from Chairman Mike Chen
Dear NEOCMDA members and friends,
Greetings in Christ! Just wanted to share a little story that happened to me recently while I was with a 3rd year Case student. I have a patient of mine who lost his wife to pancreatic cancer 3 years ago. He is a believer who I walked alongside through her illness and passing. About a year ago, he mentioned that he had met a lady and that they were dating. Honestly I was pretty happy for him- it had been hard for him to lose his wife. At the last visit 3 months ago, he mentioned that they had gone on some trip together. A little concerned for him for purity's sake, I asked him if they had been intimate together. This was a bit of a risk. During our retreat Sunday morning, I addressed the issue of bringing issues of sin to light during our discussion. I had known this brother for years and felt, even if it was an uncomfortable question, it was something, if I cared for him as a brother in Christ, that I should ask, especially as someone who was watching out for his soul.
Sin has a way of causing us to live in darkness and creating distance in our relationship with God. I lost 10 years of my friendship to my best friend because I was afraid to gently confront him about the sin in his life. However, it is something that I want, by God's grace to be willing to engage, even if it can be awkward. My patient answered honestly, he had been intimate with her. I shared what he already knew, that God's design for sex was only in context of marriage and that he and his girlfriend, (who also a believer) were engaged in fornication, which is sin in God's eyes. Someone who says that they are a Christian and yet engages in chronic unrepentant sin is in a dangerous place- and I wanted to warn him against it. I didn't say all that much -- mentioning that I was not without sin myself and yet God calls us, when we sin to come to repentance, receive the blood of Christ to cover us and to get back up and engage in the battle again. Humbly and contritely, he thanked me for bringing this to light and promised to address the issue. "If you love her, then marry her," I told him as he got ready to leave. In some sense, to him it felt like a relief not to be living in the darkness.
Today he came in, three months later, and the first thing he does is pull out his phone and show me the pictures of his wedding. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, working through his doctor who cared for him enough to bring God's Word to bear in his life, he saw his sin, repented from it and now is able to enjoy all the blessings of marriage, forgiven by God's grace. He was grateful and totally willing for me to share his story with Lauren, who seemed to be quite provoked by it. (She is a believer as well).
I share this story, not because I'm that great -- you all know about the magnitude of my failures as a man and husband, but merely to point out that God's grace is more powerful than our failures and that it is never too late to "save others from the pit" (Jude 1:22) -- this is part of providing spiritual care to people, & it is not just for people who aren't believers. This type of conversation takes wisdom, gentleness and discernment. Fortunately the Holy Spirit is poured out upon us so that we have it... we just need to ask. By God's grace, this brother is back to walking in full fellowship with his Savior.
grace and peace to you this Advent Season,
Mike Chen, MD
P.S. SAVE THE DATE! We have scheduled the
2019 Celebration for Saturday April 27, 2019 at Grace Church in Middleburg Heights.
The vision of the Mentorship Ministry of NEO CMDA is to be able to function as a resource and liaison whereby personal and spiritual mentorship is made available to interested students and residents entering the healthcare profession.
We are looking for people who can be involved either as a mentor or are looking to get connected with a mentor. If you are interested, please check out our mentorship page.
Medical Student Ministry
Medical Student Ministry
The Medical Student Ministry of NEO CMDA plays a central and active part in the lives of medical students through community, fellowship, and Bible study. We encompass active chapters at Case School of Medicine, Case School of Dental Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM), Northeast Ohio Universities Medical University (NEOMED) and Ohio University.
National CMDA Student website
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) exist to motivate, educate, and equip Christian physicians and dentists to glorify God by:
* 2019 Celebration ~ Saturday, April 27th