Yesterday was a huge day for the country’s senior, or, “fourth-year”, medical students. It was Match Day, the day when most (94% in this case) of graduating medical students found out where they’ll spend the next three-seven years for their residency, the next (and often final) stage of their training.
For most students, it was a day of rejoicing, as 81% landed one of their top three choices. Many others, obviously, were disappointed either because they didn’t match, or, matched somewhere they’d rather not go.
Amidst all of the emotions and excitement, what difference does knowing Christ make? I’m sure much more can be said, but a few thoughts come to mind (in no particular order).
First, it’s OK to be really disappointed if it didn’t go the way you wanted it to. Some students think that, because “God’s in control” (and He is), they shouldn’t be sad. It might take awhile to get there, but the main thing is what you do with that feeling: will you draw closer to God and pour out your heart to Him, or, will you start heading down a path that may be hard to get off of later?
Second, if it doesn’t go as planned, it’s easy to be hard on yourself. “If I had just worked harder, maybe I could’ve gotten into…” Maybe that’s true, and I think it’s almost impossible not to speculate to some degree. At the end of the day, though, even our weaknesses and failures are part of God’s plan to direct us where He wants us. Romans 8:28, “that for those who love God all things work together for good”, is not just a cliché, but a reality we can hold onto at times like this.
That leads me to the most important thing about Match Day. At the end of the day, the bottom line is that God Himself, not the algorithm behind the match, has placed you where you’re heading. Speaking long ago, the Apostle Paul said, “[God] has determined [our] preappointed times and the boundaries of [our] dwellings, so that [we] should seek the Lord, in the hope that [we] might grope for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:26-27). Paul was speaking to people who didn’t yet know God, telling them God had put them exactly where they were so that they would seek and find Him. But if this is true for seekers, how much more is it true for those who already know Him? Wherever we find ourselves, be it circumstances or location, God has put us there ‘on purpose’, so that we will know Him better.
In that sense, for everyone involved, yesterday was truly a Match made in heaven.