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Session 1: God's Will - Your Work

Tim Riesenberger


Tim Riesenberger

Emergency room physician in the Seattle area




  • October 10, 2009
    2:00 PM
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00:00 Loving Father in Heaven, Lord, ultimately this is about your will not ours and so I ask that I would be hidden and that you would be present. I ask that I would be silent and you would speak; and that I would be hidden behind your cross and only Jesus Christ would be seen for in His name we pray. Amen.

00:20 So the way we are going to arrange this is that we are going to talk about three things: 1) your job, your lifework, your career 2) we’ll talk about your spouse, who you are going to choose? How will you know? 3) and then we’re going to talk about your ministry, how you are actually going to win others to Christ because that’s why we’re here, for training, right?

00:47 I appreciated Sebastian sharing what he did. In saying, we could be educated but not actually do any good in this world. What I’d like to share with you first is a real thing that happened to me on the way here that I think perfectly illustrates God’s will and how he works day by day. I was on the airplane coming here to SCYC. On the flight I met an elderly lady sitting next to me. She was there and we we’re talking. Her name is Virginia. She’s about 85 and she was the friendliest person I’ve ever seen. And she asked, well what are you going to do?—well, I’ll be speaking—on what?—and she at 85 was very interested in this topic. She was visiting one of her relatives. She gave me her email. She gave me her phone number. I’ve sent her an email. Gave her directions to Southern and I hope that she will come and visit, come to church, maybe even come to one of the seminars this afternoon. 

01:58 As I was talking to her another guy across the row in the other aisle of the airplane overhears that I am a physician and he starts asking me about the health care crisis. So I start sharing with him, as well. And he wants to know, well what are you doing? He gives me his email! 

02:35 So this guy giving me his contact information, to follow-up, I’ve sent both of them emails with invitations. I believe not chance, God’s will. Is it God’s will that we invite people to Him? Absolutely! 

03:00 Then something even crazier happened. I came here to campus. I came a little early. I wanted to be able to settle in, use your gym a little bit, work out; and on one of my trips I lost my comb. For those of you who know me, when I get up in the morning my hair is so poofy it can power a small city, in the morning. I need a comb, not a brush! I need to dunk my head and then try to comb strands down one by one. So I lost my comb. Where do I go to pick up a comb? the market, right?

03:41 You guys have a market in the strip mall. I’m thinking why did I lose my comb? I never lose stuff when I go places. So I go and I search and search and there’s no comb in your market. Did you guys know that? Why in the world would there be no comb? There are brushes, dental floss, toothpaste, all this stuff, but no comb. And then I start to realize why this is happening because I make my way down to the hair salon. They have to have a comb, right? Probably going to spend five bucks on some comb, though. And then the lady walks right up to me, I tell her and she’s like, here have one. I’m like, Wow, that’s so nice. I might as well get a haircut from you now. I have to give her some money. Before the trip is done I have a comb, I have a haircut, and I have two stylists asking about God’s will for their lives; not Adventists. They don’t go here. They even told me up front, well we’re not Seventh-day Ad-VEN-tists. You can always tell when someone isn’t an Adventist because they’ll say ad-VEN-tist, not AD-ven-tist. They’ll put the em-PHA-size on the wrong syl-LA-ble (laughter). 

04:52 So not Adventists but sharing, we have to work tomorrow but tell us. And I started to open the principles of God’s Word with these two stylists as they were cutting my hair. So do you think it was coincidence that I lost my comb? Was it coincidence that your market didn’t have a comb? Was it coincidence that Tiffany and Tammy were working at that time? No. God will unfold His will to you every day. Are you willing to look at the events of daily life as God directed or just chance? Keep that in mind as we discover God’s will for your job. 

05:38 To set up a foundation principle I´m going to give you a scripture that Jesus said to the Sadducees. Remember to the Pharisees he accused them of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy means saying  one thing and doing another. But the Sadducees he did not accuse of that. To the Sadducees He said, you are in error because you don’t know the scriptures. We make mistakes because we don’t know what God’s Word says. I’m going to give you some very, very vivid examples in just a minute. Those red books on our shelves? They might as well just be a painting there. We don’t pick them up. We don’t know the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy and therefore we make mistakes because God’s power is not in our lives. Because if you don’t do things God’s way, you cannot have God’s power. God is not an arbitrary God. His laws are of natural consequence. Like the law of Gravity. If you obey the Ten Commandments you will have health; you will be blessed; you will have, more than anything else, you will have something inside that won’t be shaken when trials come. It’s like the law of Gravity. But that’s the first problem: we don’t know.

07:04 Watch this, here is the second concept. Directly from the book Education, p. 267, “We need to follow more closely God’s plan of life.”—Here are the 3 steps—“To do our best in the work that lies nearest, to commit our ways to God and”—our ways need to be brought into harmony with God’s ways. Commit our ways to God and then what?—“watch for the indications of His providence: these are rules that ensure safe guidance in the choice of an occupation.” (Ed 31:267.3)

07:49 There are three steps right there for you: how to know God’s will for your life in choosing a job? Now which one of those do you think we have a problem with? Yes, surrender. Surrender of the heart. Probably the greatest battle that was every fought: the battle against self. I think many of us here, we are committed, we want to do what’s right; otherwise, we would not have come to a Christian college, right? 

08:18 But many times we have our eyes set where? In the future, right? when I’m going to have money, when I’m going to have a wife or husband, things like that. And we neglect being nice to our brother and our sister, we neglect doing the dishes, we neglect taking the trash out, we neglect mowing the lawn, we neglect being on time for class; the little things. God is going to prepare you for the big things through the everyday task. What will determine if you are victorious or vanquished in the battle of Life, are your decisions in the little things. In the decisions in the work that lies right at your doorstep. Not five years from now when you’re in your careers. Not ten years from now. I can tell you my great friend, Franklin, is right here, and a lot of the results of what we’re doing now were the decisions we made ten years ago.

09:19 That we were going to follow God’s ways and not the ways of man. That we were going to be reflectors of God’s thoughts, not mere reflectors of men’s thoughts. We would not let men empty their minds into ours. But allow our God given individuality to shine forth in His thoughts.

10:21 So the first thing. Is it God’s will that any of us commit sin? Obviously not, that’s an easy one.  But it’s not as easy as you might think. Let’s think of some obvious jobs that we could not do as Seventh-day Adventist Christians. You couldn’t be an assassin. Thou shalt not kill. Pretty easy. (Commercial banker, thou shalt not steal.) Oh, that’s good; any others? (Bartender.) Woe unto him that gives his neighbor strong drink. How would you want to sell something that is going to destroy people? That would go for drugs, pornography, alcohol, cigarettes. Would you want to break that commandment of Thou shalt not kill slowly, by giving someone those things or selling them?

11:42 Here’s one that’s not so subtil. I only bring this up just to open your eyes to the stuff in the Spirit of Prophecy. We have John, he’s a 25 year old medical student. What should he choose for residency? Or the better question, what should he not choose for residency? Any thoughts? O, no, am I stepping on some toes?

12:08 “The light given of the Lord regarding this matter is that as far as possible lady physicians should care for lady patients, and gentlemen physicians have the care of gentlemen patients. Every physician should respect the delicacy of the patients. Any unnecessary exposure of ladies before male physicians is wrong. It´s influence is detrimental.”  (CH 158:363.4)

12:32 When I go to Zambia this summer. I’m going on a mission trip. When Franklin goes to Chad, we’re the only show there. We can´t just say well, we’re not going to see women. We can’t say that. It says unnecessary, right? Exactly! If I place myself in a position where I’m the primary doctor for women, doing their checkups, do you think this would be a problem? How many of you, this is new for you? Is this a new concept? I´m only bringing it up because there are statements in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy that we don’t know. We haven’t thought about.

13:08 I’m not telling you what to do or not do because even the Lord Himself will not force you to obey. But at least don’t fall into the trap of the Sadducees where you make mistakes because you just don’t know what God says.

13:23 We’re totally ignorant of His great plan for us. So here’s a simple question, (question from the audience)—here’s the point, if you had to deliver babies in an emergency but if you did that day in and day out, how could you reconcile that quote? I’m not telling you what to do. I’m just reading the quote. (Where did the quote come from?) You can get the references from me later. That one is from Counsels on Health, 158:363.

14:06 So, what do you want to do? Does that matter to God? Absolutely! Solomon there is saying, God, I want to serve you. Here’s the temple, here’s everything. God comes to him by night in a dream. What does God say? What do you want? What do you want to do? The Lord appeared to Solomon by night in a dream: and said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 1 Kings 3:5. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Wow! Is that important to God? Is what we want important to God? But notice before God asks that question, where was Solomon’s heart? He wanted to serve God! What happens before God can give you the desires of your heart? You delight yourself in Him because if we don’t we’re going to ask for something that is bad for us. So there is nothing wrong with wanting to do something. I have some people saying, But I don’t know. I’m not really sure. How do I know if it is a good desire or a bad desire? I’ll give you an example.

15:17 This enters into relationships. When I give a relationship seminar—which by the way is like six hours, we’re only going to do about an hour, this time—I pass out cards. People will write down what they’re looking for in a mate. And then I collect them. Obviously, they don’t write down their names. People write these amazing things there like, Ahh, I want this guy to have blonde hair and green eyes and be over 6 feet tall. What they just said in those three requirements that they want, they have created like a 1 in 10,000 or 20,000 guy sort of situation; just the height itself: less than 7% of us are over 6 feet tall. So, when you say there’s no guy. No, there’s no guy that meets your criteria. It’s way too narrow. The same thing with us guys. We want this, that, we want this color, we want that shape, we want this size, everything. How about the heart? Why not leave your strict criteria where it counts? And that is character.

16:26 I’m going to tell you about the 666 Club. They did an informal poll actually on one Adventist campus of the ladies. I started off talking about the guys being very superficial and wanting just a certain look but women are superficial, too. Just in different areas. The 666 Club goes like this. The women wanted three things. They wanted a guy with greater than 6 figure income, greater than 6 years of education after high school, and greater than 6 feet tall. O, no! It’s the mark of the beast! (laughter)

17:09 I can explain, why women would gravitate toward that and explain it even Biblically. We don’t have time here but again my point is don’t let your desires go over and beyond principles to the point where you just narrow it down to a few options. Be willing to accept something that perhaps you weren’t thinking of. Many people in the Bible were very surprised when God revealed His will to them.

17:39 You may say, I don’t know what I want to do. Well, do you have anything you’re good at? Do you have any skills? Ex. 31:2-5, “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah”—now, God called him; in what way?—“I have filled him with the Spirit of God”—but not just spiritually—“in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge” —in what?—“in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.” So how was God’s call to Bezaleel determined? by his skill set. He was the best craftsmen in the millions of Israel. 

18:28 Ex. 4:14, “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he comes forth to meet you: and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.” So there are things that you and I naturally do well. Naturally, we gravitate toward certain things. For me, I tend be a more social person. Things that are effective and easy for me as talking to someone whom I don’t know. I’m the type of person that is a good initial contact to witness to someone. I will be the one who will meet them, greet them, bring them maybe to the first meeting type of thing. But ask me to do the behind the scene stuff and I’m all thumbs. I could never do that. My intention span is so short. I couldn’t just keep to that long enough. That’s why I do emergency medicine. I’m always doing something different.

19:27 But I don’t have any skills! You might say that, right? I can’t do anything well. Watch this: if you can’t do anything well try things out. An amazing quote from Education, p. 268. She is talking about ministering to others. Figuring out your ministry, that goes with the third lecture a little bit—“In this work, as in every other, skill is gained in the work itself. It is by training in the common duties of life and in ministry to the needy and suffering, that efficiency is assured. Without this the best-meant efforts are often useless and”—can you imagine? She’s saying that all these things that are theory, they have us take all these tests, aptitudes, whatever; but if you neglect the practical she says that it could be useless—“and even harmful. It is in the water, not on the land, that men learn to swim.” (Ed 31:268.3) I love it! Phenomenal. Profound.

20:36 Watch this: no matter what your job is remember that our job as Christians is foremost. “Whatever one’s calling in life, his first interest should be to win souls for Christ. He may not be able to speak to congregations, but he”—you—“can work for individuals. To them he can communicate the instruction received from his Lord. Ministry does not consist alone in preaching. Those ministers who relieve the sick and suffering, helping the needy, speaking words of comfort to the desponding”—you can have a ministry on email or Face Book, cheering people up—“and those of little faith. Nigh and afar off are souls weighed down by a sense of guilt. It is not hardship, toil, or poverty that degrades humanity.”—what degrades us? —“It is guilt, wrongdoing. This brings unrest and dissatisfaction. Christ would have His servants minister to sin-sick souls.” (DA 85:822.3) 

21:43 How about giving advice? People always telling you to do that? Watch this, two verses about counselors in Proverbs. Prov. 11:14 and 24:6 (“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety.”) Both say that in a multitude of counselors there is safety because it is not always wisdom. I’ll show you why. Why do you think it says “in multitude?” Ever thought about that? Exactly, because one person is fairly, highly probable to be wrong; but if you ask a multitude, as Franklin said, through all of that you’re probably bound to get some good information somewhere.

22:32 Watch this: When advice can hurt you. It never hurts to ask for advice, right? I was given a piece of advice that did more damage to me in selecting my career than any other. Should I be a doctor? That’s my career. Who do you think the first people I asked were? I´m a teenager. (Your parents.) Of course. I want you to know I had a parent sit me down with their spouse and for the next hour and ½ tell me why I could never make it. That I wasn’t smart enough, that I didn’t have a good memory, that I didn’t have enough discipline, and what is a teenager going to think when their own parent tells them they can’t. They are going to believe it. I was a teenager. That’s what they said. I was able to overcome them. Where did I go wrong? When you ask advice, you have to ask the right people. This is just specifically dealing with medicine. But I found a direct quote in Medical Ministry, p. 83, “I have been instructed that in view of the trying nature of medical missionary work, those who desire to take up this line should first be thoroughly examined by competent physicians, to ascertain whether or not they have the strength”—mental, moral, physical—“necessary to endure the course of study through which they must pass in the training school.” (MM 4:83.4)—neither one of my family members were physicians. None of my, neither my immediate or extended family were physicians. Why was I asking them?! They led me the wrong way. They did more damage than even a friend or a stranger could have done because they’re my blood—yes? (What do you tell someone who already knows what they should do but they are just afraid to move forward?) We’ll get to that. 

25:18 Another concept is you look to the future. Don’t just look at what you want to do now. Think about what you’re going to be doing ten years from now, twenty years from now. The Bible makes it very clear. Prov. 27:12, “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself”—or prepares;—“but the simple pass on, and are punished.” Luke 16:8—this is one of my brother’s, Franklin’s, good concept—“the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” And what did the steward do? The Lord said, look you’re going to lose the stewardship. So what did he do quickly? He made provision in the future. He cut these people deals so that when he was fired he’d go work for them. He made provision. Do we do the same? Look into the future not just for your job. 

26:30 I’ll give you a practical application. What would I have my children do?—don’t have lambs though, I’m single-minded. Did you guys catch that in one of the introductions? That was a Freudian slip if I ever heard one. But I am single and single-minded to the Lord. If I had lambs— which I don’t—what would I tell them to do? Now this occupation, you may say, well of course you’re bias. That’s why you want your children to do that. What would you think? It’s a work that goes to the end of probation. Look at the economy. Where’s the only job security? They can get whatever they want after graduating—it’s not medicine by the way—Ellen White encourages a short practical education. Medical missionary work and the colporteur work go to the end of probation. My bias would be for them to go into the medical missionary line, so I would probably choose nursing for them. They have training. They could be done in two years, three years. And I’ll give you a story.

27:36 A friend of mine, she graduated from nursing school and I told her, what do you want for your dream job? She’s like, I’m not going to get my dream job because I’m a new grad. I have to take what they give me. I was talking to some nurses here, you guys make like 19 bucks an hour.  Something like that, is that close? Roughly? I told her, here’s a list of 25 hospitals in a fifty mile radius where you want to work; interview with all of them; apply to all of them. She began to apply, what do I ask? —well, what do you want? She said, here’s what I want: I want them to pay off all my loans. That’s 20 grand. I want them to not schedule me ever on Sabbath. No Friday night, in fact no nights at all! I want to do no nights, starting out.  Also, I want 30 bucks an hour, as well.—Starting! I said, go ahead and ask that.—Are you crazy? —Ask them. Watch. So she went interview after interview. Finally, we came to one hospital. I talked to the nursing supervisor. I said, so how are you doing?—I need 69 full time nurses in 5 months! I said, you got them. And they gave her: every Sabbath off, every Friday night off, no nights, all days, they gave her 18 thousand toward her loans, and 25 bucks an hour. Wasn’t 30 but it was 25, like union.

29:09 You’re going to find a place that is desperate that if you’re willing to go and willing to interview and put in your application to a lot of places. A lot of us don’t get the job we want because we don’t ask as the Bible says. We receive not because we ask not as James says. 

29:30 Now, how did I pick my job? I’m a physician. I had a big heart for overseas missions. I love other cultures. I love other people groups. I love learning new languages. I love trying new foods. Things like that. But you see when you know what your calling is you may feel a draw to serve the third world and other countries but you have to know what’s out there first.

30:02 If you know what your calling is but you’re hesitating. Just dive into something small. Do like a small mission trip, a weekend or a week. So that’s what I began to do. When I became an Adventist I was a junior in college. I began to explore these short term missions to see what things were like in the third world and all I saw was just physical after physical after physical problems. People were dying for want of simple, medical missionary understanding of things. And you didn’t even have to be a doctor to relieve the majority of these things but it sure would help. And so I began to think, wow, maybe I could choose to be a physician and particularly in the third world there are so many needs you are only going to take care of the most critical so that would steer me toward emergency medicine; something more critical.

31:07 Another thing I liked about emergency medicine is that it’s flexible. I could work lots of shifts or fewer shifts. Right now I work 8 to 10, 8-hour days a month. That’s it. I dedicate a solid week for medical missionary work, or a Week of Prayer or something like this. But if I worked 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month, there is no way I’m going to do a mission trip every month. It’s just not possible. Not temperate. That’s another reason why I like emergency medicine. I’m the type of person who, when I was eating my food and there was a little bit left, mom would never have to say, now you better eat that or I’m sending it to the starving children in China. I’m ½ Chinese! I would eat it myself. I never liked to waste anything! I always liked to use everything that I learned in school. And I felt like if I went into a specialty I wouldn’t get to use everything. That’s my personality. I want to give 110% and hold on to 110% of what I have. I’m not giving up one inch or one pound! Absolutely. I want to hold onto it. So emergency medicine is perfect because it crosses all specialties. I get to do lots of procedures; I get to do orthopedics, geriatrics, cardiology, pediatrics, gynecology, everything! I also have A.D.D. so it kind of helps me. (laughter) I can switch back and forth from stuff. So you have to tailor things to your personality, to your needs.

32:43 I also looked at the future. I looked at the future of radiology. Do you know who reads a lot of the x-rays now? Think about it. With our technology, how could we make radiology cheaper? No one wants to work at night, right? Just send it to Australia. They’re in the day time and they’ll do it cheaper. So now a lot of our radiology is going via the internet to these telerad places. What do you think that does to the market? Can be a problem, right? Not yet. It’s still doing quite well. They do better than I do.  

33:28 And I’m sorry, anesthesia.  As they want to do more, and more surgeries but pay less and less for it, who will they hire more of instead of the anesthesiologist? The nurse anesthetist! Some places it has gotten so bad that the nurse anesthetist gets the contract! And they hire the anesthesiologist. It’s wrong! But that’s what happens. That’s what it’s going to steer towards. Why? Why pay the anesthesiologist 300 bucks an hour when you can pay the nurse anesthetist 100 bucks an hour?  

34:05 Primary care physicians? Many nurse practitioners are people’s primary care physicians now. It’s cheaper, they can train quicker, and they’re willing to go to the rural areas. But in my specialty, I do critical things. This is why less skilled people will never to critical things in this country. I’ll give you a hint. Why is the physician assistant or nurse practitioner never going to do critical things? Why? Who makes the laws in our country? (Congress) that’s right. And congress is full of people whose background is law. So lawyers make our laws. Do you think we’re ever going to have total reform in all our states? Do you think we’re ever going to get rid of these silly law suits? Why? They’re not going to shoot their brothers in the foot; because our country, by and large, the laws are made by lawyers. Even with the whole new socialized medicine thing, not one thing talks about reforming the litigation system, at least not what I’ve read. 

35:17 And last but not least, I’m an adrenalin junkie. I confess. People talk, Dude try Halo-3—you’re video games don’t even match my job! I get more excitement in reality! The most exciting movie doesn’t compare to cracking someone’s chest open and shocking them, clamping their aorta, giving them 60 units of blood and having them walk out alive! Praise the Lord! I kind of thrive on the critical. You know what? When you know that you’re keeping that person’s probation going, that’s real! But what’s more important than that? What we’re doing right now because you can make your patients live to 120 years and they could die the 2nd death. What have you done? You haven’t done anything. 

36:20 Even in all your planning, looking into the future, etc.—I’m going to show you that God actually still intervenes—I never could have planned that socialized medicine was going to come to our country. I want you to understand this concept for me, and the way I look at it. People may look at it many different ways. When you look at socialized medicine that means everyone is going to get the same, an insurance. Right now how many uninsured people are there? 50 million. So when we give them insurance, who’s going to come to the hospital? 50 million. Study show that when people are insured they utilize it. And who is going to have to take care of them? That’ll be us. That’s right! But where will they go? Will they go to their regular doctors you think? Why do you think people in the U.S. don’t want to schedule an appointment with their regular doctor? How long does it take for you to see your regular doctor? (A long time.) Exactly! People in America want things now and free! People in Canada are used to waiting. For example, let’s see you chop down into a delicious guacamole on a nice organic, fat-free chip. And, oh!!! It hurts. It hurts on your right side. We put an ultrasound and we look into your gall bladder and inside your gallbladder is a stone! So every time you eat fat now—even good fats—it hurts. What do you think you want to do? (Take it out.) Exactly! If it’s not inflamed or infected, do you know how long you’re going to wait in Canada? (2 years) Exactly! Do you think any American is going to wait for 2 years? They would not tolerate that. We are the now country; instant gratification. There’s no way they’re going to wait to go to their regular doctor. So if they are not going to wait, who are they going to see? Me! They’re going to see me. So the demand is going to go through the roof for my specialty. Now I don’t know what my salary is going to be. I just know I’m going to be a busy bee if this thing passes. They’re all going to come to me.

39:05 They already come right now. I’ll ask someone, so what’s wrong? —I have a sore throat. —so when did it start?—an hour ago. (laughter) I’m thinking, did you even try gargling with salt water, anything like that? —no, I just figured I’d come on in.—And if it’s free what’s going to stop them from coming on in? Nothing because right now you and I don’t go to the E.R. because usually there is a co-pay. We have to pay 100 bucks for the E.R vs. 25 for the regular doctor. But if it’s all free, why wait for 8 weeks? You may sit down and wait for 8 hours. Hopefully not, but I can foresee that happening.  

39:55 Do you remember the hardest obstacle I had to overcome in my journey to being a physician? It wasn´t the MCAT, wasn’t pre-med; it wasn’t even the fact that I had no money at all. That’s a different story. What was the greatest obstacle? Do you remember what I shared with you? One of my parents—not both—told me that I was not smart enough to be a doctor.

40:22 Friends, you don’t tell your children that, just F.Y.I. In case you were wondering what you’re supposed to say to your lambs, you’re supposed to tell them Phil. 4:16, you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. Because when you tell a teenager they’re dumb, they might believe it. When you tell them they can’t, they might believe it. The only way I went forward is that I read that statement in Medical Missionary that said it should be physicians deciding that about me. You have to know what God says and then you have to pray. You have to counsel with the right people. And according to the quote, for me it was competent Christian physicians who should assess me. And I went to them.

41:14 All of them said, you have to be a doctor. You DO have what it takes, Tim, both spiritually and mentally. Then you repeat step 2) pray some more. And then what do you do? You move forward; your question. You try it out. I had a beautiful friend say, Tim, I know that your family is not supporting you so I’m going to pay for you to take this test. Now, remember I hadn’t even done pre-med yet. So they pay for me to take the MCAT! Wait a minute, those of you who know, you’re supposed to take the MCAT after you graduate from pre-med. So I haven’t taken any of the classes but I’m trying it out, as we recommended. You know, the best way to gain efficiency is to actually do it practically, try it out. 

42:07 So I decide to do some crazy and try it out. And you know God’s providence works, when I took that test I got the average score of the accepted students to Loma Linda, a 29 or something like that, and that was without the prerequisites. God was trying to tell me something. And then I really prayed. When I said prayed, I went off to a friend’s house who I knew lived out in the country, in the back yard they had a huge mountain range, and I would go hike in the hills for 12 miles sometimes. But most of the time I would just kneel down in a lonely place and just pray, God I don’t have any money. I don’t have support but I feel that you’re calling me to serve you and to serve humanity as a physician. 

43:05 So you really, really, pray. And I did. At the end of that one week, God spoke to my mind. This is the first time God has ever spoken to me. There are two other times but you have to go on AudioVerse to find those. I was impressed beyond a shadow of a doubt I should do it. But you know I had no money for even pre-med. No family support but God intervened.

43:29 I ended up going to Andrew’s. And they gave me a full tuition scholarship but I was taking all pre-med in 9 months so I had an overload so I had to cover that extra unit. I ended up tutoring for G-chem, O-chem, Physics, and Bio! And when you teach it, you learn it! I got a 4.0 that year. At the top of all my classes; by God’s grace, but still I have to live now. I couldn’t afford the dorm.

44:02 I’m sitting outside of the bookstore. I didn’t even have money for my books. I met a friend who I had met long ago. I had been instrumental in their being cured from cancer. I didn’t do anything, I just told them, you need to be anointed and they said, can you do that for me? I had just become a Christian, I didn´t even know who an elder is and I just started asking, are you an elder? Are you an elder? Can you help this lady?  She and her husband ended up saying, stay in our basement for free. So I stayed in their basement; but no money for utilities. So in Andrew’s in a big basement in the winter, how warm is it? I’m studying with hat and gloves on! My monthly food bill? $50.00 dollars—a month. I learned to buy those 10-lb bags of potatoes for .99 cents when they went on sale. I praise the Lord for the pastors’ wives at Andrew’s because they would go collect all the almost expired food and they would like give it away for like a quarter at the food bank on campus. That is what I did for a year.

45:16 As I was in this huge cold basement, no family support, new place, no friends, I could say, Look, I’m in this frozen basement; but you know what? Make the most of it. I had a big basement. So what did I do?  I had people over. Every week I had a vegan potluck. I had 70, 80 students every Sabbath. It was great! And then I got to keep the food at the end. O, yes! And I got to witness and share the health message. 

45:50 As positive a person as I am, it started to wear me down. I had such a load of class work; I had 4 hours of class in the a.m. and 4 hours of lab in the p.m. And at that point, in the winter at Andrew’s when I left in the morning for school, it was dark. When I came back after lab, it was dark. And I was walking up hill in the snow, both ways. No, no (laughter) not quite that bad. Does anyone know what S.A.D. is? I never saw the sun—for three months! I never got calls from my family—for a year! I take that back, grandma and grandpa called me once a week. Praise the Lord for them; but not a lot of support from everyone else. I remember at some point I was so overloaded, so cold all the time, so thin, that I started getting S.A.D. I felt. I’m a very positive person but you can only hold out so long and you come to a point when you don’t have anything left. But you know it’s at that point that God is going to intervene and He did!

47:20 One day I was walking to school. I remember it; this is the 2nd time God has talked to me. I was walking to Andrew’s in the cold. The trees were barren and I came to one tree and I noticed that on that barren tree there were little buds starting to come out. And at that point God spoke to my soul, Tim, spring comes again. And spring did come to my life. My situation didn’t change but I knew God was with me. I knew He was providing for me financially; He was supporting me emotionally; He was giving me strength academically; and that He hadn’t left me though others had in my life. When you know the God who gives you the strength to get well; the power to do a job; He will see you through to its completion. Let’s pray.

48:31 Loving Father in Heaven, Lord, I thank you for the great honor and privilege that I have to be a physician but I know that I’m only that because of you; because of your mercy, and your grace and your reminder to my heart that even though there are difficulties in our lives, even though winter may wrap itself around our souls, that spring comes again in Jesus Christ; that even the worst difficulty is followed by your miracle; and though Lord, we may even have to face death along the road of your will, that we will live again; in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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