These devotions are targeted specifically for you, the healthcare professional, and the challenges unique to you that you face on a day-to-day basis. You can sign-up here to receive these devotions through a weekly email or you can come back to this page to read the weekly devotion online. We hope you are encouraged and inspired by them, and that you can gain insight and wisdom from others who have gone through the same challenges that you face in the healthcare industry today.
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5, KJV).
“…But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8, NIV 1984).
I had just heard that his son was in the intensive care unit and wondered why he had not called me. When I got him on the phone, he explained his son’s illness. All the while I was thinking of his wife, who had just come through difficult treatment for cancer, and his daughter, who had recently died after delivering her first child. He and I are close, and he explained his lack of communication. “I was just so worn out,” he said. “I told God this time, ‘I’m not going to let go of you, God. I know you’ve got this.’ But all the time in the back of my mind I was saying, ‘What the heck?’”
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory…” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV 1984).
He pulled me aside after I had spoken to a group in the Midwest. He was short, stocky, 70 and built like a brick, a hard man who seemed pleasant, soft-spoken and at peace with life. “May I tell you something?” He asked. “I know this is not your business and I have been going to another doctor with this, but you speak like someone I can talk to.” He continued. “You know all those stories about the priests and young boys? I was one of those boys. Some bad things happened to me when I was young. And I grew up and did some bad things. Now I’m trying to live well and relate to my wife in a good way, but it’s hard.”
“…There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NIV 1984).
I try to visit her twice a week, but sometimes only make it once. My mom is suffering from severe dementia and requires round-the-clock attendants. She can barely carry on a conversation and, when she does, it is often like, “I haven’t seen Mother in a while. How is she doing?” … with her own mother gone for 30 years; or, “Where is Bud?” … about our dad, who has been with the Lord for four years. My goal when I visit is to bring a moment of joy into her mental chaos, to produce a smile or a bit of laughter, even if she doesn’t understand.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV 1984).
A resident I know who loves the Lord and is dedicated to following God’s will for life told me his story at a conference recently: “In order to complete the mission God has for my life, he showed me I needed to travel far away to a city where I know no one. I learned recently that the period of time required there would cost me $5,000, money I do not have. I prayed, exasperated, for God to help me with the cost and help me get there. The next day, I was visiting a house church where people prayed for me and for God’s will in my life.
“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16, NIV 1984).
I love my brother’s wife. Tonight, I sat in their home surrounded by their children and told her she had an aggressive cancer. When I returned to my home, my son called and told me his infant daughter has suffered head trauma and had a bleed in her brain. This was a bad day for those I love.
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power…” (Revelation 4:11, NIV 1984).
We had a terrible time getting his myelodysplasia under control. With the first cycle of decitabine he developed bleeding and sepsis. Now, he was seated before me, doing much better. “You know, those days in the hospital were good for me,” he said. “I just spent my time focused on the Lord. I never even turned on the television.” He then added, “I want all of this I’m going through to glorify God.”
“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them…He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me…’” (Mark 10:13-14, NIV 1984).
It was 1984 and the occasion was our daughter‘s sixth birthday. My father had become very concerned I was working so hard. Up to 60 to 80 hours a week. It was good work. Comprehensive patient care including spiritual care. Teaching residents, students and fellows in our teaching practice. Performing nationally recognized peer-reviewed, community-based studies. Faculty appointments at 10 medical schools. All was good.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24, ESV).
It was difficult to recruit a surgeon who would work with her, given her eccentricities and wavering decision-making. Finally, she was forced to proceed; her abdominal pain predicted an impending disaster. I visited her the day before the planned procedure and asked her how she liked her surgeon. At 80 she could get away with her reply, “If you bought him for what he was worth and sold him for what he thought he was worth, you would make a fortune.”
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6, ESV).
Janice died last week. I had visited her daily in the hospital until her discharge but was unaware of her death at home. During her stay, in spite of her suffering, her chief concern was for her son and daughter who were not walking with the Lord. I promised to pray faithfully for them, and I do. Today, when I discovered her death and called her husband, he reminded me how their two kids came to be. Many years ago, when radiation was needed to cure her malignancy, I had advised Janice to consider having her ovaries moved out of the field of radiation, so that someday she might conceive. She agreed; her malignancy was cured; the children are now grown and beautiful and wandering away from Jesus.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:10-11, ESV).
There was an open mike and I was compelled by His Spirit to speak. “As a rule, I don’t attend the funerals of my patients, and I have never spoken at one. But I have been so blessed to walk with Mark and his family through their struggle. I hope that all of you have watched them. This is the way that followers of Christ do this.”
“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:10, NIV 1984).
I went by the rehab facility to deliver his Christmas present. Since he was confined to a wheelchair with poor vision, I thought a CD with audiobooks might improve his sanity. He was eating lunch at the time. After we had talked a few minutes, he said, “Oh, I forgot.” He then bowed his head and prayed, “Dear God, thank you for this cup of mercy.” Since his thoughts are sometimes slightly jumbled, I assumed this was his way of saying grace over lunch. And then he raised his head, looked me in the eyes, and asked, “Did you get your cup this morning?”
“‘…Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6, NIV 1984).
I walked into the room and saw a young woman I had never met sitting next to my patient. “This is my daughter,” he said. I remembered something about his daughter from our previous conversations and greeted her. “67 days,” he said, softly at first so that I did not understand. Within my silence he spoke more clearly, “67 days.” Our past conversations came back clearly. On our last visit, his greatest anguish was not for his illness, but for his daughter addicted to drugs. She was now 67 days free from them. “I certainly prayed for you,” I told her. “It’s all because of Jesus,” her father said.