Written By Lim Lay Hsuan, Malaysia
It would seem no other nation suffered more loss in the past year than ours. In the Malaysian aviation sector alone, we lost three carriers. The latest one, involving an AirAsia (AA) flight, couldn’t have come at a worse time, amid the celebratory mood with the New Year just around the corner and Christmas just over.
When I woke up on Sunday (28 December) to messages on my mobile phone about the loss of an AA aircraft, the first thing that came to my mind was, “Not again . . .” But I didn’t think much about it till Tuesday, when news broke that they found bodies and fragments of the plane floating on the rough sea. I guess I had been holding on to the slightest hope that the plane could have landed somewhere safely.
Seeing the pixelated image of a man’s body bobbing on the sea surface during prime time news made me realize that it could have struck much closer to home. Just a little more than 24 hours before the ill-fated plane went missing, my sister, brother-in-law and niece were in another AA flight (although it took a completely different route). Tears welled in my eyes when it dawned on me that it could have been any flight, including the one my sister’s family was on. It’s a frightening thought to know that you have no control of such circumstances.
Another thought crossed my mind. The year before, there was a personal loss in the family: three deaths in a week. Last year, the loss seemed to have expanded to national level: three planes in a year. I went to bed disturbed as I thought about the losses, which occurred in repeated numbers of three.
On Wednesday (31 December), I woke up to read the Bible before leaving for work. That morning’s Bible reading on my phone was on Revelation 22. It seemed as though God was speaking in His mysterious way. I quote the first two verses: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1–2 NIV)
We live in a fallen world, but God has promised that He will restore it. Revelation 22 gave us a vision of Paradise regained. It is a message of hope that we need to hear and fix our eyes on in the midst of bad news.
No doubt, it has been a very trying year for Malaysia. As one of my colleagues mentioned, perhaps it is an avenue for us to unite as one for the country. I hope we’ll take heart and concentrate on doing things that matter for humanity, not bickering over trivial things. And let believers be the salt and light in our community so as to point our hopeless world to the hope that God promises.
God bless (and restore) Malaysia.