O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! ~ Psalms 34:8, NASB

Every life has distinctive moments. Often they are not the ones that explode like fireworks, but are subtle – sometimes missed in the present and rediscovered in hindsight. In June of 2006, I was fortunate enough to participate in a medical trip to Ecuador. I came back, not with stories of valiant effort, but with something more valuable: the calm comfort of the Presence of the Lord.

As a junior in undergraduate school applying for medical school, I had many questions about what I should do with my life. I possessed a strong desire to be a physician; yet, at the same time, I could not help but wonder if I was making the correct career choice. Was medicine right for me?

A ten-hour plane ride usually takes you to unfamiliar conditions, but this trip to Ecuador brought me to my center. I had never met any of the people with whom I was working; but when I arrived, I was drawn into a community formed by colleagues. They knew my passions and understood my driving forces, and I felt close to them.

When I began serving in the clinic there, I was at ease because I was doing something for which I was created. It was as comfortable to me as being in my own house. Latex gloves and concrete floors or pajamas and my living room, I felt no difference. I heard Him say, “I know the plans I have for you” (Jeremiah 29:11, NASB). And then I knew that He would lead me to the place for which He had created me.

I had no experience and very little knowledge about working in health clinics. Yet, hundreds of patients received medical care and more than 100 people came to know Him through our team; and He said to me, “You can do all things through Me when I strengthen you” (Philippians 4:13, author’s paraphrase).

No one had ever told me medical school or being a doctor would be easy. I knew it would be difficult. When combined with the pressure the world puts on Christians – that is, being a physician who practices for the Lord – the challenge would be even harder. But my determination began to form in small ways. One day in Ecuador, I looked out the window and saw children who had come to our clinic playing soccer with some team members. They were laughing and shouting, and I felt the deep joy that comes when you serve in His name. And He reminded me, “Better is one day in My courts than thousands elsewhere.” (Psalm 84:10, author’s paraphrase).

Though I heard no fireworks when I boarded that plane for home, the experiences there still affect me greatly. The Lord drew near to me and showed me that His hand was upon my life. I felt His desire to use me. He will show Himself to all His children in His own way, specially made for each one of us. And we will “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8, NASB).

Bethany Cluskey, LLUSM class of 2011, is from Princeville, Illinois.