Sunday, January 24, 2010

Farewell Robert Lam

Our dear Robert Lam returned home to the Lord on Saturday, 23 January 2010 at 5.15 am. I heard for the first time he could sleep well and he passed away in his sleep. I got home last night after the wake at 11pm and Ethan asked about church. I said it was very happy with lots of colorful balloons and one of them had “GOD” on it. There was a choir singing with guitars, drums, piano and violins playing and the church was filled with people.

Elaine asked me to share at the wake last night at First Baptist Church. I did not get an opportunity not that I was brave too anyway but here would be a little sharing from me.
Unlike Mike who had known Robert for 20 plus years, I did not know Robert personally. I did not know whether he was married. I did not know his children. I did not know he had a sense of humour. I knew he was serving in the International Student Ministry and was previously a well known newscaster. What compelled me to share with Robert on 6 November 2009 was the hope in Christ for healing because God in his mercy and loving kindness, healed me from Stage 4 lung cancer which had already then gone to the liver and bones including pelvic bone and skull. With one tarceva tablet 3 weeks after diagnosis, all the pain went away and I was more alert. Please understand by then, the nutrients had not kicked in yet as we took 3 weeks to decide on a strategy (chemo or nutrients; nutrients and chemo etc). Medically, even the doctor said it is impossible for all the pain to go away with just one tablet!

I shared with the logos word (the word of God for everyone) and it shows clearly that God wants to heal us, that is His will until He tells you otherwise in His rhema to you. Rhema is God’s word directly to you whether an impression or vision or from God’s word. I shared with him to continue soaking in God’s word for that rhema. After Ps Sasha, Ps Chris, Elaine and I laid hands to pray for him for his healing on 6 November 2009, we told him to just rest. But he said “How can I? I am so filled with with…”. Words cannot express that moment. He also felt that God would grant him 10 years more to live and we told Him to just hang on to that promise.

In his last days, the tables were turned and even in his dying moments, Robert showed me what it was to be an overcomer. When Jesus died on the cross, he took away our sorrows, our infirmities, our sins. He took the punishment for us on the cross so that we may have joy. So that we may be healthy. So that our sins are forgiven – past present and future. The stripes He bore for us and the body He broke for us was for our healing. And by His wounds we are healed. We are overcomers!

Isaiah 53:4,5
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

Not just spiritually healed. Look at all the miracles Jesus did, it was physical as well. Not just spiritually and physically only but also mentally and emotionally for those who are depressed and in need of inner healing as well. That’s the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4,5. We don’t know why God heals only some but God is in total control for the greater purpose in all His loving kindness and sovereignty. But until He gives the person directly the rhema, we have His logos word to stand on.

Robert showed me to the very last moment he had no fear of death. He showed to me he is an overcomer even in his fallen state. Death has lost its sting even while he was alive. As cousin Jean put it, his spirit and body was not in sync. His spirit was so alive and still claiming for those 10 years for which we were rallying behind him but his body was as good as gone. It was not my desire but Robert's desire. Prathab, Chor Hon, Ps Lydia, Ps Joseph, Uncle Allen all are witnesses to this.

I am glad we did not give up on God’s deliverance. As Ps Looi put it well, God may not have delivered him physically, but He has definitely delivered him spiritually. It is written Romans 8: "17, Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

My pain and struggle was grasping between logos and rhema. Because I am not Robert I will never know what rhema he received from God or what the desire of His heart truly is. Still, I believe God spoke to him personally as Jean told me that the Wednesday before he passed away he said “I have not long more to go” and in the wake I understand he asked for his funeral service to be a celebration.

On my part, I have told my story. Like the beautiful sermon I heard yesterday morning regarding Mark 5: 1-20, it depends which angle you are listening to a story. Some may rejoice, some may reject it. When I received God’s calling to just go and tell everyone on the first night at the hospital on 30 June 2009 and that He would give me His words to put in my mouth, He was right. I am really not the sort of person that do hospital visits and definitely not to people I am not familiar with.

But God has put a compassion in my heart for people who need to know the healing they can claim. It wasn’t difficult at all, it’s amazing I must say how God leads me step by step. I thank Steven Lee for his encouraging words and the story of Abraham. Abraham still went ahead to sacrifice his son Isaac even though his wife called him to stop. He obeyed God and God saw his heart. God saw Robert’s heart and God saw my heart. It was a step of faith for both of us, both on our own journey. He’s with God now, a much much better place and we can rejoice with Robert for the victory won!

I also learned that the reason why God does not heal even though we stand on His promises is because perfection will come when Jesus returns again. As Soo Inn shared with me “God’s rule has begun but job is completely finished when Jesus comes back again to renew everything completely. We expect God to do great things today but perfection awaits His return.”

With this knowledge, my faith will not be shaken because He and only He knows of His higher purpose and that is to bring as many back to Him as possible. I will continue to stand on His logos word to us. You see, if we did not believe the bible, if we are not in agreement with the bible, we will have to plead God to be merciful for healing on a case by case basis. The whole time, we will be on our knees praying for God to be merciful. Yet, there’s just so many scriptures in the bible for healing and to be confident in Him. We can be confident in Him. He tells us to come boldly to His throne of grace. He tells us nothing is impossible. He tells us “14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us”. This is His logos word to all of us. And until rhema comes to that person whom we are praying for, we are to stand in confidence for the healing because that is His logos will for us.

As you read, you probably can sense the struggle I face but that is part of the journey of learning and discovering God. Ps Looi is right when he said we are to be responsible for our belief. If we are too traditional, then we have to be responsible for the lack of miracles in our lives and if we are too charismatic then we have to pay the consequence of being too prosperity conscious.

Thank you Robert Lam for teaching me and showing me what and overcomer you are even when alive that death had no hold on you. You had no fear even though you confidently claimed that 10 years to testify of God's wondrous deeds.


  1. hi liz
    as i read your blog, the verse "i have fought a good fight of faith" comes to mind. for both robert and you, i believe whether in logos or rhema, both of you fought courageously, and that is what matter. fighting means resisting the norm and aiming for the impossible! robert is victorious; you are victorious too! :)

  2. Hey Fee, thanks for your eye opening comment on "fighting" - ersisting the norm and aiming for the impossible. It's like fixing our eyes on Jesus and not looking at the circumstance. Because He has won the victory so have we. :) thanks fee.