Jesus said `I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture'. Jn 10:9
1st January 2014: New Leaf or New Life? New Year or new 'You'?
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end: they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-24
The New Year is traditionally regarded as a time for a new start, a herald of better things, the chance to turn over 'a new leaf'. For most of us it is not so much a question of how many and what resolutions we make, but how long any of them will last! The New Year is littered with shattered good intentions. At no time is the weakness and helplessness of our fallen human nature so revealed as on January lst.
Some of us may be starting the year with high hopes, laudable ambitions and exciting dreams, not only of professional success but of fruitful Christian service. Others perhaps face the New Year with foreboding. Maybe our cherished hopes have not materialised, we are disillusioned with our professional progress or with the quality of our spiritual lives; we can't see the way forward and there are seemingly insoluble problems in our circumstances or relationships.
But, thank God, the coming year depends not on our resolutions but on God's reliability, not on our moods and misgivings but on God's continuing mercies (La 3:22-25). He offers not merely help to turn over a new leaf, but the gift of a new life. God may not change our circumstances but he can and indeed is changing us into his likeness by his Spirit as he daily renews our inner nature (2 Cor 3:18; 4:16).
We may not be able to see far ahead, but we may be sure that he has planned the way for us, for 'we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them' (Eph 2:10).
But we have a part to play; we are commanded to 'put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness' (Eph 4:24), 'to be renewed in the spirit of your minds (Eph 4:23), 'to be transformed by the renewal of your mind' (Rom 12:2).
2nd January 2014: Pressed above Measure
'Then came a man called Jairus... and... knelt before him, pleading for his help... Jesus went off with him, followed by a large crowd jostling at his elbow. Among them was a woman who had had a haemorrhage for twelve years.' Mark 5:22-25 (JBP)
Interrupted on the way to one patient by the urgent need of another, incessantly distracted, constantly in demand, jostled, hampered, harassed, tired -- a description of my day? No, a day in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. His response was willing, attentive, gracious, healing: in a word, loving. `This woman touched his cloak... At once, Jesus knew intuitively that power had gone out of him... But he said to her "Daughter, it is your faith that has healed you. Go... in peace and be free from your trouble."'
What is my response to similar pressure? Resentful, curt, irritable, hurtful -- loving myself more than my patients and more than my Lord? I forget that nothing happens to me without his consent. He has permitted each exasperating `phone call and every extra booking in the clinic. Each irritation is a chance for me to show his control, not my own lack of it.
My life should be so full of his Holy Spirit that when I am jostled, his love overflows and brings healing and calm. Too often, it is self-love which spills out and brings discord.
5th January 2014: Running Ahead
`Father,' Jesus said, `If you will, take this cup of suffering away from me. Not my will, however, but your will be done.' Luke 22:42 (GNB)
A blank wall, a closed door. All the plans and preparations had gone smoothly -- and then suddenly almost at the climax, and far too late to find an alternative, the way is blocked. Hopes are dashed, excitement drained, expectations unfulfilled. Why, Lord? You knew what was coming -- why did I get so far along the road before this happened?
I try to find another route -- and every way is barred: no way forward, no way around the obstacle. What am I meant to do now, Lord? Wait. There is no alternative now. At last, I am thrown back onto God. I have rushed ahead again -- frequently pausing to mention the overall idea to God, but never really asking him, or listening and waiting for his plan. Rather, I only ask for confirmation of my own plans -- please, God, this is what I'd like to do.
Every day I make decisions -- some I make alone, some after consulting others. As I learn more, I expect to assume more responsibility. This includes making increasingly far-reaching decisions and acting upon them alone. This is entirely right, and the path to professional maturity. In personal decisions too, including spiritual ones, I must aim at maturity.
Self-determination, however, is not the maturity I seek. To forget that I am not my own, and to do as I please, is not the way that Jesus took. Worse, having once given myself to God, to begin little by little to isolate from him decisions affecting my life, while deceiving myself that he is really still in charge, only leads to distancing myself from him. And so, the sudden shock of disappointment, and the awful realisation of the true state of things. I am glad of the pain too, though, for it reassures me of God's great love for me -- that he will not let me stray too far.
credits to the amazing: http://www.cmf.org.uk/doctors/devotion.asp
i think this says it better than i could. if i'm a safe doctor and dont get irritated with people over the phone, that's 'nuff for me. these are the two hardest things in the world really. last passive call everyone who called me before 6 (i was caught up with clerking a random dude for my team) i said CALL PRIMARY TEAM and last 2 days when we blissfully ended early for once when called i said CALL PASSIVE. hahaha luckily the people involved are super nice & chill people.
i dont think i'll ever forget this year. it's been really awesome, graduating and starting to work. having a lot of cool experiences like conferences, assisting in operations, watching cool surgeries, doing my first calls (the excitement very quickly turned into pre-call dreading, FAST), doing my first procedures like first time ever taking blood from kids, lumbar punctures, etc. its a little difficult to describe the sense of rising alarm as you're asked to do something for the first time ever and you just need to do it coz u have NO CHOICE, but then somehow you do it perfectly & its awesomee. intern diaries, the stuff of gray's anatomy which i so loved pre-med HAHA. it's been really lovely with lots of awesome friends and cameraderie, from mbbs mugging to getting to know batchmates better as we slog in the trenches to making new friends with fellow hos. as i was telling cheryl & f today in the mo room, i used to wonder what it would like working as a ho back home & if i would fit in (cos as we all know, one's fellow hos make a BIG difference to HO QOL haha). well actually like they said i'm a bit biased coz i also had so many yrs of pre-working life fitting into the system LOL. nevertheless its things like this where God somehow smoothens things out & things you were worried about somehow falls into place & makes sense that is literally heartwarming.
random thoughts over... i now have to round. then CALL looms on the horizon. zomg zomg. on the bright side, STARBUCKS HAS COME. going to load up on lattes and chocolate pre-call wahaha