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

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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)

Pray4Me

prayer room in Taipai airport

Prayer Room in Taipai, Taiwan Airport

One of the most powerful and important things we do as humans is PRAY! I say humans for I have discovered that most people pray. Face it anytime we are facing devastating news, struggling with relationships, or diagnosed with an illness or disease, we pray! Prayer is especially important for Christians. It is the means in which we communicate with God. Not just to give him our to-do list, but he gives us his to-do list, as well.

Anyway, all this to say I want to pray for you!

  • I encourage you to submit a prayer request in one of the following ways:
    • you can add a comment to this blog
    • follow me @carriedameron #pray4me
    • Fill out the form below–and I will receive an email

Either way I will pray for you. Just a word about my prayers. I am a Christian, thus I will pray to God and use verses from the Bible as part of my prayers for you.

  • I have also created a category entitled “PRAYER” so if you want to learn more about prayer, especially as related to nursing or health care.