I haven't mentioned much about Mel's struggle with burnout, but when you're an ER doc and your hours are switched around against your will and you have to battle drug seekers--who go out on the street and sell those drugs for a living--you burn out fast. Mel has been talking to God about that lately, and his bitterness is getting to him.
I commiserate. I worry about him, and pray that God will give him a break, but lately I'm not as gentle with God as I used to be. We're tired, overwhelmed, disgusted quite often.
Have you ever said something to God and then braced yourself for the lightning to blast you dead? Yeah, well, we've both been there a lot lately. So that's why we were doubly touched by God's gentleness and tender dealings with us.
Two days ago, Mel called me as he always does when he got off work and told me about some of his day. Of course, he never betrays patient confidentiality, but he told me about one young woman who recognized his name when he walked into the exam room. "You're Dr. Hodde?" she asked. "You don't remember me, do you? You saved my life when I was nine. You diagnosed my colon cancer." She hugged him and thanked him again for saving her life.
When he told me about it, I cried. I was so touched. "Honey," I said, "you know God sent her to do that, don't you?" He admitted I was right.
I've found God does that often. When we're at our worst, upset, hurting, burning out, and crying out to Him about it--even when we don't speak with the respect He so abundantly deserves--He answers us with gentleness, with encouragement, with a little taste of the impact our suffering is making on the world.
How about you? Have there been any times when you felt God was going to deal with you harshly, and yet His gentleness touched you in a life-changing way? Share if you care to. I so enjoy hearing about how God touches lives.
Labels: Answered prayer, doctors, saving lives