18th October 2015: To Have what it Takes
It is by grace you have been saved through faith -- and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)
It is 3am and your `bleep' has gone off for the second time in half and hour. You could weep with fatigue, frustration and misery. The human frame is just not designed to cope with the circumstances of a junior hospital doctor. As you mechanically carry out the required task, longing for your bed and sleep, you wonder how you are supposed to survive -- as a person, as a member of a family, and as a Christian.
At times like this, we need to let the living and active word of God speak to our hearts, as it is given to do. This verse can help us. Our salvation does not depend one fraction of 1% on ourselves. It is totally, 100%, the work of God. Planned in eternity by the Father, accomplished completely on the Cross by the Son, who as our representative and substitute died bearing the just punishment for our sins, it is applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Even the faith we exercise is the gift of God; we cannot produce it for ourselves.
So when our spiritual survival seems at stake because we are too tired to pray, too busy to study the scriptures, and too tied to the hospital to attend church meetings and worship, it is good to be reminded that we are saved by grace. Temporary interruptions in our co-operation in God's sanctifying work makes no difference to our justification. That is his work alone, and Christ has done it all for us. A man as well as God, he understands our fatigue and frustration, and says, `My grace is sufficient for you' (2 Cor 12:9). So in the midst of physical and mental exhaustion, let us rest in him and his never failing promises.
post a much too exciting call, not even having time to shake in my boots but having to round STAT, in the middle of gently deflecting the usual harried nurses (thank God for the o&g nurses who made me quite used to being called HO AH HO! from across the ward), the senior nurse suddenly asks me "what church do you go to?" stunned, i answer and ask how she knows im catholic... she pulls out a miraculous mary from under her uniform "same as yours! this always helps me, it never fails"... i nearly slumped to the floor in shock & gratitude.... indeed in the middle of the early morning code, God was there, protecting me.... but of course the round just continued as per normal. i realized that even though the nurse was making us feel a bit harried, whatever she said was probably something i should take seriously cos she was just trying to help us & highlight things we might have missed in the middle of our quick weekend round. and not least that God was speaking through her in some way or other to tell me something.
after everything settled down, as i stood there feeling very shellshocked, the reg told me "you did the right thing". actually, there was a lot more i could have done better. but i think what he meant is my instantaneous escalation was the right choice. i was thinking abt it the whole of that day... even after all the ce codes, im not immune to it & its my first ever time activating it myself. but thank God for the ce experience that enables me to act fast.
our salvation does not depend even a fraction of 1% on ourselves, it is 100% the work of God.
thankful also for the people in my life, both new and old. its funny that the first 2 people i told abt this too exciting call were people who i had wondered multiple times why they ever had come into my life in the first place. i guess it only goes to show that people come into your life for a reason. well sometimes they go out of it forever too, but not without leaving an indelible mark on it. no matter how i trace the start of my obssession with this specialty, it always goes back to a winter day walking through the woods & coming out starry eyed after feeling fireworks going off as i walked thru the wards with the bright cartoon festooned walls, after sitting through hours of discussion with the prof. i mean i liked it before (ha childhood dream of being a peds neurosurgeon), but i dont think i ever went to the extent of deciding to dedicate my whole life & youth to pursuing this dream until i felt those fireworks. but feelings are something verY iffy so, just saying, that's where it all started. & for m and d, despite everything, they're still there in my life, & have respectively been there through many of the major life events & have been responsible for my survival til this day. i don't really think i did anything majorly right or great to get to know them in the first place, or to deserve their encouragement and cheering on (save that of being entertaining, but as x showed me clearly, that obviously isnt enough to sustain even the best friendship). so thanks guys for being placed in my life by God, for staying even though time and events have tested our friendship. i promise to be a good friend :)