REAL LIFE MIRACLES

God Jumpstarted My Heart!

Wed, Apr 26, 2017 by Daniel Koh

Richard Lim had only just returned to the Lord barely three months before in July
2009 after having backslid for 22 years. It was nothing short of an act of divine intervention that while helping a friend, Richard found himself attending a church service. The sermon preached was “The Prodigal Son” and this long-lost son suddenly found himself arms raised in surrender, back in the Shepherd’s arms saying, “Here I am, Lord. Give me a second chance!”


“My fear then was that my marriage would break down because of my faith,” shared Richard, who has been married to Jeannis for 26 years. “We married at a time when I would warn my insurance agents (who were Christians) not to preach to me or I would stop doing business with them.”


Although his wife wasn’t against her husband’s new-found faith when he rededicated his life to God, she cautioned him not to try to convert her and their two children, given her family’s staunch religious background of another faith. Richard’s previous attempts at getting her to attend his then home church’s events had prompted this reaction.

 

One of these invitations was for a three-day-two-night marriage seminar that they both attended to renew their vows, and which he conveniently did not mention was organized by the church. Though Jeannis started attending church services with Richard, she remained unconvinced about God.

 

Undeterred, Richard would fervently and frequently pray, “All things in Your time”. Little did he expect God to begin a chain of events one fateful evening at a Chinese restaurant in Dalang, Guangdong on one of his business trips. He was traveling with his longtime friends and business associates, K. F. Cheng and Michael Lee. After a long day, they stopped by a restaurant for dinner when suddenly Richard slumped over the chair, almost unconscious. Richard was hardly breathing. His heart seemed to have stopped, and he was deadly pale. “Call the ambulance!”

K.F. yelled in Cantonese as Richard laid motionless in their arms. They thought they had lost him already. Everything happened quickly. One moment he was having dinner at the restaurant, and the next he was gone! By the time they got him to the hospital it was 20 minutes after he had collapsed with hardly any signs of a pulse.


K. F. and Michael thought they had lost their friend for good.


During those 20 minutes, while they panicked, Richard experienced something out of the world.

 

“There wasn’t any time to be afraid or anxious,” shared Richard. “I felt like I had all of a sudden been transported to a different place, but somehow I knew I was with the Lord. Then, I saw the Lord and two angels appear before me. The angels were huge– a few stories tall and glowing. The Lord’s face was so bright I couldn’t look straight into His eyes.


The Lord spoke to me, “Do not be afraid. My son, I will be with you.”

 

And immediately, the words from Psalm 23 came to mind: ‘The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want… 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.’

 

“His words assured me,” Richard recalled. “I felt at peace, and knew then that no harm would befall me as the LORD would protect me.”


On reaching the A&E Department, Richard was immediately attended to by the medical officer on duty. His blood pressure was 85/45 – a very low reading given Richard’s condition of high blood pressure. An average person’s blood pressure should be 120/80.

 

“Low blood pressure; suspect insufficient blood in the heart…” wrote the doctor in Chinese after his preliminary checks. Nonetheless, Richard slowly regained consciousness.


The doctors ran a thorough examination, including a blood test, ECG and an echocardiogram. Miraculously, the reports showed that everything seemed to be functioning normally. It was as if God literally jumpstarted his heart and set everything back in place!

 

The doctor remained concerned and asked for Richard to stay in the hospital for three to five more days for observation.


Richard refused. With great apprehension, the doctor discharged him with these words on the report, “The patient insists on being discharged despite being told to remain [in hospital] for treatment. High risk of low blood pressure in heart. Consequences for patient to bear alone.”


Having encountered God in such a dramatic and tangible manner, Richard’s heart was filled with new-found faith. He continued with his business discussions in Dalang and only flew back to Singapore the day after. He consulted with his cardiologist a day after his return home, and tests confirmed that he was healthy. Today, Richard is in the pink of health despite having come so close to death.

 

As remarkable as his experience was, what was to come testifies even further of God’s amazing grace. Not wanting to alarm his wife and family, Richard only related what had occurred to Jeannis after he returned home to Singapore.

 

“I kept asking why this thing happened!” exclaimed Jeannis.


“I was both devastated and relieved at the same time,” Jeannis gasped at just how close she and her children were to losing Richard. “I never expected anything to go wrong. He traveled a lot and I guess I took that for granted.”


Richard shared with his wife how God had spoken to him and saved him from the brink of death. “I was grateful he was alive. I don’t think I would have been able to contain my fears had I known what had happened and if he had to remain hospitalized. I’m also thankful I was spared the anxiety of worrying.” Then still a pre-believer, she wondered, “Who is this God that saved my husband and spared me such great worry?”


Unbeknown to Richard, Jeannis had her very own encounter with a prayer-answering God just a month ago. “I wasn’t sure whether God would answer my prayer,” revealed Jeannis. “Richard kept telling me about God’s power; so when there were reports of yet another typhoon approaching the Philippines, after they had suffered one just a few weeks before, I asked God to stop the typhoon. And He actually did! The typhoon which was heading west toward the Philippines somehow turned back!”


Pleasantly surprised, this episode marked her first step of faith in God. And with Richard safe after his near-death experience, she didn’t argue when he asked to her to accompany him that weekend for Sunday service. “I don’t recall what was preached that day, but when it was time for the altar call to receive Christ, I was suddenly prompted by a voice that said, ‘Raise your hands… Raise your hands…’,”


“It was an indescribable feeling, but I felt joy in my heart.” Raise her hands she did, and together with her beaming husband, walked out to the altar to receive Jesus as her Lord and personal Savior.

 

Jeannis became the first Christian in her family. She shared with her mother what Jesus had done on the cross, and how Richard was miraculously saved from death.


“But she just kept quiet…” said Jeannis.


Unexpectedly, Jeannis’ mother passed away slightly a month after Jeannis became a Christian. Grieved, Jeannis wondered day after day, if she would ever meet her mother again. “God, why did you take her away when she was not saved? She has no chance now…” Jeannis often thought.


A few months passed and at a church meeting, a pastor prayed for her and saw the word, ‘Wish’. As she pressed on to understand the revelation of this word, it was as though God was assuring Jeannis that He knew her deep yearning for her mother’s salvation.

 

All of a sudden, Jeannis received a vision: “I saw my mum sitting on a bed in hospital, followed by Jesus appearing in the sky. And then, I felt my mum standing on the right side of Jesus!” God assured her that her mother was safely with Jesus! “I believe my mum received Jesus before she passed on and is with Him now,” Jeannis professed without a hint of doubt.

 

One by one, family members came to know God’s love through Richard’s and Jeannis’ testimonies. Richard’s parents learned that God loved them enough not to take their son away. And Jeannis’ siblings realized just how real the power of God is in transforming life from death.


Richard honored God by making it a point to speak to someone about God every day for one year. And many more, including their daughter and a total of nine family members came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. His friend Mr. K. F. Cheng, who personally witnessed how Richard was saved from the clutches of death, received Christ as well and started attending church back in Hong Kong.


“Before this incident and as a young man, I served God out of sheer duty or obligation,” Richard remarked. “Now I serve a personal loving God who cares for us – no matter how insignificant we may think we are.” When asked to reflect why all this was allowed to happen, Richard quoted Jesus when He was asked why a man (He was to later heal) was born blind: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned… but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3)

 

Richard and Jeannis now both attend and serve in Trinity Christian Centre. Richard enrolls in
LEAD classes regularly, and served as Camp Champion in the last Church Camp. Apart from sharing his testimony with as many people as he can meet, he also serves in the committee of ACTS College (formerly Assemblies of God Bible College) in the Human Resources and Corporate Governance departments.

Richard once teetered on the brink of death, but now lives passionately together with Jeannis, their family members and friends for God’s awesome glory! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).


Hallelujah and amen!


This story first appeared in The Trinitarian Magazine Issue 2/2015.

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