“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2, NIV 2011).
He wheeled in pretty quickly for his 80 years, his wife hustling to keep up. I see him infrequently because he is doing so well. When we finished his exam and he was leaving my room, hunched over his rolling walker, I told him, "I'll see you next year if the Lord doesn't take me first." He smiled and said, "I guess the Lord’s still got something for us to do." I laughed and replied, his hand in mine, "Well, we'd both better get about doing it."
When Abram started toward Canaan, the Lord made him a promise:
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
Abram would be blessed and Abram would be a blessing and so with us.
As children of Abraham, we are heirs to the Promise through Christ and the Promise hasn’t changed, though most of us focus on only half. Many of us know patients who claim God’s promise to bless them and heal them in their illnesses. Some of us may also know a few who declare that God will use them as a blessing.
When I examine my own life, my time allotment, my checkbook and even my prayers, I realize that most of my energy is focused on blessings for me and blessings for those I love, with only a small bit of my energy focused on becoming a blessing for others.
As doctors, we may excuse ourselves by claiming that our work is already blessing others. And thank God it is. But there is a danger as we move through our careers that we drift the focus of our work toward blessing ourselves. Each of us needs to examine our practices and decide where the focus lies. All of us need to shift in some tangible way toward making our work more of a blessing for others. What one change can I make?
Every time we walk into our examining rooms or academic halls, we should claim the Promise and pray, “Make me a blessing.” As we look into the eyes of our children and spouses, we should claim the Promise, “Make me a blessing.” As we decide whether or not to serve in volunteer clinics or to educate overseas for Christ or feed the hungry on a beautiful Saturday, we should claim the Promise, “Make me a blessing.”
No matter what our stage in life, the Promise stands. For all of us who are still breathing, my patient’s words ring true, “The Lord’s still got something for us to do.” And so, I challenge myself as I challenged him, “I’d better get about doing it.”
Claim the Promise.
Thank you for your Promise. Make me a blessing to someone today.