He graduated from an Ivy League medical school and trained at a prestigious university pathology residency program in the midwest. Handsome, self-effacing, intelligent-he was the total package and our pathology group was fortunate to hire him. For a month, all seemed to be well then the cracks began to appear.
The first clues were decidedly odd and inappropriate comments to various administrative staff. While not approaching the level of harassment, it provoked a definite feeling of unease. However, he did not speak in this manner to the other physicians so we were unaware of what was transpiring. The second clue was his work performance, which while initially superb, began to falter. He was increasingly delinquent with his cases and would order an excessive number of additional tests but never arrive at a timely and definitive diagnosis. The final straw was a late-night encounter. Unknownst to the evening laboratory staff, he returned to his office and was wandering the hallways around midnight. The graveyard shift was unfamiliar with him since most of the physicians were not in their offices at these hours. When confronted by one of the staff, he panicked and ran out of the building. The disturbing incident led to a formal investigation and after many tense conversations, it was decided that he and our company should part ways. We later learned that he was under psychiatric care and several years later, his medical license was suspended. When we learned of this, one of my partners commented, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
It was a tragic end to a very promising career. All of my partners were keenly aware of the debilitating toll of mental illness but this was a very personal example and deeply affected all of us. There is, indeed, a thin line between genius and insanity; how well we were now acquainted with this.
How ironic that it takes the misfortune of another to persuade some of us to evoke God’s Name. When something good happens to another person, could we also declare and rejoice with their blessings and declare, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” ?
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain….
1 Corinthians 15:10 (ESV)
For many years, I rejected God and was hostile to any mention of His Name. What did this attitude achieve for me? I was selfish and embittered toward others that I perceived had accomplished more than I did but with less effort. I could not rejoice and be happy for God’s blessings in their lives. If God existed, why didn’t He bless my life as well? I learned the reason when I was a sophomore in college. God was blessing me, I simply refused to see or accept it. God was blessing me to bring me into a true relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, by confessing and repenting of my sins and accepting Him as my Lord and Savior.
God’s grace shows no favoritism. Even for an unrepentant sinner as myself, His grace can break through my wall of sin.
There, by the grace of God, go I.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.