Saturday, September 21, 2013

Difference Maker

Have you ever wondered what kind of a difference you make as a Christian working in the hospital? I know I have. Unfortunately, most times we have no clue whether or not we made any impact on the lives of our patients. Then there those times when God decides to bless us with special reminders of why we do what we do—to love people like Jesus loves them and loves us. 

Within the past year, I have received notes from a family member as well as a former patient thanking me for simply caring. Many times we don’t realize how showing the love of Christ and praying with patients and their families can encourage people, especially when it’s in the darkest times of their lives.

So on the days that we feel like we’re just going through the motions, let’s remember that what we do does really make a difference. You—I—each one of us makes a difference on the world around us.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pray About the Little Things

Never underestimate the power of prayer. The Bible testifies that the “…fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16b, KJV). I believe we often forget to come before the Lord with the little things—the keys we’ve lost, the test we’re about to take, the patient load we find overwhelming, and the lack of sleep from studying all the time.

Recently, the Lord has been challenging me to come to Him with the little things because He cares about His children (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22). We can come before the Throne of God boldly as God’s children, confident that we will be received with open arms by our Father in Heaven.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

God promises to hear the prayers of righteous men (Proverbs 15:29; 1 Peter 3:12).

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry” (Psalm 34:15, NKJV).

I can personally testify that the Lord really does care, and He does answer. Yesterday, I was going to log into the hospital charting system for the first time in almost a year. Because I had participated in the Richmond Program, I hadn’t logged onto a computer at this hospital in a while. Beforehand I was anxious because I wasn’t sure if I remembered my password or not, but before I attempted to log on for the first time, I bowed my head right there in the nurse’s station and asked the Lord to help me remember the right password. Then I typed in what I thought was the right one…and…it worked! I had no troubles and didn’t have to call technical support. God answered my prayer!

Earlier in the week too, I was anxious about a test I was about to take. Before the test, I prayed and told the Lord that I needed His help. I could not do this without Him. I surrendered the test AND the OUTCOME to Him. I chose to trust Him with whatever happened. Whenever I came to a question I struggled with, I prayed and asked the Lord to help me choose the right answer. Then today, I discovered yet again the faithfulness of the Lord because He gave me favor, and I received a phenomenal score on my exam. Praise the Lord! Because I depended on Him, He gets all the glory.

Tonight I want to challenge you to remember the God we serve. He knows everything. He knows what you need even before you ask (Matthew 6:8, 32). But He wants you to ask (James 4:2). Admit your dependence on Him (1 Peter 5:6). He is your Lord, Your Provider Who meets all your needs (Philippians 4:9). Remember to bring the little things to Him in prayerful surrender today.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

God Is So GOOD!

Isn't it good to know that we serve a loving God, who knows our needs even before we do? The other day I was feeling overwhelmed with all the things that were on my plate. I was feeling physically and emotionally drained from a long day. But before I even knew that I would be feeling this way, God knew it, and He orchestrated people and schedules so that one of my precious friends would be in the exact place where I was at the exact time when I needed some encouragement.

This friend of mine was bright and full of energy and love for the Lord. Her compassionate presence encouraged me that the Lord cared, and He was with me to bring me through and give me the strength I needed for the tasks at hand. My friend prayed for me when I needed it most.

Isn't it good to know that the Lord cares about us and can anticipate our needs better than any nurse does for her patients?

"And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:7-8, emphasis mine). 

Providence: The Best Daily Planner

In Ephesians 2:10 Paul unveils part of our destiny in Christ, saying "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Isn’t it crazy to think that God, even before we were conceived, knew what He planned for us and has certain tasks with our name on them?

Recently I've been asking the Lord to give me divine appointments, and He's been faithful to answer my prayer. Even though I asked the Lord to send me these opportunities from Him, I somehow always seem to be surprised when they come. The scenario is always different, but God is teaching me (granted I am still a work in progress) how to better respond when He brings people into my life that need encouragement. 

Sometimes it’s just following the little promptings from the Holy Spirit to do simple things like give a friend some chocolate and let her know I care (because who doesn’t love chocolate right?!). Other times, it’s just meeting a friend in need and just being there even if it means sitting quietly until she’s ready to talk.

The real challenge is being willing to drop everything and do what God is calling me to do. It’s so easy to want to do something for God and another thing all together to obey when He’s telling you to do something that’s inconvenient. 

My prayer is that we would have the heart of Christ to seek our Father in Heaven’s will in everything, that we would trust Him to guide our steps, and that our lives would be orientated around living in a way that pleases the Lord.