The alarm didn’t go off that morning, so I awoke in a panic. I didn’t even have time to take my temperature but was pretty sure I was running a fever to match my flu-like symptoms as I dragged myself into the office. My head pounded, and my throat screamed for relief with every swallow I took. It promised to be a long day. As I dashed to the car later than I would have liked, I was greeted by the little warning light that no one likes to see on a morning they are pressed for time…EMPTY. Seems whoever was the last to drive my car left it for me to refuel, on a day I didn’t really have time to refuel, and I couldn’t afford not to.
Outside it poured a much-needed spring rain. Which while we could be grateful for the moisture for our drought-parched soil, it most certainly would assure that patients would run late getting to their scheduled appointments and that would back up my day. Unlike most doctors I knew, I always strived to keep my appointments on time—even if that meant having to reschedule patients who showed up too late for their scheduled time. On rainy days, that was almost a given. And it didn’t make them happy…but it wouldn’t make other patients happy if they had to wait to be seen because an earlier patient arrived late.
My patient care coordinator took one glance at me and understated the obvious, “You look terrible!”
“Thanks! The Nice-DrB is not in the office this morning!”
“Since when are you not nice?”
I chuckled, before responding “Since the alarm didn’t go off, I’m not feeling well, think I’m running a fever, my gas tank was on empty, and it’s a rainy day, and you know what that means for the schedule….”
I glanced at the day’s schedule and my soul was disheartened. Within the first two hours of the day, I had to deliver the news to a young couple that their child had moderately severe autism and to an aging gentleman and his family I had to explain that he had advanced Alzheimer’s Disease and should no longer be driving or living independently.
As I walked back to my office, I sensed the Lord say, “How do you think Jesus felt?”
Surprised by the question, I asked, “What do you mean, Lord?”
But in my heart I knew. He was referring to my comment about “the nice doctor not being in the office.”
How did Jesus feel when He never had a day off?
How must He have felt when His own needs and desires never really mattered because still the crowds pressed in and people wanted more of Him.
Did He ever have a day when He just wanted someone to take care of Him, yet He had to continue on with His ministry needs?
Was He ever tempted to say “The nice-Jesus isn’t on duty today”?
I took a few moments and pondered this in my heart. I walked into my office that morning bemoaning all the reasons I was not feeling like my normal cheerful, encouraging self. I sat down in my chair…the same chair from which in just a few moments I would sit and stare into the eyes of patient after patient, each with needs as pressing as the first. The same chair from which I would attempt to be a light in the midst of their darkness. The same chair from which I would attempt to share a bit of His help and His hope.
It didn’t matter how I felt that morning. The events of the day were no match for the testimony He had given me and the help and hope I had to share. Jesus did it day after day, and because of His sacrifice for me, I could do it too, no matter how I felt. Because truly, I didn’t want my patients to see me anyway. I always want them to see Christ in me, the hope of glory.
Friend, I don’t know what you are struggling with today. Maybe you’ve had a rough day. Maybe things haven’t all gone as planned. Can I encourage you to give those things to Him, and hold on to the strength He offers. I’d love to hear how you power through those difficult days in the comments below…it’ll encourage someone else!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.