On the Side

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On the Side - August 2016

Freely You Have Received
Sharon Chatwell

Many of you just moved somewhere new and your husband just started a new job. Congratulations!?

Since the medical training world runs on a calendar that goes from July 1st to June 30th, this is just the beginning of your new year.  Even if you haven’t had to move, your husband has probably just started his next training year (whether it’s the second, third or FIFTH year!)  God bless you!

Those of us who have been through this already can empathize with you.  We understand.  My husband, Rick, just celebrated his 25th year in practice, but even now we still feel the ebb and flow of the medical tides that occur at this time of year.  For the first decade we were married, we moved to a new place every 3 years.  It took me a long time, after we settled down, not to start packing up the house in June.  (I still have some of the boxes, just in case.)

The training of physicians is a time-honored tradition.  Even in the days before medical schools and internships, young physicians would train with older, more experienced physicians.  It is simply the easiest way to learn the Art of Medicine, and to this day it is still a necessary step in the process of becoming a physician.

As a physician in practice, my husband always seems to have someone around who is still in training. There is a fairly constant stream of residents through his office, and I often meet them when I drop by for lunch.  A few weeks ago, I was surprised to find a high school student there, who had been “shadowing” my husband through his day.  This young man was already considering a career in medicine, but I was amazed at how young he looked.  Were we ever that young?

It’s important for us to remember these days of transition; the days of schooling that turn in to training and then in to practice.  We must remember them, because they must be repeated for all of those who will follow.  Older physicians must continue to mentor and encourage younger ones, so that there will always be a new crop of doctors.  Someone did it for us, so we must do it for others.

In addition to being in medicine, Rick and I have also spent a lot of years raising children.  Some of them are old enough now to have their own families.  If you haven’t experienced this yet, let me tell you that it’s amazing to hear the things you used to say to your kids come out of their mouths as they deal with their own children.  I suppose that in a way Rick and I have helped raise up these new households.  And it’s really gratifying to know that the truths we have told our children will eventually be passed along to our grandchildren.

In Christianity things are much the same.  Someone once came and told you and me about Jesus Christ and His Sacrifice for us.  We believed and were saved.  Now we go through our lives telling others about Jesus, and they believe and are saved.

It is important for us to be ever watchful, and ever open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to be the Light of the World; helping others to hear and to accept the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We must raise up a new generation of Christians who will follow behind us and tell others of God’s love for us and about His plan for our Salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.

King David wrote this in Psalm 71:17-18 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.  Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

That’s what we need to be doing; declaring His power to the next generation.  Especially in these days of foolishness, which seems to be all around us, we need to declare to future generations the power and the marvelous deeds of the Lord.  It is only in Him that we will find rest, peace and assurance.

As older Christians we need to be mentoring and encouraging new Christians, passing along what know, as diligently as possible.  We must ask God to give us power and grace to do this though His Holy Spirit. 

In Matthew 10:7-8 Jesus said to His disciples: As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. 

Let us remember as we go along that we must freely give to others what we have received freely ourselves.

Sharon is a physician spouse and mom living in Greater Nebraska (find THAT on your map.)  She is also – very happily – a new grandma, and has been trying out new grandma sounding names for herself.  That way she can teach them to her grandson, Benjamin, at just the right moment.