NCFI Cares: God’s Name in Nursing–Yahweh Sabaoth–Eyes of Faith to See the LORD of Hosts.

Our look at Yahweh Sabaoth takes us to one of my favorite accounts in the Old Testament found in 2 Kings 6:15-17. Elisha and his servant are sleeping in Dothan. The servant arises early and sees the king’s army has encircled the city with their horses and chariots.

Can you imagine the servant’s fear and anxiety? I am sure he thought that he was going to die. He probably doubted himself, the Lord’s plans, and definitely Elisha’s wisdom. Panicked, the servant awakens Elisha and says, “What shall we do?”

Elisha reassures the servant: “Do not be afraid, for those with us are more than those who are with them.” Instead of scolding the man for his lack of faith, Elisha recognizes the servant’s need for faith in God, not in a prophet as the miracle worker. So, Elisha prays for the Lord to open the eyes of the servant, so he too can see through eyes of faith. Sure enough, the Lord opens the servant’s eyes and he personally witnesses the LORD’s army of chariots, horses and fire encircling them. The cross reference for the text says, “The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the LORD is among them:” (Psalm 68:17). Wow! That is too many to count. No wonder Elisha is so calm and dozing in the early morning hours seemingly without a care in the world. There are innumerable angels ready to protect Elisha from the king’s army.

The reason this passage is a favorite, is because it reminds me that we are unaware of what truly goes on in the spiritual world.  We don’t see the Holy Spirit working in our lives, nor as the LORD’s name Yahweh Shabaoth reminds us, we don’t see the LORD of Hosts commanding an army of angels to care for you, me, and all the saints today. “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him and delivers them” (Psalm 34:7).

The passage is also a great reminder, to not beat ourselves up when we lack eyes of faith to see into the holy spiritual dimension. Instead it is a time to relax and trust in the God who commands his Holy Army to protect and provide for us—especially when we are anxious and fearful (Hebrews 1:14). And finally we are reminded to model faithfulness like Elisha and provide prayers and encouragement to others who are filled with doubt and worry.  

Advertisements

NCFI Cares: God’s Name in Nursing–Yahweh Rapha

As nurses one of our favorite names of God is Yahweh Rapha—the God who Heals. God used the name to describe himself to the Israelite’s in Exodus 15:26. As the Son of God, Jesus demonstrated the same healing characteristics through miraculous healings and resurrections. Many times Jesus emphasized the importance of faith for miraculous healings: “Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.’“ (Luke 18:42). Does this mean Yahweh Rapha heals when we have faith? Of course not, non-believers are healed all the time. Instead, the emphasis on faith, points out our belief in God as Yahweh Rapha. For example, do we have confidence in the Lord to heal every disease, every illness, every deformity, every trauma, and every ‘fill-in-the-blank’? Do we believe the same miracles that occurred in the Bible can happen today? Is our faith, which is probably smaller than a mustard seed, enough to confidently say, Jesus can raise the dead?

God's Name Wordcloud2

Other questions to reflect upon are: Are we content with the healing God does provide? Or do we get bitter when his sovereign wisdom chooses not to heal?  Or maybe, an even more profound question is: In this day of surgeries, treatments, and cutting-edge technology, do we even need Yahweh Rapha for healing? Or do we only run to him when the prognosis is bleak? One Bible scholar had a poignant reminder, “God answers every prayer. We just don’t like it when he says “no” or when he provides the answer we don’t want”. The same is true for healing. God does heal everyone, every time. We just may not see his miracle until we come to our eternal dwelling.

As we consider how healing interfaces with our faith, God’s Name–Yahweh Rapha includes the realization that God is sovereign in how his healing power is dispensed to our patients, our families, and to ourselves. “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15), while trusting in his everlasting lovingkindness (Psalm 136).

NCFI Cares: “Move”

I (Martha) want to share the experience I had before traveling to PACEA Regional Conference in Taiwan from June from 2 to 11.

I am reminded of the word for the song:

Only to believe, only to believe

Everything is possible, only to believe

That God gives victory, only to believe

Moses had many problems also before doing what God wanted him to do. He told God about his problems and God´s answer was:

The_Crossing_fo_The_Red_Sea by Poussin ” Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff and stretch out hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground” (Exodus 14:15-16).

Moses was called by God to lead the people of Israel. Moses wasn’t always firm in his faith and many times he doubted. God had to encourage him to get up, to move and direct Moses in what he should do. I don´t know if that has been your experience, but this was my experience. God spoke to Moses very loudly, “Why do you cry to me? Move and tell the people to go.” I imagine a very big and strong God pushing a small man into a situation too big and too difficult.

If God had spoken to me like this, I would have been paralyzed and it would have made everything worse. When I thought about attending the Taiwan Conference God said “Move”, but he did it gently. My first problem came in deciding about the resources for the trip. God sent me a letter through Steve confirming available resources. My second problem was my very old mother who was not in good health.  My older brother came through and agreed to care of her. God kept saying “Move” The third problem was the Visa, but when I explained the work of the NCFI to the Consul of Taiwan, she said, “Today, it is a very necessary to put Christian values back into the profession.”

God showed me that when He wants to guide me through the impossible, he removes all obstacles and performs a miracle. God told me “Move”. He took my hand and walked with me along the way. He knows my fears, my weaknesses and my need for more softness than Moses needed. God also showed me that we must move because He is moving. He doesn´t leave us alone. He does the miracle silently. We are members of the NCFI community and must keep moving. And we must do what God wants us to do. We must continue to bring the vision to all Christian nurses to move. Nurses must move to bring the souls of our patients to Christ; and move to bring the souls of our colleagues to Christ.

This was my experience. Different than Moses’ experience, but the same God. The God who says “Move” through His spoken promises, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance. The Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still”. (Exodus 14:13-14)

 

by Martha Fernandez Moyano, International Board Member, Argentina

 

Aside

My Christian Nursing Mentor

Mary Elizabeth O’Brien is an amazing Christian nursing researcher, scholar, and practitioner.  I discovered her book Spirituality in Nursing: Standing on Holy Ground while in grad school. I was researching Spiritual Care for various papers I wrote, as well as implementing Spiritual Care into an Associate Degree Nursing Program and then with The Art and Science of Spiritual Care: Train-the-Trainer project for Nurses Christian Fellowship International. Later, I discovered her other works and have used them as resources for my books and articles.

Sister Mary Elizabeth is a woman of God, a servant for Christ, and an excellent mentor. Even if it is only through her publications. She merges Scripture with the practice of nursing with a humble, compassionate and gracious spirit.  I owe my maturation as a Christian nurse to her and recommend her works be part of a Christian nurses library.

O'Brien books

 Checkout a review for each of O’Brien’s books on my Facebook page.

NCFI Cares: The Test from upon High

I wanted to share this guest devotion from my colleague in Argentina who provides godly wisdom during times of testing by the Lord. It is not only relevant. The timing of the devotion also demonstrates how the Lord impresses upon different members of the body of Christ to teach and encourage others during such a time as this. Peace of Christ to you, Carrie77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogoJames 1:12 “Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him.” Reading: James 1:12-18.

My friend listened silently, as the doctor gave a diagnosis, treatments, and a long list of explanations. The doctor, noticing my friend’s quietness, stopped and asked her, “Why are you not asking questions?” She replied, “I stopped listening when you said that my small son has Diabetes.”

A simple sentence “Your son has Diabetes.” is difficult for a mother to hear. As believers we ask the question, “How does God allow these things to happen?” The Word says, “Blessed is the man.” But, can you be happy for someone who receives this diagnosis? Is it a punishment or a test? It is common that we have a mistaken concept of what the word means by “test”. And it is common that we have a wrong concept of what means the word “proved”.

Abraham had a similar experience, yet more profound. After many years God gave him a son, whom then God asked Abraham to sacrifice (Genesis 22:9-12). How is it that we are before God a “friend” of ours delights in our suffering (James 2:23)? Often we have read that God not only proves us, but allows the test. But whom does God prove? God tests those he loves. Those who are his friends. Difficult as it is to understand, with the criteria of this world, but those of us who know God as our Creator we know that God is molding us.  Since he has given us form, it is possible that it hurts us, a tear never escapes from us. God is never going to leave us alone in the tests. Instead, he is gives us the assurance in his Word that will not just prove us beyond what we could expect.

The tests that come from upon High extracts qualities of light that God has been sowing in our heart: obedience, faith, humility, patience, and total dependence. If you have decided to serve the Lord prepare yourself for the test. Say to the Lord, “Here I am.” And in times of adversity you will be able to reach Peace.

Guest devotion by Martha Fernandez Moyano, Argentina, NCFI International Board Member

 

Share your story of endurance!

I am currently working on an article on Christian suffering. Hopefully, to be published in the Journal of Christian Nursing. A section of the article explores how we endure suffering while maturing our faith and deepening our relationship with Christ.  As I was researching, it occurred to me that I know many Christians who have persevered through cancer, chronic illnesses, grief, trauma, abuse and other travesties with the daily grace of Christ for the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:16-17; 1 Peter 4:16)—Amen & PTL!

As I look to guide Christian nurses in both enduring suffering and supporting patients and families, I would love for you to share your personal experience. The current overarching themes I discuss in the article are: lamenting, humility, surrender/vulnerability, endurance, perseverance, joy, hope and alert to Satan. I am open to other concepts, themes or words the Lord has spoken into your suffering, so feel free to share.

You can share your experience or thoughts on Facebook, here in the blog, or privately via contact form (see below). Sharing your story gives me permission to take an excerpt of your story and possibly use it in the article. I can’t commit publication of any excerpt or content, for I am not the final editor. I will only use your first name or initials to preserve privacy.  At the same time, I do state the following disclaimer. If you are concerned about your privacy, then maybe it is not a good idea to share it with me.

My prayer and blessing for you is “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer, trusting in the one who is, who was and who is to come, amen.” (Romans 12:2; Revelation 1:8)

NCFI Cares: Celebrate Unity-a NCFI Values

ncfi-values-wordcloudOne of the coolest things about NCFI is the unified voice of Christian nursing. I am not saying everyone is in agreement, nor that there is never conflict. Disagreements are to be expected with any family, group or organization, especially considering the diversity of cultures, experience, education, and personalities NCFI represent.

What I am speaking more about is the unity of Christ manifested by the lack of individual denominations. In other words, the question “What denomination do you belong to?” or “Where do you go to church?” has never come up. I have attended 2 NCFI Congresses, International Board meetings, and various international conference calls and our focus has been on Christ-centered nursing.

We are all disciples, unique members of the body of Christ and unified for the same goal—equipping and encouraging Christian nurses to integrate Biblical principles and Christ centered values. Which, by the way, is our mission!

Ephesians 4:1-6 is a passage to anchor us to our purpose in NCFI:

“….I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Let’s take the unity of Christ beyond NCFI and into our daily nursing practice–committed to focusing on commonalities instead of areas of dispute while preserving our unified faith through the dwelling Spirit.

77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogo