What’s on your mind today? Is there something troubling you? Are the winds of adversity rocking your boat? Stay calm. You are not alone. The Lord your God goes with you wherever you go. In His loving faithfulness, we can put our trust.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 – NIV
I am quite certain that I know some of the best people on this planet. Many of them are nurses. Over the course of my 32 years in the nursing profession, I had the great privilege to work with some exemplary nurses. More than their exceptional skills, their caring and compassionate hearts made them some of the best friends I could have ever asked for.
One of those dear friends is a nurse I will affectionately call “Miss M.” I met her shortly after I moved to North Carolina. I was just 28 years old and a little nervous about my new job as a Cardiology Clinical Nurse Specialist. When I showed up for a Saturday day shift, I was enthusiastically welcomed by Miss M, the charge nurse for the day. Not only did she greet me with a bright smile and friendly word, but her actions that day demonstrated her tremendous competence. There was no doubt about it. Miss M could handle whatever crisis arose. I liked her instantly, and we became fast friends.
Some months later, Miss M became a part of our department leadership team, and we had the pleasure of working side by side on a myriad of projects. Not only was she a clinical expert and a fabulous educator, she was just plain funny. She kept me in stitches most of the time! I could listen to her stories for hours, all told with that dry wit of hers that tickled my funny bone.
Better still, I knew she had my back. There was no one I would rather have with me in a patient care crisis. She was always faithful to share the workload, always readily available to help solve the problem. Yes, she was a nurse of excellence, but she was also a faithful friend, a friend that would stand with you in the hard times, and she knew a lot about hard times.
The disease of multiple sclerosis hit her in her 20s. She took it in stride and kept on going, finishing her graduate school education and then pursuing her lengthy career goals. Of course, the disease progressed over time, but she didn’t give up. When walking got tough, she bought a scooter and kept on moving forward.
The disease might have battered her body, but it couldn’t touch her spirit. Her spirit was grounded in a deep bedrock of faith that allowed her to accept the hardships of life and still find joy despite her difficult circumstances. Her indomitable spirit has been a living testimony to me. So has her sense of humor. Through it all, she has kept her bright smile.
Miss M has said many things that have brought a smile to my face, but one of her remarks has stuck with me over all the years. The conversation came long after she had been forced to give up her beloved profession and retire early on disability. One day while I was still working at the hospital, she dropped by and picked me up for lunch. On the ride back, she asked how I was handling the effects of my retinal disease. I was honest, telling her of my struggles to manage work and family given my inability to drive. She offered a knowing nod, and then proceeded to utter a line I have never forgotten, “Well, The Lord didn’t bring you this far, Anita, to leave you now.”
Isn’t that the truth? The Lord has brought you and me through so many hard things, things we thought we could never live through, and yet, by His grace, we did. And the same God that brought us through those tough times isn’t about to leave us now. He knows every tear we have cried. He has felt every fear that has chased us in the darkness. He knows the struggles of our past, and He knows the joys and sorrows we will face in the future.
We do not face the future alone. God stands with us in the right now, and He will be with us in the days to come. His grace is never ending. His love for us never fails.
Whatever you are facing today, know that you are not facing it alone. The Lord is with you. Turn to Him in trust, and He will see you through it. The Lord didn’t say it would be easy. No, quite the contrary. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33, NIV).
Friends, take heart, we are not alone. Our Overcomer is standing alongside us, ready and able to fight our battles with us. No, the struggles won’t stop. The heartaches will still hit, but the same God who was with us then is with us now.
Be encouraged. Take Miss M’s powerful words to heart. “The Lord didn’t bring you this far to leave you now.”
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 – NIV
O Gracious Lord, thank You for never leaving us to face the trials of this life alone. You are always with us. You are always for us. You have brought us through the troubles of the past, and You will bring us through whatever awaits us on the path ahead. We can trust in You, for Your steadfast love endures forever.
In the Faithful Name of Jesus, we pray,