Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2 truths

From the scarcity of blog posts lately perhaps you can guess that the last few months have been challenging for me. This is true. I can say with certainty that I've never in my life worked as hard as I worked when I was on my CCU rotation in August. I truly felt burned out by the end of that month. September has been a bit of a much-needed breather but even my current rotation is very hard work compared to medical school or anything else I did before that.

It has been a mentally exhausting few months and what makes it more difficult is that it's very hard to see much light at the end of the tunnel. I know I am slowly adjusting to the realities of being a resident physician but this adjustment has not been pleasant nor fun.

Two spiritual truths have given me much comfort at times over the past month or so. Thinking about both of these truths has pretty much been birthed at Hockinson Apostolic Lutheran Church where I've been attending whenever I have a 2-day weekend and thus can make the 2 hour drive home to Battle Ground. I was reminded of one truth through hymn-singing and the other through hearing it preached.

The first truth I was reminded of is "He Leadeth Me." We sang this hymn, penned by Joseph Gilmore in 1862 as he meditated on the 23rd Psalm, one Sunday last month and I couldn't get it out of my head. This is one of the rare times when I'm very thankful for a song I can't get out of my head. The refrain goes:

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Some of the verses are:

He leadeth me, O blessèd thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, over troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.

And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.

That Sunday night, not looking forward to the long and difficult week ahead, I sought the Lord and worshipped Him, singing this song. I was overwhelmed by the joy it brought me to think that no matter what I face I can be confident that "He leadeth me." A friend recently text-messaged me a verse from Isaiah which confirms this promise of God to lead us, the text reads, "For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'fear not, I am the one who helps you (Isaiah 41:13)." When I think of the most difficult days of being an intern, when I want to run from the hospital, truly this truth is "with heav’nly comfort fraught."

The second truth I was reminded of is a truth all Christians should look forward to, that is, Christ's return at the end of the age. I heard two men mention the imminency of Christ's return while preaching, first at the Amboy Grange and then at the Hockinson church by Pastor Holmgren. I realize that the return of Christ is something that Christians have expected in their own lifetime throughout the history of the church. But hearing it preached by men whom I respect filled me with much excitement and also provided great relief. Thinking that "He will come again" and that He could come at any moment made me realize how little and transitory are the worries that tend to completely overwhelm my thoughts lately when thinking of all of my responsibilities as an intern. When we see Christ coming on the clouds all these things which seem so overwhelmingly important will fall down as nothing as every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

So in the midst of much struggle the Lord is providing for this wretched sinner who deserves none of His goodness and who has yet been showered in His goodness since the day I was born. O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chesterton: Drink

Jesus Christ also made wine, not a medicine, but a sacrament. But Omar makes it, not a sacrament, but a medicine. He feasts because life is not joyful; he revels because he is not glad. "Drink," he says. "for you know not whence you come nor why. Drink, for you know not when you go nor where. Drink, because the stars are cruel and the world as idle as a humming-top. Drink, because there is nothing worth trusting, nothing worth fighting for. Drink, because all things are lapsed in a base quality and an evil peace." So he stands offering us the cup in his hand. And at the high altar of Christianity stands another figure, in whose hand also is the cup of the vine. "Drink," he says, "for the whole world is as red as this wine, with the crimson of the love and the wrath of God. Drink, for the trumpets are blowing for battle and this is the stirrup-cup. Drink, for this is my blood of the new testament that is shed for you. Drink, for I know of whence you come and why. Drink, for I know of when you go and where."

- G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

Friday, September 2, 2011

Battle Ground Buzz

For any Clark County readers out there or for anyone interested in the goings-on of a small town in Western Washington state I'd like to recommend a new website started by a friend of mine:

Battle Ground is where I grew up and I'm pretty convinced it's the best place on Earth.