This is my first memory. Paper doors and warm floors. Deliciously pungent kimchi. A Korean aunt, with hair messily pulled back, quietly busied herself in the kitchen, likely preparing a meal for me. In my memory she’s just a part of the background, because my eyes were fixated on my grandmother. My grandmother lay behind a white, gossamer curtain with golden rays of light shining upon her beautifully and deeply wrinkled face. She was radiant. I was confused. Why was she sleeping there instead of working in the kitchen or doing other chores? Curious, I slowly walked closer to her and drew back the curtain. I didn’t know it, but my grandmother was no longer. What I saw was her body, beautifully prepared for burial.
My memory is riddled with death. From age three to eleven, eight significant people in my life died. I wish all those memories were peaceful and beautiful like that of my Korean grandmother, but some were tragic and others violent. Regardless of how each person died, every one of those deaths led me to believe something. Life is temporary and death is inevitable.
Have you ever experienced the death of a loved one? Do you believe there is life after death?
During that time in my childhood, I believed in God and heaven. I truly believed I would see my loved ones again. But when I was in high school and college, I questioned the existence of God. I eventually concluded that God was just another fairytale and that death was permanent. So I began to live my life the way I wanted because I believed there was nothing more beyond my physical existence. The farther I fled from God, the more I consumed things not of God to fill the void of His absence. I may have been living the life, but I felt dead inside.
Whether it’s the death of a loved one or darkness that feels like death in our hearts, each of us has experienced death in some way. It was only when I found Jesus again that I discovered the hope of life – hope for an abundant life on earth (John 10:10) and an eternal life with Him (John 3:16). My life is permanent and eternal, and death is defeated (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)! I am alive in Christ! And you can be too.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10
Are you alive?
Our eternity begins when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That’s because God is in the business of life. Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and the Lord wishes that for you, too. It’s why Jesus was sent on a rescue mission (Romans 5:8). And it’s not just your spirit that He wants to bring back to life. He wants to bring all kinds of things back to life, like your marriage, your relationships, your hopes, your dreams.
What would you like for Jesus to bring back to life?
Dear God, thank you for being the God of life. You are the God of creation, speaking things into being and bringing things to life. I lift up each reader and ask that your resurrecting power come alive in them. You see all the dead places in their lives, even more clearly than they do. Breathe life into those places. Thank you, God, for your unfailing love and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Because you are what God says that you are! You are enough!
Make Breath on Paper a part of your daily devotion as we begin this new series on what God says about us. I AM – what God says that I am. (unsubscribe at anytime)
We would love it if you share this post on FB, Pinterest, Twitter, and help us get the word out.
Vicky Cullison is a full-time wife, a full-time mother, a full-time creative project manager and most importantly a full-time lover and follower of Jesus. She’s also a full-time food lover, a full-time animal petter and a full-time encourager. When not doing these things, she attempts to write stuff. Click here to read her Breath on Paper Bio.