Comparing Apples to Oranges

Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:3-4

Have you ever wrestled with something or ran away from something until it finally caught with you and smacked you in the face? Yeah, that happened to me this week. I really don’t enjoy when it happens, but I know that it’s for my ultimate good.

Here is what’s been going on the life of Sheba the Physician Assistant student. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on rotations now for my clinical year. My first rotation was awesome! My schedule, my preceptors, the patients, the staff, and all of my experiences were wonderful. I cried like a baby when I said my goodbyes, and I honestly did not want to leave.

I was pretty excited going into my second rotation, but by day three I was so incredibly frustrated I didn’t know how to handle it. At my first rotation, I could perform the history and physical exams of my patients by myself, report back to my doc, and help make an assessment and plan. This rotation, most days I stand against the wall and watch my preceptor do everything. The only plus side was going out to the farms at night and seeing and treating migrant farm workers.

For weeks, I’ve been praying that I would get an attitude change and be positive. When I really sit down and think about all my blessings, I am so ashamed to complain. Just when I think I have a grasp on it, a new day begins, and I drag my feet to work and plaster on this smile counting down the days until I’m finished.

Tuesday was the proverbial tipping point. There was a prospective pediatrician at the clinic touring the area. My doc introduced himself, and the pediatrician actually greeted me! I was so happy, and I extended my hand and said, “I’m a student here.” Then the CEO who was giving the tour said, “Oh, she’s just shadowing here.” Then they walked off.

That one sentence kept replaying in my head the rest of the day, and I couldn’t help but begrudgingly agree to her statement. I felt this “righteous indignation” at such a truth because I felt like I wasn’t getting the proper education/training that I was supposed to have compared to my classmates. Then Wednesday, I was at the clinic and took a sitting break to read Hebrews 12, and boy did I feel that resounding slap in the face.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12: 12-15

WOAH! That really hit home for me. Without even being consciously aware of it, I had allowed pride and bitterness to take root these past four weeks. I just kept saying “woe is me” and kept feeding my ego. What would Christ have done in my shoes? He probably would have been His usual humble self and endured it all with joy because Jesus loves to stoop down way below His status to actively love His creation.

As much as I hate “shadowing” for this rotation, I should still do so as a reflection of Christ! The last thing I want is to allow bitterness to crush the light of Jesus and become a stumbling block to my doctors, coworkers, or my patients. Yeah, I am a broken and wicked person who struggles with sin daily, but at the end of the day Christ struggled to the point of sweating drops of blood before obeying God the Father by dying on the cross. He went through the greatest struggle in order to succor me in my own struggle.

I can rest in the fact that He sustains me and strengthens me in order to do His will. Despite my failures, He will never fail me. No matter how humbled I may be in my current situation, I will never ever be able to come close to the humility that Christ endured by becoming human, living a poor life, and dying a criminal’s death. My only hope is that in spite of myself, God will get the maximum glory due to Him. At the end of the day, I need to remember that I am a disciple of Christ disguised as a PA student.

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