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The Guy Who Saved My Career

The Guy Who Saved My Career

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. Genesis 12:7

While sitting in treatment for my opioid addiction, I had a lot of time to think about my situation, which wasn’t good. My marriage was probably over, and my career was a disaster. No one wants to hire a physician who just lost his job for diverting opioids. Life appeared hopeless. Even if I managed to stay sober, I’d still be lost if I couldn’t find work. Utter despair. Then, one day I was given hope. I got a random message from a physician* whom I didn’t know very well – Don’t leave town. Come see me when you get out. I think we’ve got a place for you. I’ll never forget that feeling. I was drowning and that was the lifeline I desperately needed. Maybe my life isn’t over. That physician saved my career and though he’s now retired, we still get coffee regularly. Whenever the subject comes up, I express my gratitude. I’ll never be able to repay him for what he’s done for me, but I can respond appropriately by reminding him of how much I appreciate him.

On the other hand, I get job offer messages all the time from head-hunter companies. Am I grateful for those offers? No. I simply delete them. I’m not in despair and I’m not looking for a job. So, I don’t respond, and I certainly don’t express any gratitude to them.

Unfortunately, I’ve spent much of my life treating God like those headhunters. Sure, Christ died for my sins, but I once failed to realize my need for him. I was self-sufficient, not requiring radical transformation. So, I didn’t respond to God at all. I was an entitled child who had no appreciation for his gift. In recovery now though, I have a much different perspective. Now, every day I wake up and thank God for my new life. I then pray that I would have the only proper response – To live in gratitude and obedience to God for saving me from myself.

As Christians, we know that salvation is a gift. We don’t earn it and we’re not saved by what we do. The problem then however, is that we often treat salvation as a cheap trinket, expressing zero gratitude. God’s love and grace though, should always produce an appropriate response in us. Today’s passage reflects this. In the story, God made a promise to Abram regarding his offspring. Abram didn’t just shrug and walk away, but rather stopped and made an altar pointing back to God. Abram didn’t earn that gift, but he responded appropriately to it. Likewise, as God has shown us love and grace, we must daily respond appropriately by living a radically different life. He’s saved us from ourselves. Now, our daily job – and our only appropriate response – is to live for him and his will.

 

*Thank-you Dr. Ray Mellema!

2 Responses

  1. Larry Lohn says:

    Amen, this post fit me well some 25 years ago also. Thank you.

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