Thursday, 28 July 2016

5 Lessons About Christ - Lesson Four: Rest

by Karen Chung

By the grace of God, Karen will be starting her first year at U of T for plastic and reconstructive surgery. She asks for your prayers, that she may abide in God daily

I had the privilege of watching the beautiful Janessa Se Lan marry Timothy Gee on June 11 2016 at the Elk Ridge Resort in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. All names have been granted with permission.

God used this wedding to share five lessons about Christ, and I write them now. I write to remember, to understand, and to testify. I pray that this will also be a blessing for you.

I step outside the terminal and see a beautiful woman with blond hair, dressed in black. Her name is Jennifer and although we did not know each other, she lovingly took the time to pay for parking, pick me up at the Saskatoon airport and drive to the resort for Janessa's wedding. We realize later that we've met each other at the CMDS leadership conference in 2013, and as we talk about our medical school experiences the topic of burnout comes up.

"What are your thoughts about the sabbath?" 

I share that I've done it a few times and it's peace-giving, but I have had mixed opinions about it.

She looks at me gently "It's one of the ten commandments."

And so it is:

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8)

"Then he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.'" (Mark 2:27)

I remember that still quiet voice,"What is preventing you from giving me time?"  I'm thinking, "my work, a desire for people's praise, a fear of failing in this world."

The next morning, while doing devotions 1 John 5:21 pierces my heart:

"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:21)

I leave the breakfast table and meet Jessica, a fellow Mauritian Christian sister, who is also doing her devotions.

She reads her devotion out to me and then asks, "What are your thoughts about rest?". She goes on to share that her work sometimes requires her to work all 7 days. She shares how she has committed to spend 1 hour every day, resting in Him, giving Him that hour.

That idea resonated, and still resonates. God pursues and sanctifies. When I met with Dr. Kenneth Wyllie and his lovely wife Mary, missionaries who also founded the Plastic and Reconstructive Division at Queen's University, they handed me a book Waiting on God. Then, I was at C3 Church Toronto the past two weekends.

The first sermon "Freedom in listening" was about hearing God. The second sermon, was about choosing to believe in moments of crisis: 'What is your foundation? our pastor challenged us.

"It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)

For me, that one hour of rest in Him is an opportunity to hear God speak, a time to renew my mind, an opportunity to read His word and a time to lay down my idols.

It's an act of faith. Even now, I could use that hour to study, and I struggle with that temptation, but I choose to trust in God, not my own ability. It's a decision to give the time He has given me, back to Him, even if it costs me a question, even if it costs me looking foolish. He is so much bigger. He made my dream of being a plastic surgery resident possible, and He works in my heart to desire that this is used for His glory.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love." (John 15:5-9)

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