NCFI Cares: “It Is Enough!”

In addition to the onslaught of stress in our personal life, many of us have lost our support systems. Friends we had previously commiserated with and strategized about family issues are no longer readily accessible. Yes, we can still meet via video chats and phone calls, but gone are those precious chats over a meal or during a favorite activity. Our in-person meetings with colleagues to brainstorm solutions and navigate coping mechanisms are no longer available Instead, many of us are remote workers, isolated at home to navigate responsibilities without the support of peers.

2020 has been an exhausting year. Nurses and health care workers have and continue to experience extreme emotional and physical distress. What was originally predicted to be an upheaval for a few weeks or months. Has now turned into a grueling, endless year of lockdowns, remote schooling, and work-related stressors. Many of us have been blessed to not experience the illness and/or loss of loved ones from the coronavirus. Yet, we are overwhelmed with the numerous social and personal difficulties:

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  • Burden of home schooling children.
  • Worry over children and their response to homeschooling, social isolation and family stress.
  • Extreme stress and over worked related to work AND/OR inundated with economic worries due to job loss
  • Strained relationships with spouses and/children
  • Inability to visit and/or care for aging parents and sick relatives.
  • Isolation, fear, and depression as a prisoners in their own home,
  • And countless sufferings, too many to name.

The biggest, most acute loss has been our spiritual support. As Christians our lifeline is the rooted attachment found in our Christian fellowship. Weekly times of worship, regular consistent group prayers, and connectedness with our church family is the bedrock to life. Yes, many can attend online church, chat via group video, and send frequent texts and messages through WhatsApp. YET, it is not the same as coming into the House of the Lord and experiencing the Holy Spirit’s connection with our church family. In less than a year’s time our solid footing in life has been drastically changed by the pandemic.  We have been proverbially  cut-off at the knees and are no longer able to stand strong in our faith.

Many of you may be saying with me, “It is Enough!”  During a recent period of extreme fatigue the Lord reminded me of another person who had said, “It is enough.”—Elijah. In the next few devotions, we are going to explore events leading up to Elijah’s exhaustion. Then, like Elijah, we can gain strength to stay the course in how the Lord is using us during this unprecedented time. 

In the meantime, I want you to openly cry out to God about your exhaustion. It is okay to say, “It is enough”.  Psalm 118:5 David shared his distress, “In my distress I called on the Lord, and he answered me and set me free.”

From this place, God will care for you and provide what you need. If need be, reach out to someone else who can provide a helping hand. Remember, the Holy Spirit uses other people in our lives to help us out.  “Although an assailant may overpower one person, two can withstand him. Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken”. (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

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?

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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 Care: Do Justice

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Our turbulent world is in constant turmoil with wars between nations and peoples, and one crisis after another through disasters and violence. Micah, a prophet in the Old Testament, also lived during a period of upheaval and crisis.  According to Bible scholars, Micah’s prophetic purpose was to show Judah that a necessary product of her covenant relationship to God was to be just and holy. Instead of their vain acts of religion through meaningless sacrifices and gaining possessions. They had lost sight of their relationship with God. Micah reiterated the Lord’s character and commands—to love the Lord and to love their neighbors through this amazing verse:

He [the LORD] has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you. But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).

How can we “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God” during our own turbulent times? In the next 3 NCFI Cares devotions, I will share my insights.

Let’s begin with justice. How can we “do justice” in light of our relationship with the LORD through Jesus Christ?  We can advocate for victims, educate the unlearned, administer health services for the poor, provide basic services for the destitute, and many others. These are many of the things as health care workers we think of for administering justice. Yet, to “do justice” is also more than just following God’s commandments as faithful servants, for then we miss the character of God. Our Lord is a loving Father to the orphan and cares for the widows (Psalm 68:5) and has compassion on all of us (Psalm 103:13-14). Also, when we extend justice to others as a response to the grace and mercy of God we have received, we demonstrate the heart of God to our neighbors and replicate the life and teachings of Jesus.

There will always be inequalities on earth. We live in a sin-saturated imperfect world. Only the return of Christ will end the unjust world we live in. Until then, we can live out “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Pray with me for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes for opportunities to “do justice” for our neighbors both near and far.

Prayer Post: leaders in healthcare

Spend this week praying for the administrators of your healthcare facility. Pray for them name by name asking the Lord to give them his wisdom and his heart for their patients and staff.

“Everything starts from prayer” by Mother Teresa

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“Everything starts from prayer.

Without asking God for love,

we cannot possess love and still

less are we able to give it to others.

Just as people today are speaking

so much about the poor,

we too cannot talk so much

about prayer and yet not know how to pray.”

The Joy in Loving: A guide to daily living by Mother Teresa (1996) p. 43

Unshakeable Job


Being a nurse can sometimes be disheartening. As a nursing instructor, I hear the disappointment from graduating seniors with no prospective job. I encounter nurses struggling with the constant change and complexity of acute care nursing. As well as, potential students who wait years to be accepted into nursing programs, pay exorbitant price for a private school and then graduate with huge student debt.

Personally, as an instructor for an associate degree program, I am disheartened by the lack of job opportunities for ADN grads and the difficulty these grads have with transitioning into BSN programs. As one of many state funded educational programs, I am frustrated with the lack of funding for education as a whole. With unemployment high, appropriately funding nursing and other “job training” programs should be a priority.

All of this to say, that currently there is much to be discouraged about in health care and education. Yet, through the words of the worship pastor, I was reminded of which kingdom I work for and whom I depend upon. Even though I am part of the health care industry and the educational system, I am God’s workforce and his kingdom is unshakable.

Hebrews 12:28, reminds us that God’s kingdom is unshakable. No matter how unsure the economy, hopeless the job market, tenuous our nursing career, or chaotic health care industry, our confidence is in God! Jesus Christ is our confidence and through him we are assured of a future.

Now I will admit, what we currently see as our future, is guaranteed to be inline with the future God has for us. But, I do know this, we can depend on Jesus to be with us today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8)