves when we got crushed down from different aspects of life. Then we started complaining about them and being agressive about losing hopes. But life is about Jesus, to fear Him with a humble heart, like Peter cris out to the Lord for help.
12. In between sowing and harvest
Like Peter walkd on water with doubts and sins, the grace of God is always greater. God will not give less than what we deserved, also not to give us what we deserved from our sins, and God will provide more than what we expected at the end of each trial.