Saturday, May 30, 2015


It is difficult to sum up the life of a man in a single writing. but we try to, for we want others to know how he lived his life, and pray that it will inspire, encourage and edify you in the process. 

Daddy, or Michael Lim, as many know him, was an affable man with an infectious laughter and a booming voice. “Oh, Michael Lim from Tabernacle Auto?” As his children, we get that a lot. Seldom do his acquaintances note us by name, for my dad’s personality often shone through when he relates to others. 

Hence, when our beloved father was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, the pain and grief was very difficult to bear. How does one accept the news of a loved one suffering? 

Praise the Lord for His goodness in our lives. As a family brought up to know the Lord and His salvation, we despair, but not as one without hope. 

When dad was diagnosed, certain things remained the same, while some things changed. Through this, we hope you can get a glimpse of who my dad is and how he lived his life, whether with cancer, or without. 

His love for his family and his desire for us remained the same
My daddy has always been “over-enthusiastic”. As a husband, he put in no little effort in courting my mother. Amidst the ups and downs in marriage, he loved her, led her, and was not hesitant in displaying his affection to her. As a father, he brought us to know God, teaching us from the Psalms and the Proverbs. He marched my sister and me down the aisle on our wedding day with a huge grin on his face. When Zachary, Ezra and Elliot were born, he took much delight in them and how they responded to him. It was clear he loved the family and we too, love him deeply. 

Shortly after he was diagnosed, our family spent some time together on a staycation and holidays. Much as we were not in the mood, these serve as precious memories for us, which we hold dearly. Our father shared with us that his greatest desire and wish was for us to please God, to love God. Nothing complicated, nothing new. It was what he has been telling us since we were young. 

His dedication to his company remained the same
Tabernacle Auto Services Pte Ltd. My dad started out as an engineer but by God’s leading and provision, he ended up being a “Car-doctor”. Ah, his passion for cars and the way he speaks about them. We have seen his enthusiasm, and his joy when he hears of how his “treatment” has proven effective in making someone’s car more powerful/smooth/cooling. 

More importantly, as the name of the company conveys, my daddy viewed his workshop as a ministry. He did not openly share this to us, but over time, we started to realize that. How can a car workshop be a ministry? His desire was for servants of God, and those serving God full-time, to send their cars there, so he could minister to them. 

When Daddy was diagnosed, work proved to be a good distraction for him. His dedication never faltered, and while he did not say it, Mummy told us he was burdened for his employees and wanted Tabernacle to continue being a blessing. 

His Faith in God remained the same
His faith was steadfast and in fact, evidently strengthened. His outlook, his hopes, his perspective of this disease... all these revealed how he regarded God in light of this suffering. Can one still say that God is good, when he loses all strength and appetite? Or when he has to forsake all that he used to find joy in? Or when he witnesses and feels as though he is the reason why his beloved wife toils and labours in caring for him?

This was my daddy’s declaration from start to end. God is good. 

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same
the LORD's name is to be praised.
Psalm 113: 3

This was the verse shared with my father a few days before he returned home, as he witnessed the sunrise from his bed. He nodded in full agreement when it was shared. The Lord’s name is to be praised. 

His fighting spirit remained the same
Even when my daddy was too weak to walk and at times even struggling to stay awake, he persisted in his visits to the hospital. The nausea and vomiting constantly afflicted him, but he would still try, mouth by mouth, sip by sip, to take down some Prosure or Resource. Vomitting in the morning became an expected routine, before he could continue his breakfast. He soon ran out of options when it came to medications or treatment, but when presented with option of going for a medical trial, he would go for it. He told us many times: I must keep fighting, I must. And He did, right to the end - physically, spiritually, mentally. 

So what changed? 

My flesh and my heart faileth:
but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Psalm 73: 26

It was painful to witness my daddy declining over the one and a half years. He lost a lot of weight, and suffered a lot. To put these in words would be insufficient. It became so real to us that this body, this life on earth, is like a vapour that can vanish, just like that. 

My dad fought a losing battle physically, but in all other ways, he won. He is now resting in heaven, it is now our turn to carry on living this legacy he left behind, all to the glory of God. 

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:
and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2 Timothy 4: 7-8

1 comment:

pp said...

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
Psalm 16:11

Daddy, though too weak to speak in the last few days, was able to nod his head strongly in agreement to the phrase "in thy presence is fulness of joy". He had the assurance of salvation to the end, and is now enjoying eternal pleasures at the hand of God Himself.

dearly missed, but not forgotten.

you shall surely meet him one day dear, in the Lord Jesus Christ.