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).

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NCFI Cares: In the Garden with Jesus

With Easter fast approaching and Christians around the world preparing to celebrate the resurrection, the tendency may be to rush past the pain and suffering our Lord endured. He invites us into the garden and into his experience: “My soul is deeply grieved, even to point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” (Matthew 36:39). Amidst his anguish and turmoil, we can learn from our Master to steadfastly pray, to endure suffering, and to welcome death as a path to life with him. (Romans 6:8; 8:17). Use the hymn below entitled, “Go to Dark Gethsemane” as a meditation or reflection as we spiritually accompany our Lord through his suffering.

Go to dark Gethsemane,

Christ In Gethsemane

Christ in Gethsemane by Michael D. O’Brien

You who feel the tempter’s pow’r;
Your Redeemer’s conflict see;
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

Follow to the judgment hall;
View the Lord of life arraigned;
O the worm-wood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suff’ring, shame, or loss;
Learn of Him to bear the cross.

Calv’ry’s mournful mountain climb
There’ adoring at His feet,
Mark the miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete:
“It is finished!” Hear the cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die.

Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid his breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom;
Who hath taken Him away?
Christ is ris’n! He meets our eyes:
Savior, teach us so to rise.

GYouTube video: https://youtu.be/vD6tcMroY0A

Hymnal w/ music: https://hymnary.org/text/go_to_dark_gethsemane

NCFI Cares: Students of the Master

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One of my favorite things about reading the gospels is how people would just sit at Jesus’s feet and listen to him.  For a moment, imagine sitting at the feet of Jesus as he explained the ancient scriptures in new and refreshing ways. His lectures included every day accounts of work and family as case studies in exploring God’s commands like love and tithing. He would bring applicable wisdom to challenging, confusing topics like marriage and divorce. Even God’s judgment of sin and death were filled with a new light of hope and understanding.

Contemplate the intimacy of his words as he not only spoke to the multitudes on the mountains, or on the sea shores. He spoke personally to each individual as a trusted friend or wise older brother. His language was poignant reverberating with clarity and truth enveloped in compassion and grace.

Jesus was a master teacher, orator (speaker) and mentor, thus we should be master students. Even if we have been Christians for 25 or more years, we can still be master students.

I imagine a master student being a faithful student. In addition to attentively sitting at the Master’s feet, listening and trying to absorb every word from the Teacher.  A master student would approach the discipline of faith as a living practicum focused on Disciple 101. For as a Disciple 101 student, the personal and professional lives are not broken segments of prayer, work, family, and worship; instead the studies merge all activities into a life-time internship under our Master’s guidance.

Sit at the Master’s feet and open your spirit to new ways of being a master student.

“Didn’t our hearts burn within us while he was speaking with us on the road, while he was explaining the scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

NCFI Cares: Jesus as our Role Model by Tove Giske, NCFI President

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As Christian nurses, we have Jesus as our source of strength and our role model. In this NCFI Cares I want to share with you how Jesus sees all of us from the God’s Kingdoms perspective. This perspective teaches us how to see and think about people and thus how to care for patients and their family and collaborate with our co-workers.

We read about Jesus who met the Samaritan women at the well in John 4:1-26. Jesus sees the woman and knows who she is; still he decides to spend time with her. As we read the text, we can sense the gentleness and the intensity of their conversation, and how Jesus touches her deep in her spirit. She becomes convinced that she has met the long waited Messiah. This makes her a witness for Christ

In Luke 19:1-10 we read about Zacchaeus up in the tree. Again, Jesus acts beyond the rules and norms and sees to the heart and longing of this man. He greets Zacchaeus up in the tree and invites himself to dinner with him. This transforms Zacchaeus. Jesus acknowledges this sinner to be a saved son of Abraham, and Zacchaeus’ transformed heart shows in action.

Jesus often asks questions when he teaches and meets with people, have you noticed that? He is interested in understanding people, who they are and how they think. Having Jesus as our role model challenges us to consider – am I interested in understanding people? Do I take the time to stop and listen to the one on my way that needs me? One of the stories I like the best from the gospels is the one about the blind beggar outside Jericho (Luke 18:35-43). Try to imagine the crowd of people and all the noise. In the middle of this, Jesus recognizes the one that needs him. He stops and askes this wonderful question: “What do you want me to do for you?”

Will you join me in following Jesus’ example and practice this question: “What do you want me to do for you?” It would be interesting to hear from your experience from using this question. Feel free to send Tove an email response at president@ncfi.org

 

God bless you,

Tove Giske

NCFI President

 

NCFI Cares: Our Confident Hope

            One of our first hopes as Christians is the hope of our
salvation through Jesus Christ. As sinners, we come to Christ with nothing to
offer, yet needing so much. Similar to a patient needing medical care, we
present our self to Christ bearing many wounds and illnesses. Some of us come
from previous life experiences that left us bruised and broken; some of us come
from other religions where the worship and practices of various philosophies
and beliefs have caused trauma and scarring. Or, some of us come carrying the
heavy weight of good works and righteous behaviors found in religiosity. None
of us come healthy. We are all in need of the sacrificial blood of forgiveness
and healing.

Then
through God’s perfect timing, we accept the free gift of salvation through the
redemptive work of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:19-23); and experience the
completeness of forgiveness. We now possess a changed heart, a new life, and a
restored relationship with God the Father.

         Unlike other
gods, healers, and self-help ideals that offer shame, fear, and insecurity, our
gift of salvation pulls us off the treadmill of self and works to rest in the
confidence of our Savior. We stand firm that “It is finished!”

Prayer:  “Now may the
God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound
in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
.” (Romans 15:13)