If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?~Matt 7:11


As a general rule, I offer to have a prayer with patients prior to beginning the anesthesia for their surgery. The majority of patients gladly accept the offer and most of those who say no are very polite, and at least appreciate that someone cared enough to offer.

One day, a middle-aged female patient declined by saying, “Nah. That’s okay.” There was no tone suggesting she was irritated by the request in any way. I went about my business thinking prayer was just not her thing and did not give it another thought.

After her surgery was over, her recovery room nurse wheeled her bed past me on the way to Phase II recovery. The patient pointed to me and asked the nurse, “Who is that guy?” The nurse, knowing my routine, replied, “That’s the doctor who offered to pray with you.” The patient’s response startled both of us. “Prayer? He said, ‘prayer?’ I would have said ‘yes’ to a prayer-I thought he said, ‘Affair’!”

Many people have told me that I do not enunciate clearly and am quite difficult to understand. But to this day, what has confused me the most was how nonchalant her original response had been-if she actually thought I was asking her to have an affair!

From a spiritual context, how often we are offered the amazing gifts of Heaven only to decline them, because we do not pay enough attention to grasp the significance of the offer? The Majesty of Heaven has walked in our shoes. He knows exactly what we need for every situation we face. He has “all power” in the universe and He has promised to use it on behalf of anyone who trusts in His Word. The unfathomable purpose for which He created us can be easily attained through the power He longs to give us.

So why do we not have this power in our lives? Jesus’ admonition to the last-day church provides a huge clue. He does not bestow the gifts, because we do not ask for them. We do not ask, because we do not think we are in need. He pleads with us to “open the door” when He knocks, and the Living God will come in and entwine our lives with His. He pleads with us to see our need; to buy of Him pure gold, clean clothes, and healing eye ointment.

The reward He offers His church for merely believing His Word and accepting the gifts that He offers today is that, in the eternal tomorrow, they will “sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelations 3:21, KJV). With such an amazing prize, how sad it would be for any to come to the end of their race and wistfully say, “Sitting with Jesus on His throne? I’d have taken that. I didn’t grasp the enormity of it all until it was too late.”

May we all plead with God to use us as He sees fit today, assured that He will provide the power required to fulfill His plans for our lives. And, in that glorious tomorrow, may we all be reunited at the throne of God.

Brent Goodge, LLUSM class of 2000, was an anesthesiology resident at LLUMC from 2001 to 2004. Brent lives with his wife, Synnova, and their daughters in Dalton, Georgia.