I thought my long day had finally come to an end. I was in Chicago and just completed my examination to become a board certified dermatopathologist. I was joined by a hundred other former dermatopathology fellows. The American Academy of Dermatology had also scheduled their board certification examination on the following day for dermatologists. Thus, I was also able to reunite with many dermatology colleagues from my former training programs.
“Yo! My favorite dermatopathologist!” That was a familiar voice!
“Jake! Hoping I would see you! Ready for your board exam?” He was my former dermatology resident from the program that I trained as a dermatopathology fellow.
Jake grinned. “No way! You’re just the person I need to see. You have to help me out!”
“What do you mean? You’re taking the exam tomorrow at 8AM!”
“I know! You have to help me review the dermatopathology.”
“How am I supposed to help you review? I don’t have a microscope or any textbooks.”
“Not a problem. I borrowed a couple of carousels of dermpath Kodachrome slides from the dermatopathologist at a nearby hospital where I work. C’mon, you always helped me out when I was a resident. You know how bad I am at dermpath!”
I smiled and shook my head. “Sure, let’s do it.”
For three hours, we reviewed photos of dermatopathology cases, projected by a Kodachrome projector onto the wall of his hotel room. Frankly, I was very concerned that he was not going to pass this section of the boards but even during his residency, he always managed to succeed in spite of his frantic last minute preparations. We pushed forward until it was midnight. At that point, I looked at him and said, “Jake, I’ve had a really long day. I don’t think I can do this any longer.”
“Hey don’t worry about it. It’s all coming back to me! I’ll review for a little longer but thanks, you saved me!” A few months later, I received an email thanking me and informing me that he passed his boards. I sighed and grinned, “Like a cat, always landing on his feet!”
A major life challenge like a certification examination usually requires hours of careful preparation. However, some people, like Jake, are gifted test takers and even if the preparation is last minute, they usually succeed, relying upon their intelligence and intuition. What if the stakes were much higher? What if our very lives depended upon how we would answer an examination?
When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Matthew 10:19-20 (NLT)
Our Lord Jesus Christ issued this solemn prophesy to His disciples when they asked Him what would be the signs of the end times. One might think that He would painstakingly review all possible scenarios and outline answers the disciples could give to defend themselves. Instead, He reminded them that it is not by their cleverness of speech or intuition that will allow them to properly respond. God, the Holy Spirit, will speak for them. Countless martyrs have died for the Name of Jesus Christ, declaring and defending their faith in Him. They faced the ultimate test. Their only preparation was to confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior. We can do the same and when we do, the Holy Spirit will immediately indwell within us. He promises to help us in the greatest test of our lives, the testing of our faith.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.