The hallway leading from the parking lot to the lobby of the hospital was adorned with elaborate pieces of artwork, surrounded by columns of marble and granite. The accent lighting flickered off the polished stone creating a lively sparkling dance that welcomed us. Rounding the corner, we entered a lobby with floor to ceiling windows that afforded an uninhibited view of the orange sunset. It was a palatial setting for our meeting. My daughter and I were duly impressed as we followed the arrows that guided us to a commodious conference room where we were greeted by dozens of physicians and hospital administrators. It was the orientation for her summer program. For two weeks, after her high school graduation, she would join a team of medical professionals in the hospital, shadowing them and learning the nuances of modern healthcare.
Several speakers, who once participated in the program when they graduated from high school, now addressed us. They presently were medical students, resident physicians, and attending physicians at various hospitals. Each ebulliently shared their experiences, pronouncing it as one of the chief motivators for deciding to choose a career in medicine.
After all the presenters received warm applause, the medical director of the program returned to the podium. “Once again, congratulations to all of you! For these two weeks, you will be an important part of the medical team caring for patients.” He paused as he surveyed the audience of young eager faces. “There is one word that I never want to hear from any of you…JUST!” My daughter and I looked at each other, awkwardly smiling as if we knew what he was referring. “I never want to hear this word.” He continued. “When patients or anyone else asks you what your position is, I don’t want to hear, ‘I am JUST a student.’ You are not JUST a student. You are a clinical intern with our program. You are a member of the health care team!”
I smiled as I reminisced about my first day of medical school. The dean of our medical school gave a similar admonition to us, proclaiming that we were not just medical students, we were now medical doctors and must behave and act like one. When we join a larger community or organization, it is important to be immediately accepted as a fully fledged member, regardless of one’s experience. Is this also how God welcomes and accepts us?
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior during my sophomore year of college. A short time later, a fellow Christian brother suggested I attend a Christian conference for other college students, held at a nearby university. I happily agreed and when I arrived at this conference, I was assigned to a small group discussion with other college students. As a means of introduction, the leader of the group requested that we state which school we currently attended and how long we had been a Christian. When my turn arrived, I sheepishly stated, “I’ve just been a Christian for a month.”
The other students chimed in joyous unison. “Praise God! How wonderful! God bless you!” I was elated and relieved that I was immediately accepted and welcomed into the Christian family. It did not matter how long I had been a Christian nor how I came to this point. All that mattered is I had joined an eternal fellowship with God-His Church. This is how God welcomes all who confess and repent of their sins and place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
…for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
Galatians 3:26 (ESV)
I was not “just” a Christian.
I am a Christian, an adopted son of God and a co-equal heir with Jesus Christ.
Praise God, indeed!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.