In Remembrance of Mom—Ida Lam
I praise God for the opportunity to share mom’s life closely in the last few months of her life – to witness first hand her trust in our Lord. Mom often told me that receiving Jesus as Savior had brought her the most joy and peace. Praise the Lord, in 2003 she converted from a Buddhist, whose source of pride was her good deeds, to a humble Christian who longs to server and glorify God.
Her trust in the Lord came to a trial earlier this year when she came down with gallbladder cancer despite of the fact that she lived a disciplined “proper” life, ate a careful diet and exercised daily. Many, including her questioned WHY? It was a difficult blow to her; however, she never doubted that our heavenly Father loved her and would give her nothing but the best. She knew her life was completely in God’s hands and she lived each day by faith and drew strength from the Lord. She prayed, read the Bible, and often sang hymns to praise God. Sometimes she cried, but she reassured me those were not tears of sadness but rather tears of gratitude when she counted God’s innumerable blessings in her life. God’s Word comforted and encouraged her, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4).
Had it not been obedience and encouragement from the Bible, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16), she would not have agreed to undergo chemotherapy which would make her hair fall off (for those who knew mom, she never had a “bad hair day”). Yet God is faithful – despite her hair thinning out quite a bit after 3 months of chemotherapy, she still looked gracious with sufficient hair. One and a half weeks prior to her return to heaven, I was sad to see the shedding of so much of her hair, yet mom comforted me and reminded me of our Lord’s promise: "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." (Matthew 10:30). She told me not to worry – God is taking care of her.
Although we miss her presence, we are comforted by God’s promise of eternal life with Him. The Bible says, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26). Mom believed! And God revealed to her a glimpse of heaven: About one week prior to her passing, mom had a huge smile on her face, one that I have not seen since she fell ill. She told me with such deep joy that God answered her prayer by showing her an extremely colorful and beautiful world; it was lovelier than the fanciest place she had ever visited.
That angelic smile told us she experienced true peace, an inexplicable peace that could only be brought by God. Even though she was dying, through Christ, she has conquered death! Yes, she has departed from this earth physically, but she is forever with our Lord. She hopes that one day all her non-Christian family/friends will also receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus, because she wants to see all of us in heaven!
By Patricia Lam 8/2008