An Unexpected Gift
Darn it! Before I knew it, our newly-sharpened kitchen knife had sliced through my thumb. There was no way to stop the bleeding. As I came to grips with the reality that I’d be visiting the emergency room, I thought about all the things I wanted to accomplish that day, but now couldn’t. My annoyance grew by the minute.
On my way out the door, my wife pointed out that God was giving me some “down time.” Although I half-heartedly agreed, on the inside I was steaming. Down time! I don’t need down time – I’ve got things to do! Spending the afternoon in the ER didn’t seem very efficient to me.
Ironically, I’d been reading Paul Miller’s “A Praying Life” in an attempt to improve in that area. Although the book is about prayer, it’s really about the way we relate to God and how that drives the way we pray (or don’t). “Efficiency, multitasking and busyness all kill intimacy,” he writes. “In short, you can’t get to know God on the fly.” In the relative silence of the ER, I realized, too often I relate to God “on the fly”, in-between ministry(!) and family commitments.
Then the thought occurred to me, more powerfully than I had wished. We’re all in the same boat, me and the students I minister to – so often driven, independent and proud. Although I hide it well, even from myself, instantly I sensed if I really want to grow in prayer, and help the medical students I reach do the same, then I need to slow down and make more time for the Lord. An afternoon of frustration turned into one of the greatest gifts I’ve received in a long time.
Living It Out
In God’s providence, we’re in a season where the students are (understandably) preoccupied with exams and boards. They are too busy to get together. However, it’s a great time to apply what He’s been teaching me by praying for the students in a more intensive way. It’s an opportunity to minister to them in a season of devoted prayer, lifting them before Our Father’s throne where they will receive mercy and grace in this, their time of need.
I invite you to join me in praying for the students on campus during this challenging time. I’ve included some specific praises and prayer requests below to aid you in partnering with me this way. May we grow together in understanding that Who we know is far more significant than what we accomplish!
As we move forward in our ministry to healthcare students and professionals, we have been looking for opportunities to partner with a ministry tailored to this specific calling. I’m grateful to report that we are currently pursuing a partnership with the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) in Philadelphia. (CMDA is the leading, national ministry of its type). Our ministry will continue to place a heavy emphasis on reaching the city’s healthcare students, including those at PCOM where we currently minister. As the situation unfolds, we’ll be in touch with details such as where to send support, but for now please continue sending your contributions to Pilgrim Church (information on the left side of this page).
For prayer & praise:
- Praise God for his good work in my life! Please pray that He will use it to bless the students richly. (And may He similarly bless those of you who join me in prayer!)
- Praise God also for his generous provision through a few large contributions that have allowed us to catch up financially. Please pray for new partners moving forward.
- Praise God for the encouraging discussions we’ve been having with CMDA. Please pray that the Lord helps us reach a common understanding concerning ministry partnership in the near future.
- Pray for the graduating, fourth-year medical students who will soon find themselves in challenging residency programs. Pray especially that the Lord draws them closer to Himself, and also surrounds them with solid churches and true Christian fellowship.
- Pray that the students who are preparing for boards and exams will be attentive to God’s voice in the midst of studying, and that the pressures they are facing will draw them even closer to Him.
- Pray for God’s Word to be food and meat in a dry land for those same students.
- Pray by name for the PCOM leaders: Brian, Norm, Elizabeth, Jennifer, Kristen and Mike. May they remain firmly planted in streams of living water in a time of famine, so they can lead others by both word and deed!