I sat shivering in the emergency room cubicle, waiting for the doctor to come and tell me what was wrong with me. I don’t know why they keep it so cold in the ER, but someone said it was because germs don’t thrive in a colder climate. My thought was that it didn’t matter what was wrong with me, I was going to freeze to death before the doctor came anyway.

Finally, he arrived and told me I needed minor surgery and he was moving me into a hospital room. After I was settled in, trying to get comfortable in that ridiculous hospital gown, I found myself once again waiting for him to come and tell me when the surgery would take place. I was still harboring a poor attitude and thawing out from my freezing ER experience, and I was upset at the doctor for not giving me more prompt attention.

A few days later, having had the surgery, I was sent home. Friends of mine went out of their way to see that I made it home safe and sound. Well, I wasn’t so “sound,” because I was still in pain. For several days, I kept trying to reach the doctor to complain about my slow recovery. Unable to do so, I sounded off to one of his nurses, who managed to overlook my attitude and assure me my recovery was right on schedule.

I was a miserable patient. And I was miserable because I was ungrateful and impatient. Instead of thanking God that I was covered by insurance and could receive hospital care, period, I was acting like a spoiled child. And my resentment toward the doctor who had treated me was a reflection of that lack of gratitude.

Three weeks later, I sat waiting again in a room at that doctor’s office for a follow-up appointment. The nurse had done her routine checks and told me that he would be in shortly. To my surprise, he came in after only a minute or so. We sat and talked for some time, and he explained his busy schedule which included several surgeries a day, many of those critical. As he tried to console me, his manner and demeanor were sincere and relaxing. Suddenly I felt both peaceful and ashamed. I apologized for my terrible attitude and thanked him for being patient with his ungrateful patient. He just smiled, saying that ungrateful patients are common; he understood my impatience and there was no need to worry about it.

I really like my doctor now.

Need I tell you that having a thankful heart removes a lot of stress and anxiety, as well as anger and resentment? It certainly does.

The Great Physician—Almighty God Himself—has a lot of ungrateful patients in the world today. I find if you just talk to Him though, you’ll find He’s a pretty good God with a loving heart. He  understands your sometimes poor attitude and impatience. So, in this new year try to remember just how blessed you are. God will tend to your needs in His perfect time. After all, you’re completely covered with eternal life insurance!

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.

Psalm 103:1–3

Written by Kenny Munds

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