Sabbath vs. Career – By Berith Bermejo

Stethoscope and AppleAs I was finishing my medical training, the specialty board exams were scheduled for Friday. However, the practical exams were scheduled for Saturday.

As a Seventh-day Adventist who sincerely wants to honor the Lord, I began praying that the day for the practical exams would be moved. I asked God to keep me faithful if it was not moved.

After graduation, I applied to take the practical exam on any day other than Saturday. My request was denied. One of my mentors told me to just write an excuse letter to my pastor. (I don’t understand why she would need to write an excuse letter to her pastor. She wants to explain to him why she is taking the exam on Sabbath?) But I knew I could not do this.

As the Friday for the written exam approached, I meditated on Psalms 34:4, which says, “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” I arrived at the venue in peace. The Lord truly heard and helped me pass the written exam.

However, I did not take the practical exam. I didn’t want to break the Sabbath.

Back in my hometown, a couple hospitals initially rejected my application because I had no subspecialty certificate. But God eventually made a way for me to practice my profession.

The next exam year, I sent a letter early to the new chair of the examining board. Friends and family prayed that the exam day would be moved from Saturday. The Lord answered in His time. The practical exam was scheduled for Friday.

As the exam neared, I planned to take a leave from work to concentrate on reviewing. I sought the Lord’s guidance because I had patients to look after. God impressed me to care for my patients instead of preparing for the exam. Amazingly, the patients who showed up had rare illnesses. Caring for these patients prepared me for the test.

With God’s blessing, I passed the practical exam and even got the highest scores in several sections. Later, the mentor who asked me to write an excuse letter to the pastor, said to me, “Indeed, this is a miracle.”

Yes, despite the impossibilities from a human perspective, I found out that God’s grace is indeed sufficient and His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). To Him be all the glory and honor for this accomplishment!

Berith Bermejo writes from the Philippines where she is practicing as a pediatrician and also involved with FAST Missions, calling God’s people back to the Bible.

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