Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Dark Side, the Grace of God and Obedience

by Dr Beng | Call It Grace

When God wakes you up in the early hours of the morning with spiritual revelations, a command to pray and to write down what He’s shown you, you had best obey.

He’s showing me the work He’s doing in me, demonstrating that only He can do it.

First there was L, who gets her blood pressure medication from the polyclinic, and comes to me for her diabetic medicine. This is what we call "fragmented care" and it is NOT GOOD for the patient. I tried to explain to her that she should just consolidate her care under one doctor (preferably the polyclinic, for cost reasons), but she kept interjecting about why this and why that, and basically had no interest in hearing what I had to say. I got impatient with her and asked her to just hear me out, in a rather irritated manner. There on the wall to my right were the reminders about the fruit of the Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self control. I asked God to forgive me. I was tempted to just keep quiet and refer her away (the passive aggressive way) but was restrained from doing so.

Before she left she said, "Don't be angry..." I said I wasn't, but I was lying. The truth is that I knew I was not going to charge her more than $5 for my time (she's unemployed) and I was angry that she was taking up so much of my time, and there was a long queue of paying patients waiting outside. Resentful charity. Way to go, Beng - what a wonderful witness. (I'm being sarcastic, in case you did not realize).

Then there was J, who shouted outside and demanded to see the doctor straightaway. She had been waiting for more than half an hour, had popped out of the clinic to run an errand, and became furious when she came back in to find that that I had started seeing the other patient (for just five minutes, I might add). The other patient was gracious enough to interrupt the consultation to let her see me first. She vented about how this is why she never came back to Singapore, because people here were so inconsiderate, and grumbled about how she had to wait so long, not realizing that if she had wanted more time, others behind her would have had to wait as well. And if I had been seeing her halfway, I doubt she would have been gracious enough to be asked to interrupt her consultation (especially if she had just mentioned to me that her husband had been having an affair, like the patient before her did, which is why I had some serious and time-consuming counselling to do in the first place).

By these things, God showed me what the human heart is like. Mine, and that of all mankind.

He also demonstrated His power remarkably by the calm I was able to muster, keeping my lips tightly shut and refraining from explaining all of the above, but merely being polite and professional and not commenting on her ranting. In front of me were the words reminding me that "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." She looked ashamed enough of her ranting and stopped it after a while, rebuked by my silence on the matter.

Now God chose to wake me up at 4.30 am in the morning to make me ponder these things. The first incident was to show me how weak I was in my own flesh, despite my good intentions. He pointed out to me that if it were not for His Holy Spirit I would never have behaved that way in the second incident (believe me, I have no problem cutting people down to size when I choose to). Thank you Lord. Not only that, He would have me pray for her, as the Word came to me: "Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you." God showed me that He loves even people like her, and can and will save them. Weak human nature. It's all about God's love and grace.

I rejoice that He keeps me close to Him and obedient and holy that He may show these things to me. I know that without holiness, I would be much less sensitive to these promptings. The effort to be holy results in rewards like these - Joy in the father's presence and being able to hear his voice, and being given the ability to obey holy unctions.

Then He wants me to write all this down, lest the morning comes and all the things He has revealed to me disappear from my mind like the mists of the morning. What, Lord? You have got to be kidding! Do you know what time it is?

But I've learnt a long time ago that He gives what He commands, and I don't have to worry about not getting enough sleep. All I have to do is obey.

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