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169 Pounds

May 25, 2021

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the son of God, God lives in them and they in God” (1 John 4:15, NIV).

Her husband was my patient, and we were discussing her role as his caregiver. “I walk 10 miles a day,” she said. “I used to weigh 280 pounds and I am now down to 111.”

“How tall are you?” I asked.

“4 foot 11,” she said.

“Wow! How did you do it?”

“It was God,” she replied. “When my doctor said I had to lose the weight, I told him that God and I were going to do it. We did, and he said he had never seen anything like it. Besides that, one of the good things about walking so much is that I made $700 dollars picking up beer cans along the road and selling them last month.”

There is grace, and there is hard work. There is deliverance, and there is perseverance. There is God’s part, and there is my part. But it’s not that simple.

My patient’s wife did not split the responsibilities of life—“God and I were going to do it.” She and God did it together.

We sometimes get the notion that we are walking down a road with God beside us, both picking up stones. God lets us pick up the little ones, but when the stones are too big, we stand back to let God do the lifting. I’m not sure this is biblical truth.

To paraphrase Francois Fenelon: “The only thing that lies within our power is the direction of our will.” Our job is to will what God wants. Even this requires His grace and power, but He does give us the freedom to make that choice. Once our will is surrendered to Him, life is a continual joint effort with God.

Paul made it clear in his letter to the Colossians, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3, NIV), and earlier in the same letter, “…Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27, NIV). Paul is repeating Jesus’ request to His disciples on the night before the cross, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you” (John 15:4, NIV), and a bit later in his prayer to the Father, “…that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me…” (John 17:22-23, NIV).

This is not just theology. This is how we make life work, day by day: surrendering our will, working together in all things with the Christ who died and lives in us.

Dear God,
Let me know that I never walk alone, and never let me work without You working through me.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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