Saturday, August 4, 2012


Habari friends! My name is Rachel Lantz, one of the med students here for the seminar (also the aforementioned "E. coli Mary" who brought the team down with a literal earthquake of vomit and diarrhea). In short, this month has been incredible, and a big part of me does not want to leave. But second year beckons, and there are 97 more exams that demand my attention.
Throughout this month, I have gone through waves of joy and peace strung together by periods of frustration and feelings of defeat. At first, my own sin weighed heavy on my heart. The condition of my life this past year of school has not been what I would have desired or expected of myself. I failed to make an impact for Christ on the people I live with and the people with which I spend most of my time. I failed to show love and was instead impatient, insensitive, and hateful. I failed to live a godly example of a life transformed by Love and instead became a slave to my studies and to pleasing people. I came into this month feeling guilty and unworthy and defeated. But God met me with His grace. "Oh what joys for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!" (Psalm 32:1) 
Next, I sought to change my view of health. We have been learning that God does not just desire our spiritual health, but also our physical and emotional and relational health. True health is when the body, soul, and spirit are united and in right relationship with God. If we, as physicians, are to make any real impact on the lives of our patients, we cannot look only to the physical, because the human being is more than cells and electrical impulses. But when I view the challenge of attending to a person's body, soul, and spirit, I am overwhelmed. I understand that any change in behavior must flow from a change in mindset. But how could I possibly hope to change someone's worldview? And if I don't, it is all useless. I feel defeated because I cannot even begin to fathom how one would put this into practice. I need steps and a process, and this is all faith and grace, always my problems. "Oh how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!" (Romans 11:33) But God has met me with a sense of victory. That feeling of defeat is from Satan, meant to inactivate me from doing anything at all. But overwhelming victory is ours in Christ Jesus. 
Now, I am overwhelmed and frustrated by the immense suffering I have encountered. Again I feel inadequate and angry, but I do not feel defeated. I do not feel that the situation is hopeless. Though we are flawed, broken vessels, God works through us when He chooses. Even I could be used by God. Even I can be forgiven. Even I am loved by the God of Universe. Though many questions have been left unanswered, I have access to the Truth. Freed from a burden of guilt and anxiety, I can enter into God's presence in a fuller way. I have begun to experience more of the rich, abundant life that comes from abiding in Him.

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