By Chan Lim
When I first moved out to the Bay Area, I came with a heavy heart, full of broken dreams. I loved my church family in Houston and didn’t want to leave but the only place where I could find a job to keep my immigration status was in San Jose.
My late Grandmother was one of my most steadfast prayer supporters, who, after praying over me, saw a vision of a hand setting down a lamp. I believed it was God telling me that He was placing me here intentionally, to be a light in this specific area.
Fast forward to today, God has blessed me with a beautiful wife and three healthy children. And even though three kids can be a handful, God has shown us that
a four-month-old can receive,
a two-year-old can start to express, and
a four-year-old can articulate the great and unsearchable things of God.
The Men’s Retreat was, for me, a quiet place to listen to His voice again. There, He revealed some areas of idolatry where I had given the enemy a foothold into our family, in the form of media, that I let into my eyes, my ears, and my soul.
These were things that I had set aside many years ago by His revelation through the ministry of Pastoral Care School. They were things I was letting into my being that were hindering me in my pursuit of holiness and intimacy with God. But somehow through the passing years, little by little, I let those things sneak back in with excuses and rationale that only served to gratify my flesh.
It is only so clear in hindsight through the Holy Spirit’s revelation, but we were hit with the consequences of my sin when all three of our children became sick with fevers, vomiting, and persistent coughs that led to more vomiting. I became afraid that it was a repeated pattern from when I was two years old: my mom told me that I had to sleep with a bucket by my bedside every night because of my vomiting.
I was reminded of 2 Samuel 24, when God judged the Israelites for King David’s sin of taking a census. In verse 17 David cries out to God,
“Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done?”
We were so careful, and our children themselves were so careful not to let anything into their eyes and ears that were displeasing to God. But I, for some reason, allowed myself to have a separate set of standards, and as the head of the household, my actions had consequences in the spiritual realm that reached my whole family. And even though this was a very sad realization, God was gracious and faithful, and used this opportunity to bring us all closer to Him.
When I returned home from the retreat, I confessed these things to our four-year-old, and she forgave me and helped me cut off the enemy’s access into our family. We sang praises to the name of Jesus together.
When I returned from paternity leave a couple months ago, I was holding our baby during worship. We named her Cassia, from one of the ingredients of the anointing oil in the tabernacle. I heard God’s voice telling me, “She is not just the anointing oil, but the oil for your lamp. You may sometimes think that she is slowing you down from your life, career, and ministry, but she is part of your story. I placed you as a light in San Jose all those years ago, but through her I will enable you to keep burning, and to burn brighter.”
I will end my testimony with what our children love to shout every time we pray: “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Glory to God! Thank You Jesus!”