Be very careful, then, how you live– not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17, NIV)
Someone once said:” The main thing is to keep the main thing, the mail thing.” In other words, keep on target with your primary goal, not being sidetracked by the multitudes of other duties competing for your focused attention. Nothing is truer in the life of the Christian medical student, resident, or physician, who is constantly inundated with a myriad of demands, drawing him or her away from the main goal; continuing the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of Matthew, we see that His ministry was threefold- teaching, preaching the good news, and healing. “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness” (Matthew 9:35, NIV).
As a surgical resident on-call, I was asked to see a patient in the emergency room. An unfortunate elderly man, who had a recurrent spinal tumor re-excised, had now returned with a gaping wound dehiscence, the size of his head, on his upper back. This series of question:” What is your source of strength?” He said he didn’t know; so I shared with him that found my strength in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
He was intrigued by that concept, but I was called away to other duties. I promised him I would return, but it was 11:00 p.m. before things finally quieted down. In his room, we returned to this topic. After sharing with him some verses from the “Roman Road” (Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, and 10:9), we actually prayed a prayer for him to receive Christ. I wasn’t sure how much he understood but was surprised when I asked him, “So where is Christ now?” and he answered, “In my heart”.
In Ephesians, Paul reminds us that we are living in days of evil. The “god of this age,” Satan, will continually distract us from our focus on Christ. Now at the end of my residency, I see that without constant reminders, especially from other like-minded believers at work, I would have easily lost the focus to practice spiritual care and witness. Therefore, we need to make a conscious effort to live daily for Christ, looking for every opportunity to care for, minister to, and even share the gospel with those we meet. Let this be our resolution together as we begin this new year!