Thursday, April 29, 2010


The older I get, the more I realize the importance of a good doctor. I have had severe health problems for years, and now at sixty-seven, my body is almost useless. Degenerative Spine Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, and Pulmonary Thromboses have taken me a long way from the days when I ran pass-patterns for Roger Staubach and played Judo in Japan. Having been a career U.S. Navy, I have seen more than my share of doctors. The thing I hated most about the V.A. Hospitals was that I rarely saw the same doctor twice. I soon noticed that nearly every one of them would glance at my chart and then tell me, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes not so subtle, that the doctor I had before was an idiot. It was as if they had to change my meds to convince themselves that they were better doctors. For instance, I was on and off of Coumadin (a dangerous blood thinner) nearly every other visit. It was as if doctors had self-esteem problems and were using patients to convince themselves that they were good doctors.

Ironically, I have heard two patients describe the same doctor as wonderful and horrible. In fact, there have been times when I have felt my doctor vacillated between the two extremes. I would like to say that he was having a good or a bad day, but I am afraid that is not why I thought of him as one or the other. He was a good doctor when he didn't mention that I was obese, when he didn't harp on me exercising, and when he correctly diagnosed and prescribed medicine that worked. I appreciated him when he didn't interfere with my lifestyle and when he saved my life, but was less appreciative when he "began meddling." If I liked his advice or agreed with his instructions, he was great, but....

Isn't it strange that we treat God's Word the same way? We would never admit it, but the goodness of God depends on whether or not we want to obey Him. He is "good" when His Word tells us about His great love for us, but when He tells us He expects us to love others, especially the jerks, idiots, and useless, His expectations seem so unreasonable. I don't want to love them. Or when He tells me that gossip is just as much a sin as murder, then I cringe. I want to cry out, "I am not as bad as a murderer!" but in my heart, I have assassinated the character of friend and foe alike.

I have come to believe that if I have a problem with others, including God, the problem is really mine. I judge based upon what pleases me and what does not. I am so glad that God does not have mood-swings. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; He is Love, and He is Good. Praise Him, especially when His Word reveals our sin. As my loving Father, He only wants what's best for me, and from me (Hebrews 12:3-17). Doctors, for the most part, like parents simply try to do their best to help us be as healthy or as successful as possible. God wants no less, and He will get it from His children one way or another. So we might as well trust Him and take our "medicine." After all, it is good for us.

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