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Great Is Thy Faithfulness: My Journey into Medicine

John Shin


John Shin shares his testimony of how God providentially led him through a series of faith-building challenges and the rigors of medical school to confimed his calling to be a doctor. At the time of this recording, John was an internal medicine resident at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.


John Shin

Physician-fellow of oncology and hematology, Mayo Clinic- Rochester, Minnesota



  • October 31, 2015
    9:30 AM


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Thank you so much for that song I feel like batting capsule ease. My story I feel like only just sit down and. Because that's the thrust of what I want to share with you this morning. And thank you Dr Schwartz for that introduction and like to let you know that pretty much everyone I talk to lets me know that his colder and snow isn't one Minnesota. Than where they live. And I like to thank Chris for that window he gave in to the mystery going on at Loma Linda isn't that exciting. You know it's really incredible. What the student leaders have done. Even after we left the new begin with a word of prayer. Dear Heavenly Father Lord. If we examine our lives. We can each honestly say that you have been leading us all along and board the best we can do is to tell others what it is said you have done for us. So I pray that you will bring to my remembrance and give me the words to adequately share with everyone here. How faithful you have been to me in my life. Not because I'm special. But because you offer this to every person here. So we thank you for this blessing in this opportunity in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. So it's a great privilege to be able to share with you. My testimony this morning. And one of my favorite passages from the desire of ages. Is found in Page three hundred forty seven. Paragraph three. She writes that our confession of his faithfulness. Is Heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ. To the world. We are technology. His Grace. As made known through the holy men of old. But that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God. As we feel in ourselves to working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others. And inexperience differing essentially from of theirs. God desires that are praise. Cellist sent to him. Marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgements to the praise of the glory of His grace. When supported by a crisis like life. Have an irresistible power. That works for the salvation of souls. And you know in Revelation twelve or so leaven it says. And they overcame him by wine. By the blood of the Lamb. And by the word of their testimony. So therefore it's my privilege to share with you. My testimony. What God has done for me. I was born and raised in Maryland and. I initially had no interest. Going into medicine. You know I studied pre-med. You know dishes to computer science and finance at the University of Maryland. And I even took the M. cat after I graduated. But when I finished. I felt like I had so many disparate interests. That I couldn't just commit myself to medicine. And at that time I was also very jaded about medicine. Because I felt like the system was corrupt. So after graduating in two thousand and six. I worked for some time at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in bio informatics. And then a few months of that was enough to convince me that research wasn't for me either. So then I got involved in my own internet based business. And I started working at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a panic salmon are and that's where I would probably still be working today. If God didn't intervene. Because you see in two thousand and eight. My father developed a left sided facial troop. And he went to get a C.T. scan of his head later that month and it showed a mass which was most likely cancer. So in June. He went to Johns Hopkins. Had a craniotomy done. And it confirmed it confirmed that it was an end and a plastic. Astrocytoma. So when my father received his cancer diagnosis. You know. My life came to a halt. I went ahead and took a leave of absence from work. And I just became one of his full time. Caregivers. And you know this was an or this or deal with a great test a paper mean. Because I was determined at that point to claim. The Bible's promises. Like I've never claimed before. We know them recite them by heart. But how many times have you really truly claimed it. And expected to receive an answer. Well this was one of the times when I really put it to the test in particular verses like Mark eleven twenty four. Therefore I say to you whatever things you ask when you pray. Believe that you receive then then. And then you will have them in a James one six two eight says. But let him ask in faith with no doubting for he who doubts is like a wave of his fee. Driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double minded man. Unstable in all his ways. So you know what I was can. I was determined to ask God for healing. I'm to be have my father and could not doubt. And to not give them reason to not answer my prayer. So I prayed night exercise my faith like never before. But have you ever had an instance where you prayed earnestly for something. Only deceived the direct opposite of what you prayed for come to pass. Have you had that experience before. That's what happened to my father. You know as he suffered a horrible consequences of cerebral edema. You know I could see to his body was losing more and more function. Week to week. And I couldn't help but to wonder if God was really out there. Answering my prayers. One morning. My father saw me doing my devotionals. And he asked me how I went about doing my devotionals and that question. Caught me off guard. And then he proceeded to confide in me that although he had been a Christian. All his life. He didn't really know what it meant to have a personal relationship with Christ. And from that day on. I had worship with my father. Every morning. And something amazing happened. You see he was a very stoic man. And I had seen him cry baby once at most twice my entire life. Up to that point. But every morning. As he would sing hymns together. As he would pray together. Here which is we and. It was as if those words. Had new meaning for him he would hearing. The lyrics of the same hymns he song Always life. For the first time and. As it hit home. In his heart. The tears couldn't help but to flow. You know. When he was in the hospital Johns Hopkins our pastor came over. Because he was communion sabot and says My father couldn't attend. He decided to have a private communion service just for my dad. And when he gave my father the bread in the grape juice. My father. Instead of directly eating it he just stared at the bread. And I asked him Dad is there something wrong. And he just looked at the bread and he said. This is what I've needed. All my life. It was as if the meaning of that beautiful symbol hit home for the first time and I touched your when my father said that it home. It hit home to my heart as well. So although it was evident to me that the cancer was ravaging his physical health. In a strange way. His spiritual health. Was blossoming. You know up until that point there were many doctors who took care of my dad. And throughout his care. All the doctors I saw taking care of my father had me convinced that I had made the right choice. In deciding to not go into medicine. Sad to say. I could tell that they were very focused on the disease. The plan for the day. The medicine of it all the biology of it all. But it left behind of what was truly important and that was my father and his spirit and his soul and it was so. Unsatisfying. Even from a caregivers point of view and I said. This is why I could never commit myself to medicine. And I would have kept on that line of thinking. Had not been for the last position to take care of my dad. And he happened to be an administration who was also a true Christian. And what he would do. Is he would after he talks about all the medicine. He would talk to my dad about the things that really mattered like his depression his fears for the future. His faith in God. And at the end of every one of these talks. He would meal at my father's bedside. Take his hand in his. And pray for my father and our whole family. And this would leave us in tears. At the end of every visit and through that process. My father decided to recommit his life to Christ and decided to get rebaptized. But the day before he was scheduled to be rebaptized. He suffered a gram of seizure that hospitalized him for good but you know what. God knows the hard. And so. When I saw that happening in my father. I realized that God perhaps was answering my prayers for healing. On a far deeper level than I had asked. Because you see friends my father passed away. On October eighteenth two thousand and eight. And we just recently. The bomb had the memorial of it some of the year passing. But when he passed away. Even though it was one of the saddest moments of my life it was also one of the most holy and the most sacred. Because through it all I realize that although my father lost his physical life. I was assured that he had gained eternal life. In the process. And so in that strange way. His cancer I realized. What's a greatest blessing. He had in his life. And even though drop the entire process I was crying out to God think God Don't cheat hear me. Don't you care about my father don't you care to answer our prayers were exercising faith. Where are you. Where is your faithfulness. I can imagine that God was up there and happen with cheers and as I was saying you know. You may not understand what you're going to or now. But I have in store for your father. Something far greater than what you're asking for. And when I saw that. At the end. I said truly. You know. My thought his thoughts are not my fault nor his ways. My ways. You know. As for at the Hyatt at the heavens are higher than the Earth Sor his ways higher than my ways and his thoughts heart in my bones. That's what else thinking. And this experience convinced me that our God is a God of love. And he always have our best interest at heart. Therefore I felt that I could trust him implicitly with anything. Even when the circumstances. Doesn't make sense. Right. You know. We all need to have this knowledge of God This experience Szell knowledge. Because unless you implicitly trust him. Because you know that he loves you and he has your best interests at heart. How could you place your faith in him when trials come your way. Just think of the story of Abraham. When he was commanded to sacrifice Isaac. What kind of a ridiculous command was that how easy would it have been for Abraham to ration reason that away and said This is not God speaking to me. But it was only his long standing relationship with God. Up until that point. And his ability to discern God's voice and his implicit trust in the loving character of God that made him say. I don't understand it. I don't like it. But I trust you enough that I will do it anyway. And I pray that we will all have such an experience that will get us through trials like that. So after this experience and. After my father passed away. I realized that if this is the impact that a Christian position can have on a patient's life. I've really need to look at medicine again. So if I read the book. Ministry of healing. And that really sealed the deal and I said lord. I feel that your calling me into medicine. So I was nervous about applying at that time because it had been a little over three years since I graduated from college and. I didn't know what my chances were for getting accepted but I figured you know what. That's his problem. Right. So I left in his hands. And I wanted to cast my net wide. So I applied to twenty four different schools. All over the country. And thankfully the majority of the schools accepted my old and cats who are from what I had just graduated from college. Every school. Except one. And I was alone will into. Well go figure. And they said it's six months to old we're sorry. And I said Well Lord I ask you to choose a school for me I plan to twenty four. And right off the bat you we did one out for me. Thank you Lord. On to twenty three. Have you ever had a time when you made a decision. And then you found that the Lord was just looking down at you from heaven. Shaking his head. That's how I felt when I decided that's it. Well the Melendez not into running. And I couldn't shake the feeling. Day after day you know because how could I say that I was letting God choose to school for me if I didn't put in the running. The only medical school that had at its as its foundation. Medical ministry. Right. So if I wasn't even putting that school in the running. How can I say Lord. You pick. So finally I just couldn't deny that the Lord with not giving me a piece of my heart. And I realized as you know it's Proverbs three five or six of it says trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. I realized that my insecurity. Came from the fact that I was leaning on my own understanding. You know. Conventional wisdom told me it is crazy to retake the M. cactus far out from school. But I said lord. If you're driving the ship. If you're calling me into medicine. And if you want me to go to Loma Linda. Then you will help me if I have to retake M can so I concluded that I needed to exercise faith. And I needed to retake the M. cat. My original plan was to continue working at the patent office. While I was applying. So that if I didn't get into medical school I would still have a job. And I can execute Plan B.. Well when I decided to retake the M can. I had to quit my job. So that I could study full time. And I realized that if God didn't get me into medical school. I would have no job waiting for me at the end of that road. But you know one. God's beatings. Are his enabling and add I studied. I notice that I was scoring higher on my practice exams. Then on the original score I had gotten so fresh out of college and. I was thinking to myself This is incredible. You know. Lord you are really showing me that you're here with me. And when I took the actual test you know it was a very hard test but I had that piece come over me that let me know that God was directing me. And so I wasn't worried about the results. And a few weeks later finally when the results came out. I was astonished. It was the lowest score. I had ever gone on and can't. More than a standard deviation lower than my original score. And with that for every school I applied to proceeded to reject me. Except Loma Linda. It's interesting how God leads. Isn't it. Here I was competitive I thought for most schools I applied to. And just in a way to allow Loma Linda come into a bunch. God use that one M. cats were to throw twenty three schools out. And now it was Loma Linda or bust. There was a humbling process going on at that time too. You know it reminds me of the story of Joseph and part of first wife. When Joseph stuck true to God's principles. What did it. What reward. Did he receive. He was thrown in prison for holding true to the integrity. Joseph had no way of knowing that God needed him to spend time in a dungeon. In order to use him in a palace. So God leads us in unexpected ways. Sometimes. And that is why you need to know and trust his character. So that you can have faith that. Even if the circumstances don't make sense. That is not what you have your feet in the circumstances right. So during this process Allison very nervous because now I had all my eggs in one basket. But God let me know. In other ways that he was leaving to Loma Linda. For example and he allowed me to be interviewed on the first day of the interview season when only the top candidates are selected for interview. And this was despite my application being very delayed. Since I had to retake my M. cat. So that was clue number one that he was leading me. Another clue was when I went to interview there. I had two interviews one with a student and one with a staff member. And the interview with a student went very well. The interview with the staff member we just hit it off. Very well from the very beginning. And I felt like he was just. I was saying all the right things. Not that I was trying to just say the right things but he was resonating with everything I would saying and I felt like we had a connection. And I was going to land this plane. Very nicely and towards the end of the interview he just told me he said you know. John I'm so sorry again for the loss of your father. You know. He's a neurologist. So this is right up his alley and he said you know. Just curious but did your father have to undergo any treatments or is brain cancer like hemo therapy or radiation. And I told him no he didn't. Because we thought he would be too weak to go through therapy would probably kill him and he nodded his head and said Yeah I can see that and I continued talking and I said. And you know based on what I've learned then you know. And read and thought. I'm not convinced and chemotherapy radiation on the best treatment modalities for cancer. And when I said that his countenance was altered. And he kind of leaned back in his chair across his arms and said Oh really. And that's what I knew it had I open the can of worms. And he said Well then tell me John what do you think are the best treatment modalities for cancer. And I'm like oh boy. So I tried to communicate to him the principles I had learned by reading the ministry of healing. Which by the way Loma Linda had used to use as his textbooks. And I told him you know there's a time and place for drug medications and all of these things but you know what the foundational lots of held. Are based on God's laws of health for us. And it is only by adhering to these laws that you can bring about lasting help and I tried to communicate this in the best way I could but he started throwing moral dilemma questions that meeting with John. You know. Do you think all the pression is a result of sin. You know. Oh how how would you sleep at night. Prescribe medications that you don't believe in it. And on and on and on and so when I left that interview. I was like why did I have to open my big mouth very end and then I stopped and I said you know what. I'm glad I said that because you know if I get rejected from Loma Linda. For espousing the principle that it was founded upon what clear answer could God give me that medicine is not his choice for me. So I took the word it's done. It's your problem. You deal with it. A man. And I went home and in full faith and confidence I started looking for a plan being bitter about the prospect of not getting into medicine was far more real than before the interview. I decided that if God closed the door to medicine for me. The only other option I could see myself doing is Ministry and so time was short but I had this window time. So I decided to apply to the amazing fact center evangelism. And at that time. Don Macintosh. Was its director and. And so I went up there. And I was thinking you know what I'm going to get trained in this way and so if I don't hear back to normal and or they say no that's. This is what I'm going into. I got a call from Loma Linda. And you realize that when a medical school calls you after an interview. You can only mean one thing. Because if you're rejected. They don't call you they send you a thin on bloke in the mail. And so by heart skipped a beat but I was a let me call them back. And the lady on the other line said John. I just want to ask you to come in for a second round of interviews. And I had never heard of anyone interviewing at the same program twice before. And I asked her at tactfully as I could pay those this happen often. And there was a pregnant pause and she said. It does happen. Well thanks very much. When should I come in she like how soon can you get here. So she asked me to come back Friday and it was Monday so on the wings of much prayer for my fifty new found classmates. I flew off to Loma Linda for a second round of interviews and during that time I stayed with none other than Dr Daniel bias I don't know people in the room. So lots of things connect back and forth here. And you know. I had a sneaking suspicion. What do you think was a reason why they wanted to interview me again. One. One burning topic do you think they wanted to ask me about when I came back. You know. I mean I could. I could take him to so my prayer was. Lord help me not to just say what they want me to sing. I don't want to just say. Whatever's needed to get into medical school. But as I communicate the convictions you placed in my heart. I ask for your wisdom. And your gentleness. To do it effectively. So that's what I prayed for. So this time I had two more interviews. They skipped the student and went with two staff members. And the first gentleman. You know he bounced around which in her questions and then he asked me question after question about you know. If you had a conventional way of treating a patient in this scenario and that you had a more say holistic natural way of healing a patient. How would you determine how to choose between the two options and how would you pick and choose this and that. And I told them you know based on my extensive clinical experience which is actually none. What I would do is proceeded to answer these questions the best I could. And at the end of it. He reached over the table and shook my hand and he said John. I hope to see you here next year. And I took that as a good sign. The second gentleman. I met with. He looked like he had been sucking on a lemon his whole life and he had these big stack the gels and he sat me down he's just stared at me and slammed his my application down the ground he's like. Why do you think we've asked you to come back for second round of interviews and hopefully here we go. And he's like. What are you doing with yourself right now. And I'm like well I met the amazing facts enter vain to listen. And he's like evangelism. He's i tell me is your old wrong way to do evangelism. And I was it will serve as a wrong way to do anything. He's a good given example. I sense some bitterness. But I said What do you know. I guess evangelism through fear right. Getting people into your baptistry by dangling them over hell fire and when I said that he felt his hand on his desk he that's right. And I knew my struck a nerve. And he's like back in my church in North Carolina behead a five day stop smoking program and it was after we named Do you know why because everyone who attended that program stop smoking. For five days. And then he proceeded to tell me his life story about growing up in his father was a physician for the Navy and your movie being moved here and there and he even spent time up at we mar when it was a sanitarium for TB patients. And he was telling the story after story and. I was felt like asking him if he wanted to lie down it would take notes as to how you felt about. About forty five minutes into this. He looked at the clock and his eyes look or smile because the. And he threw one or two random questions my way and then he shook my hand he said it was a pleasure talking to you John. Most likely. It's a loose definition of the word conversation is a pleasure talking to her. So I walked out of there now that you know what Lord. It is all in your hands. You know. I did the best I could. And I said lord. You bring about the result that you want for me. So I went back to Africa and. I had thought that I had completely accepted whatever outcome cop which was for me. I thought that I left it at God's feet. But as the days turned into weeks and I didn't hear back in Loma Linda. I started getting anxious. And I didn't realize it but in my heart. I was actually insisting on medicine. Because I was becoming afraid that perhaps. I needed to pay a little more attention during these personal Bible study classes. Because it may actually represent my future. And that wasn't sitting well with me. You know. And then savory eighteen two thousand one came and valid a very special day for me because it was our first day of outreach. And what happened was fifty students who had no idea what they're doing. Who are short on experience and long on prayer. Descended on downtown Sacramento and went door to door asking for bible studies. And you know what in the space of just three hours we received over one hundred fifty studies. And we spent the rest of that evening to sharing testimonies and praising God about the amazing ways that he'd moved that evening. And my heart was just filled to the max. And the next day when I woke up I said lord. I am so sorry for clean on to medicine in my heart. Because I see so clearly through what you did for me yesterday that it is not important what I do for you. It is just important that I bring people to you. Regardless of in what capacity I do that. So whether you make me a doctor or a minister or. You know a mechanic or a chef or anything in between I'm like Lord. You use me where you want to use me just show me that you're using me to be people to you and. That's all I ask for Amen. And for the first time in my life. I truly gave up my career to God and I had a peace that passes all understanding and I said I couldn't care less if I never heard back in the Melinda. And later that afternoon. My friends and I were having a group prayer. And my phone rings. And so I go to answer it later on and I look and it's the Loma Linda number. And before I get my hopes up I'm thinking surely it's not a third interview. But I call the number back. And this time it's a director of missions. Telling me John. I just want to let you know that you have been accepted to our School of Medicine and friends do you think it's a coincidence that. On the very day that I finally gave up my career to God that God look down from heaven and sit. Now you're ready to go to medical school. Do you think that's a Quentin's I don't think so you know. It was as if he was waiting for me to learn his final lesson that a consecrated heart and not the occupation was the most important aspect of service to God and only when I grasp this concept God forbid. Now I can use you as my physician. Now you're ready to be trained for me. And he imbedded that lesson to my heart. You know oftentimes I believe that God can proceed with this plan for us because our characters still need time to develop. So in this sense. I believe that the journey that got takes us on is just as important if not more that the destination. You know when Moses was forty years old he was one of the most well educated and capable men in the world. Being a result of him having grown up in Pharaoh's Palace. But God still needed to use him as a shepherd. For forty years. Tending sheep. Before he could use him to lead his people out of Egypt. Right. So you may be a point in life. When you're wondering why God is not making your path clear. Perhaps it's because he wants you to bide your time. So that he can work on your character and teach you to essential lessons that will prepare you for the next step in his plan for you. Perhaps that's what he's doing. Well when I went into medical school. I realized very quickly event. Studies could really dominate your life and it could make you very one dimensional. And I saw left and right. Many students were sacrificing everything including their health. Relationships with family and friends and their relationship with God and they were taking it all and sacrificing it. On the altar of academics. You know. Shortly after starting medical school I was in the library studying and one of my friends classmates came up to me and he said you know John I decided that I'm not going to go to church anymore. And I looked at him and I said. Why. And he said. I am aiming for a very competitive surgical specialty. And there is no way that I can be competitive. Carving out twenty four hours a week. And not studying so you know what you just have to do what you have to do so I can afford to not study on Saturday. And that really made me think. Because you know what in the end my friend. He studied his heart off and he was true to his word he stopped going to church. And in the end he got stellar grades. But at what cost. C. because friends and especially the students in this room. Regardless of what you do. If you pursue success at the expense of your faith. You will be building for yourself a foundation of faith. Listeners. Because you'll be setting a precedent of making things happen by your strength and on your terms. And you will be unable to feel a need for God in your life. Do you see that this condition breeds pride. How could it not. When you attribute everything that you compas to yourself what defense do you have against pride. You see. So you may even come to same destination. But your radically different person. However if you step out in faith and you put God first and ask him to Guy Jew in every step of your churning. Your accomplishments will only serve as a testimony of his faithfulness in your life and your ability to trust in him will grow more and more. And so in this sense the journey is more important than the destination. Because what did it matter if I became a success physician. If I lost my faith in the process. So at that point. I did. I decided that I will never study at the expense of my faith. And I made it a habit to pray before. Every study session. In order to remind myself that it was only through God's imparted wisdom that I could succeed. So in the midst of my studies. I found another secret. I found that the best way to sustain my faith with. Actually by getting involved in ministry. You know I started teaching Sabbath school I became the Student Senate chaplain. And I did all these things thinking that I was putting my training from Africa to use in God's service. But instead I later realized that God was getting involved in these ministries. In order to preserve my faith in the face of a rigorous study schedule. Steps to Christ page eighty. Paragraphs one in two states. If you will go to work as Christ e-zine the his disciples shall and when souls were him. You will feel the need of a deeper. Experience and a greater knowledge in divine things and will hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will plead with God and your faith. We strengthened in your soul will drink deeper giraffes. At the well of salvation. In countering opposition and trials will drive you to the Bible and prayer. You will grow in grace in the knowledge of Christ and will develop a rich experience. The spirit of unselfish labor for others. Gives depth. Stability in Christ like loveliness to the character and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated. There is no room for slaughter selfishness. Those who does exercise the Christian graces will grow and will become strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perceptions. A steady. Growing faith and an increased power in prayer. The Spirit of God. Moving upon their spirit. Call sport the sacred harmonies of the soul in answer to the divine touch. Now listen to this. Those who dust devote themselves to unselfish. Effort for the good of others are most surely. Working out their own salvation. If God impresses upon your heart to get involved in ministry. It's not primarily for the good of others. It's first and foremost so the he can save you. So that puts ministry in a whole new focus. Doesn't it. So when the time came for me to do my clinical rotations. You know. I. So we prayed for God to reveal to me. The specialty. That he wanted me to go to go into. And I believe that he really answered it. During my intro medicine. Rotation. So for the first part of my rotation. I had an outpatient experience at the V.A. and I was paired up with a strong Christian physician who prayed with her patients and to this day I think she's the only one in the internal medicine department. There at the V.A. to praise with patients. And during my three weeks on her rotation. Every patient. That she had had a meaningful spiritual counter with showed up on her schedule. And so she and I both had incredible. Spiritually meaningful conversations and prayers and encounters that left. All of us in tears and and a half way through it she was just looking at me she think John. This is so strange. I have never had this amount of spiritual food. To during my clinic time ever before in my clinic. Experience. And I shared with her some of my passion for getting into medicine. And she's like John. I don't think it was and it was a coincidence that you and I repaired up together. During this rotation. And we proceeded to finish off the rotation at the end of it. She was like John. I've so hope that you would choose internal medicine. Because I can see that you would make a fantastic internist. And here's why she just laid it out and she's like. If you need an incredibly strong letter recommendation I would be so happy to write you one. As a student you just nod your head and said Take you heard him. So I was thinking. This is never happened before in any rotation. You know then I rotated at the level of the University Medical Center. And back to back three weeks in a row. One physician each week. I had a physician who is strongly committed to whole person care and who talk to me without me even telling him anything about my passions. To who encourage me. You know what John. If you are able to find time to pray with your patients. You know would find a chance to minister to them spiritually and I was like. They don't even know anything about me and they're telling me these things. Is this a coincidence. And I later found out that those three physicians I work with. During my rotation there. Happen to be the three most spiritually. Devoted attending physicians into medicine department there at Loma Linda. And they just happened to all come on schedule. Back to Back To Back during my rotation on internal medicine. And again I had to wonder if this god stacking the deck. So these experiences and others had me thinking that God was directing me to internal medicine because I didn't receive any experience like this in any other rotation. And it reminded me proverbs sixty nine that a man's heart. Plans his way. But who directs of steps. The board directs the steps. So I felt like God was directing me. Definitely here. So when I entered into my fourth year and I was preparing my application for control medicine residency programs. I determined from the beginning that. My faith was going to be the centerpiece of my application. And I prayed forgot to use it as a filter. Because I wanted my pro by application to attract the right programs and to turn off the right programs. You know what I mean. Because I didn't want to waste my time interviewing everywhere. I only wanted to interview at places that could potentially be. Friendly towards my mission in life. In medical ministry. So when I met with the dean's office to review my application. They told me. It's a very nice. Application. We love your personal statement. It's a little bit long. Yours is two pages long. A busy internet has no time to read a two page long personal statement. You should trim it down to one page. Because the second page was mainly of it. It's a story of a patient counter I had I was very meaningful to me where I prayed with a patient. And they're like Why are just summarize that in one or two sentences and just cut it out. And by the way. I think this statement will work very well for Loma Linda and Kettering. And maybe Florida hospital. But if you want to chance and getting into any other program out there you might want to tone down the religious verbiage. You know. And not deny what you believe but kind of like tone it down a little bit. So that it will be more palatable for everyone else out there. And I decided that you know what. Matthew ten thirty two three thirty three says Therefore whoever confesses me before men. Him I will also confessed before my father who is in heaven. But Whoever denies me before men. Him. I will also do nine. Before my father who is in heaven. So I'm not telling students to disregard the dean's office his recommendation. When you've submitted your application to them like God will give you the knowledge of. When man's wisdom fall short of his plan for you. And ultimately you listen to your heavenly Father. Right. And so I politely said thank you for your advice. With regards to that story. You know. I spoke with a very trusted godly physician mentor of mine. He looked over my personal statement he said John. This story is the only aspect of your application that serves as a testimony to the people reviewing it. I would leave it in. And I said Done. It's going in. So I submitted my application. Fully expecting to receive only three interviews that year. From our had been a funeral of the system. Well. I had no impressive extracurricular activities or research on my C.V.. Because to be honest. I spent all my free time involved in ministry. So. So my C.V. painted a picture of my passion for whole person care and medical ministry and. I was happy with that because it was a true reflection of who I was and it mirrored my personal statement. And I said you know what. This is either going to turn you on or turn you off real bad. And that's exactly the way I want it. And I said lord. Use it as a filter. If I sent it out. And in the end. I got a lot more interviews that I never thought I would. And I entered a interviewing at seventeen different programs in nine different states. And at each interview I made my testimony to centerpiece of my interview. And it was very interesting to see how different programs responded to that and time doesn't permit me to tell you all the stories from the interview trail and. But I'd like to highlight just one special experience I had where you know where God led me to the male Clinic in Rochester Minnesota on. You know. I just talked to some fellow applicants there. For my interview time came up and. Instantly I realized that I was the most least qualified applicant in that room. At least on paper. They're all talking about oh well you know I do this and this inducement predicted this at this conference and I travel here and there and did all this research and I'm like I was present the Amen student chapter. I always said I'm like oh you wouldn't. So they want to get it. Well. When I was called in for my interviews the first gentleman who interviewed me what's on colleges. And he was very interested in my testimony. In my experience with my father. And we spent the entire time talking about spiritual care. And later on that evening. After my interview was done. He emails me out of the blue he said John. I kept thinking of our conversation. After you left and. During my clinic afternoon. I kept track of every time that a spiritual ministry encounter came up. And it happened. Every time. This is such an important aspect of medicine that sorely neglected today. And I was like isn't that interesting. My second interview was with the program director. And her first words out of her mouth was John. Your personal statement was one of the most impressive. Personal statements. I have ever read and believe me John I've read a lot of personal statements. And she's like in particular I was so moved by the story that you had written about that patient encounter. And she proceeded to resign from memory. Aspects of the story that really touched her. And this was the exact question that the dean's office recommended I read out. And I was like. Isn't that interesting that that's what you focused on. So you know throughout my interview trail the Lord was showing me glimpses here and there like this is you know this is what should look for in a program like this is where I'm leading you. And at the end of it. I felt that you know. Including this interview with his program director. There was nothing that to commend me on my paper C.V. to these program directors. I look far less impressive. But the programs who took notice of me. They were far more impressed by my passion for medical ministry been any research or extracurricular activity I could have put on my C.V.. And that just reminded me of Jeremiah nine twenty three twenty four it's a gust says the Lord. Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom. Let not the money meant glory in his mind. Nor let the rich man glory in his riches. But let him full glory glory in this. That he understands and knows me that I am the Lord. Exercising loving kindness judgment and brightness in the earth. Were in these I delight sister Lord. So I decided you know what if there's one thing that I want people to know about me. It's that. I am passionate about serving. My God whom I love. So after much prayer and fasting. And after old huge process and their physicians in this room who guided me through this prayer full time in my life. I decided that the board was calling me to rank. The Mayo Clinic number one. And when I did that as. I prayed fervently I said lord. If I'm misinterpreting you in any way. I ask you to please. Override my rank list and get me into a program that you choose for me because ultimately boards and your hands. I'm just trying to follow your will to the best of my billet he in my own inadequate way but you have to step in make sure I don't match to the wrong program board. I want to serve you. I want to become a physician for you not a physician. After the pattern of the world. So that was my prayer. And when March twenty one twenty fourteen came along down to match day. My wife and I had come to peace in our hearts that. Whatever the outcome. We would be thankful. Because we knew that that's where God was sending us. So I don't know how your match days were like back in your days. But our class we distributed. All the on blokes out. And we had a countdown like New Year's Eve. And when you got severe Oh everyone poor opener on below fifty where they had matched to it's the culmination of medical school. And when that countdown ended. Peals of screaming and yelling erupted from every corner of the room and my wife and I we hugged each other and we had a quiet prayer. And I said born. Thank you for leading us to this point in my life. I know that whatever hospital is named in this. On the lobe is the one that you've chosen for me. So Ricardo's what it is. Thank you for leading me there. I will serve you and I actively train me to become your physician. Amen. And we opened up to of bloat and tore amazement. It was the Mayo Clinic. And when I tell the story to people and people say wow you match did Mayo Clinic. I know for a fact that they missed out on the most important point of my story. Because the point is not that I matched. At the Mayo Clinic. The point is that the Lord. In his wisdom. Took me to a journey. Where in my heart. I said lord. Even if it's a smallish hospital in the middle of nowhere. I will be happy with that decision in the arm bloat. As long as I know that you're leading me there. Thank you he had brought me to the point and that is the true climax of my medical school experience. And it just so happened to be to male clinic. And so I said lord. I don't know what you have planned for me there. But you beat me. And you guys me. You know. Picture from prophets page one twenty six says. Of Abraham that the happiest place on him on earth for him. Was a place where God would have him to be. When we reach this position. Point in our relationship with God you know life perplexities just vanish. And will be left with that peace that passes all understanding. Because you know that as long as you have this one element that your only desire is to do your heavenly Father's will. That no matter what comes your way. God will sort it out and he will take you on that path. He set for you all along. So with that confidence. I went forward to Rochester Minnesota. And everyone was telling you to buy a big code and saying all you match to mail. Cold up there and you know it. Our dean Roger Hadley. Was saying Yeah I don't it's John match to the Mayo Clinic. And he showed a map of Minnesota has a job you know what's north of here. That's called the Arctic. And here on the northern border is the International Falls so called a city in the continental United States. And I thank you. They don't. This is a good ole my wife is also from Minnesota. Damages She's from Minnesota is a good place to be from. So anyway. But from the beginning. God allayed all of our fears and he's shown his time and again that it was his will. Taking after he gave us a beautiful home. At a price that I could afford. Which is incredible considering I'm a resident. Right. And my wife can't work because she you know we just had a baby. He provided for all of our needs. Moving. You know. He provided for us. Wonderful friends and a spiritual community that we didn't even know existed. Or was possible there. And I'm sure at times in the future going forward. There will be times in my life. When these elements won't be there and God is leading us anyway but Rick are listen. I'm confident that he will let us know that we aren't exactly where he wants us to be. And that in the end will sustain us. Because when God leads you to where he wants you to be no matter what trials you face. He will give you the comma surance that. It is His Will for you to be there. And that will sustain you through these times. Don as McGivney phenomenal experiences in my residency so far and I don't have time to share it all because we're running short on time. But I truly feel that I am getting the training that God sent me to get and. He's given me. Opportunities for ministry as well. And he just. I haven't been doing anything. He's been opening doors for me left and right. For example. A few months ago I was able to talk to all the male medical students and give them my testimony. And share with them this Testament I'm giving you right now from beginning to end in a few months from now. I will also be having a chance to talk to all of the chaplains who work for the male hospital system. To share with them. Principles that I've learned on the medical ministry and sharing your fate. So I can see that the Lord is moving in the background. And he's opening doors. And all I'm doing is just walking through than not knowing where it's going to lead. But it's very exciting seeing you know I've been praying for God to show me what specialty if any he wants me to pursue and. I'm excited to say that during my hematology oncology rotations. Got sent me some and mistaken will signals. You know. So whereas on a normal rotation. I would have a couple of very meaningful spiritual encounters with patients. On my he mock rotation. It was on a daily basis. Multiple times a day. I mean things that I wouldn't seen any other rotation. There was one patient she was a twenty some years old girl with medicine at a colon cancer. At the end of her life. Just ridden with anxiety and her whole family's there and she says. Cheerful every single day. And she was another residence patient but that resident was off that day so I happen to substitute and take over her care. And when I saw that at the end of it out. I offered her a word of prayer. And when I did that. She clung to it like it was like a lifeline from God and I had never heard. I had never seen someone soak up a prayer so eagerly as she did you know. And I prayed the best that I could. And when I walked out of there. Little did I know but the nurse reported me. In a good way. She wrote a glowing email about that encounter turn hurting supervisor and said I was so touched when Dr Shane prayed with his patient. And what I experienced in that room. Was phenomenal and. She wrote that in detail. And the nursing supervisor forwarded forded that letter to my program director the chair of my department. And did ministry of head and everyone else. She could think of. And up and down the entire chain. Everyone. Emailed me back from my chief residence to the program director to the chair to my. My attending physician they all said. Way to go John. Excellent work John keep this up John. You keep doing what you're doing John. Not a single time did anyone say. You know John. We appreciate your faith we think it's wonderful. Please keep in mind and not everyone believes exact same way as you do so you know you have to be very cognizant of that there was none of that there think. Way to go. Way to put the patients need first so that now everyone knows that I'm the guy who prays with patients. And I have received a blank check indorsement from the entire administration saying. You go forward and you keep doing what you're doing. So I was I praise the Lord. You know. You know. Matthew six thirty three and defrag it there my consultants have taken notice of that they're called consultants that may own sort of attendings. So they they took notice of that and they said. John. We would love to write you a very strong letter of recommendation for I came on the Fellowship Program. And you know. I don't know where God is leading but I can already see that he is bringing things together. To open the next set of doors for me into fellowship. And it just shows me that Matthew six thirty three But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. And then. These things. Shall be added to you. He says just focus on my work. Do what I brought you here to do. I will take care of the details. Don't worry about fellowship don't worry about finances don't worry about your future. It's all in my hands. Haven't I proven myself to be faithful to you to this point. So John you just keep doing what you're doing. Attend to my business. And all of these things. I will add on to you in the proportion that's necessary. And he teaches me that lesson over and over again. I'll end with this last story here. It's an incredible experience I had with one of my lymphoma patients he said I'll call them Dave. Fifty five year old gentleman with horrible refractory diffusion large felt the Foma and. He had gone through five separate chemotherapy regimens. And he had progressed through each one of them. He started out with Hodgkin's lymphoma and it had transformed into a diffuse large B. cell and the prognosis is even worse. At that stage. So when he came into our unit for a six. Round of a six regimen of chemotherapy. Everyone was just shaking their heads saying you know what we're just doing this so we can check off a box and say we tried everything and. After this we're just going to tell him. You should look at the hospice care. Palliative care. He was hoping for a bone marrow transplant. But that's not even an option. And so with that knowledge. I went to greet him. And he just had his exuberant spirit. Tough guy. Leather jacket with cut off shoulders and he's like let's get this chemo colon doctor here. Bring it on. You know. And I'm like you know. I was like sir. How have your side effects been here that. I don't got no side effect chemo don't touch me. And I thought to myself what doesn't touch a cancer either. And I was talking to him and. You know I felt like John maybe should pray with him. I'd ha. The sham and won't want prayer. Like look at him he's like. Let's go. And the still small voice said John offered to pray with him. So in a very awkward. Not smooth way. At the end of my history taking with him I said well you know um. Mr de vie. You know I always like to offer my patients a word of prayer when they come in because I happen to be a Christian I believe that the Great Physician is up there and. And if you would find it helpful I would love to have a prayer with you and I kind of pledged. When I said that he became dead quiet and looked at me and I saw his eyes were watering up. And he said. Doc I would love that site prayed with him and when I finished my pride only remember what I prayed but I didn't. I fumble through something and when I finished. He cures are just streaming on his big macho guys face. And he gave me a big bear hug and he's like. You can't imagine how much I needed that. And I walked out of that room thinking. You know what Sean you can never prejudge who needs prayer who doesn't need prayer. You need to offer it. I bumped into Dr Joe crush Maher. Gather day. And I think he left yesterday but he told me he said I just offer to everyone in the room and like everyone they can turn it down but I have my job is to offer and now the challenge in each is offering every chance you get one. Fast forward. You know. He had the chemo. Then he is admitting back were second round of his chemotherapy he emails me he says you know Dr Shane I'm back in the hospital for my second round. Can you please come visit me. So I'm on a different rotation at this point so I come back and visit him in his room he's a K. I have something to tell you that I don't. I haven't told very many people. You know he had such massive tour burden that he had masses coming out of his chest and. He told me that when you prayed with me Doc that time. I thought this energy. Go through my body. And being a faceless person I was out thinking all by one flavor Christian are you. But I just smiled and nodded said OK me. And he's like and doc. I felt like something's going to be different this time. Now that. OK. He's a keynote by tumors. They feel softer. Your feelin's. I'm less sure and I felt him. Focus Ackley to say. Hell of a. Yes. I may be a little bit softer sure. He's a and. I went to my doctor's appointment yesterday. And there's this one marker that keeps going up and this time with a little bit down. Now to Cal What about the twenty other markers are up. I can say that but I was like you know. Mr Dave. That's wonderful. Hey we don't know what God has in store for you but in the end it doesn't matter because he will do for you. What's the best for you. And he will use your life. To be a blessing to others as it has to me already. So I offered him and his wife another word of prayer and. It was a beautiful experience and he told me the doctor I'm sharing my. I'm telling everyone here. Like back at home on the Internet. I'm telling them to faith in God and that God cares. And that God will bring you through any trial. And he started telling me about the amazing things he's been doing sharing his fate with others. And here's a man who is dying of a terminal illness and to me. It struck me that. How beautiful is it. When a man who has with terminal refractory cancer is telling other people that God is good and that he should have faith in him. And I told him all the while. That is so beautiful. You know. You have been such a blessing to me. You keep up what you're doing God's plan for you fat for another couple of weeks. He's back in the hospital for his third round of the same chemotherapy regiment. And he emails me late in the night. And he says. Dr Shane. I need to talk to you but there has been a miracle that it happened to me. And so the next day I couldn't finish my clinical duties fast enough that I run over to his room. And I'm like Mr Dave like. What are you talking about. And he's like Doc. I'm cancer free. And I was like now is that your evaluation or is that what you're all colleges told you. See how full of faith I N's. And he's like Doc. You won't believe it. I got this PET scan done and I just huge thing here now it's not there anymore and now it's just amazing and I'm like OK got it that's very nice condo. He said and doc. I am now a candidate for bone marrow transplant. When he said that my jaw hit the floor. Because I knew that in order to qualify to be a bone marrow transplant candidate. You must have Nope tumor burden. In your body anymore. And I was like impossible. Can it be so you know he's just crying his wife is crying and he's and you see dog. I told you it's going to be different this time. And I took a look at his PET scan and. If you can go ahead in the open the screen. On the right. That's his PET scan in August of this month of August of this year you said red on the right anterior chest wall. That's a seventeen centimeter mass of pushing out of his rib cage. Because that's all tumor. And after this round of chemotherapy which should not have word. According to conventional wisdom. On the left you see in September when I saw him. It's all gone. All gone. And when I saw this PET scan. Like I was stunned. And he is there weeping with his wife and telling me. I told you Dr Doug first that when you pray with me. I felt an energy go through me and that would be different this time. And I thank you so much for being willing to pray with me and. This is him. Mr David I'm even going through the bone marrow transplant process right now as we speak. And you know friends I don't tell you this because I did something great. Even in my. The midst of my deepest inadequacies. Being facelift saying ah this guy doesn't. He wouldn't want prayer. And I pray with him in a very in eloquent. Inadequate way. And then he tells me he's trying to tell me to God is doing something in my face with this I'm saying. Now now now. Let's not get our hopes up. This fight. These flaws got with the able to use me to work something beautiful. In this man's life and to me. That is the essence of medical ministry. Friends. We are doing anything great in this business. But by allowing God to use us we have the privilege of getting this front row seat to the Greatest Show on Earth and. I have no idea what God is going to do with me or with anyone else in this room in the future. But it's going to defy our greatest expectations and I I I just implore you. If you haven't tasted and see that the Lord is good taste and see that he is faithful. Seek first his kingdom and it's right it's nice and then. All these things. He will add on to you. But a supreme Heavenly Father Lord. We are. But unprofitable servants. And we're just doing what you asked us to do in our own inadequate ways. And yet you choose to use us. And Lord we are just humbled beyond belief. And we asked Lord that you give us the faith of Jesus to Spirit of Christ in Able us to be your hands and feet. Lord and help us to share the gospel with people who are dying for the lack of it. Thank you Lord for giving us this privilege of serving you and following Christ footsteps. Crystallized within our minds were the real goal of metal. Ministry and make us forever your humble servant. These things I pray in Jesus' name meant. This media was brought to you by audio person. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse for you would like to listen to more sermon. Please Visit W W W dot audio verse. Dot org.


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