“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
“I can’t believe I spent years in college for this,” the new nurse mumbled under her breath as she punched in her medication cart code for the seemingly thousandth time that shift.
Back in college, she had dreamt of educating patients, listening to family members with empathy, and taking those precious moments to deliver a therapeutic touch to all she encountered.
Instead, she was pulling twelve-hour shifts in the ICU. Educating her comatose patients would not help. When family members did want to talk to her it seemed it was only to ask those impossibly hard questions. And honestly, there were simply not enough minutes in a shift so she might deliver even one therapeutic touch.
“Lord, I thought this is what You had for me, what Your plan for my life was. I want to serve You, but I’m overwhelmed and discouraged. I want to quit.”
“Be thankful in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus Christ.”
That verse had haunted her for years now. She had continually prayed and pondered over it’s meaning. And she continued to pray over her job.
Then why is this so hard? The only way I’ll ever be able to smile coming into work is if God Himself twitches those mouth muscles.
Slowly, she paused her pen as vital signs dropped from her attention and God’s words suddenly burned in her mind. The answer would come to her months later, as she spent hours of her shift monitoring man-made machines instead of directly helping human bodies and human hearts heal.
Maybe the reason I should be thankful for this job is because to do it, I must rely on God. The only way I can get through my shift with a smile on my face is by trusting God to place a servant attitude in my spirit.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s one reason God called me here. To learn to lean on Him.
Later that year, she was assigned a student nurse who spoke of all the aspirations she herself had once possessed. And she realized just how God was indeed leading her to teach, to listen, and to offer a therapeutic touch of the body and the soul.
She was relying on Him, and He was keeping a smile on her face even as she encountered death and debilitating disease on a daily basis. Patients, family members and co-workers alike often asked the source of her strength. The answer was easy for her to explain: God.
She now knew she was indeed living her calling. Because through her prayerful work, she was drawing ever nearer to Him. Thankfully, she had not given up too soon, that she had kept praying until something happened.
What difficult circumstance makes an attitude of thankfulness challenging for me?
How has God used past challenges for good?
What is you prayer history and results?
Prayer: Abba Father, how dearly You love each of Your children. You have only the best for each of us. Sometimes, You must stretch and grow us, pruning the dead areas and stimulating the small shoots. In the midst of a challenge, probably a place I’d rather not be, please remind me that I’m right where You can grow me. Please help me to recall Your promise in Romans 8:28. That You will indeed use it all for my good. Amen.
Thanks for reading! Please return by Monday, April 27, for the next post.