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December 28, 2021

“When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 18:5, NKJV).

The examining room was crowded with a fellow, two medical students, a wife and a husband with new cancer when I walked in. The outlook was difficult, and I was honest with the patient I had just met. “I’m a man of faith, and I won’t let my faith go,” he said. “I believe God is going to heal me.” “I certainly hope you are right,” I responded, “God has the power to do great things.” I then felt compelled, “Would you like for me to pray with you right now about this?” I looked at one of the students who appeared very discomforted by my question. I spoke to him as I placed my hand on my patient’s shoulder. “You don’t have to take part in this.” And then I prayed.

I am not one who prays with every patient, as some do. I may learn one day how my failure to often do so was caused by timidity rather than wisdom.

But there are times in my practice where God speaks loudly enough for me to hear Him above the stampeding hoofs of hurry and the harsh whispers of pride. At such times I cannot ignore His voice, even when I glimpse the clock on the wall or fear the thoughts of those in the room.

At these times, I am compelled to speak the Word of Christ or pray for God to enter my patients’ lives.

What would it take for such words and prayer to come naturally without God having to raise His voice above the whisper?

Perhaps if I prepared myself before I entered each room. “My God, this patient needs you.”

Perhaps if I clearly settled into my task as a Christian doctor, “I have much to offer with my temporary touch of physical healing, and so much more in Christ.”

Perhaps if I trusted God with all that waited for me outside my patient’s room.

Perhaps if I slowed down my practice, or even sped it up, to find His pace.

Perhaps if I spent more time with Him before I left home each day.

Perhaps if I really believed I’m a child of the King and His respect is more than enough.

Perhaps such changes would allow God’s Spirit to flow freely through my words. Until they do, I will listen and obey with love when God compels.

Dear Father,
Thank You that You often compel us down Your road when we would rather travel our own.

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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