Be subject for the Lord’s sake…For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God(1 Peter 2:13, 15-16)
Throughout my time as a nurse, I have dialogued with many nurses who were looking at changing jobs. Prior to the high stress and demands of caring for patients with the coronavirus infection, Christian nurses’ complaints focused on unkind coworkers and/or harsh work environments as a result of their faith. Nurses shared how they couldn’t talk about their personal faith at work. One nurse said, “Forget inviting colleagues to church. I was afraid to even share how involved my family was in church. A few nurses on my unit began badgering me about being ‘one of those people.’ ”
Another nurse shared when he was doing his devotion and praying in the break room. He was firmly told by the charge nurse, “Don’t bring your Jesus here!” It was made more confusing because the unit was working on implementing caring into the unit. The manager had encouraged a group time of “meditation” and “centering.”
These nurses and others were praying about transferring units or leaving the hospital. As I listened to their concern and assisted them with navigating these complex issues of faith and work, I was reminded of how we are the hands and heart of God. Wherever we work, we bring the love and grace of God to everyone. This isn’t just a spiritual truth; it is reality of what Christ has called for His followers. In my experience, the Lord will purposefully place a believer in a hostile, unwelcoming work environment. Not for the nurse’s convenience or comfort. Instead, God needs someone to bring Himself to the people. If we don’t go, who will show God’s grace to our colleagues? Who will demonstrate God’s love if we aren’t there to pray for their loved ones? How can our colleagues find the peace of Christ if we don’t show them?
I challenge everyone wanting to leave their workplace, to spend time in prayer seeking the Holy Spirit. You may not need to leave. Instead, you may need a fresh passion and strength to be the light God wants to use in your workplace. In addition, you may need prayer and support from Christian nursing colleagues. No matter what decision you make, find strength in the Word and in fellowship.
My prayer for you: “Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and the endurance of Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)