My daughter, aged 9 years, came to me a few days ago and asked, ‘Papa, what would you give to get me back?  I mean, you know, if someone took me?’

‘Well, dear, I’d give anything.’

‘Would you give all your money?’


‘Would you give our house and all your things?’


‘Would you die for me?’


She looked thoughtful, and said, ‘oh,’ then bounced away, satisfied with my proclamation of love.

The truth of God’s love echoes thunderously through that little, innocent interaction.  As if God sent her that moment to remind me.

I reflected.  (I try to do that when God gently thumps me on the head that way.)   What has my little princess done, in earthly terms, to deserve my offer of a sacrifice?  What has she produced?  How hard has she worked?  What degrees has she earned?  What job has she performed?  What papers has she published?  What acclaim has she earned for me?

I love her, and I would give anything for her, including my life, because she is mine.  Because I value her beyond any temporal value.  Because, when I try to describe my love for her, for her mother and her brothers, words fail me and tears well in my eyes.

And yet, in the press of our careers, medical and otherwise, we all doubt our worth.  We all wonder, ‘have I done enough?’  We make mistakes and castigate ourselves.  (We also deride the mistakes of others, to our shame.)  We engage in more and more and more activities, from patient care to teaching, all to prove our worth.

I fear that our high achieving natures allow no room for God’s acceptance of us as we are.  As Christian physicians, we profess to believe in Jesus and his redeeming sacrifice but often, we cannot accept that we are worthwhile; unless we do more.

But ask Jesus, author and perfecter of our faith, the Lamb who was slain, the intercessor, the High Priest, what he would do… for you.  What he would do to find you, claim you, return you to the fold of his love and security.

‘I became a man, died and rose again,’ He would say.  ‘Isn’t that evidence enough that you are worthwhile?’

The Word says this, in Romans 5: 6-8:

‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a goo d man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’

We like to think that we are powerful, or good; and we certainly work hard at our jobs to prove it.  But in the end, we are powerless.  My daughter is powerless.  But I would do anything for her.

Ironically, then, being powerless makes us rather priceless, doesn’t it?  So, whatever you do this week, did last week, or will do next week, please, please, please remember that it does not define your worth to Christ.

His love for you is boundless, successes, mistakes and all.


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