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).
“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.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV).
We all have different methods in our daily intercessory prayers. I pray geographically for those I know around the country. Some folk stay on my geographic list a long time and I hear nothing from them. I was praying for Ken yesterday morning as I have been for many years. Not hearing from him for months and receiving only an answering machine message when I called, I asked the Lord, “Please let Ken call me today since I cannot reach him.” Sure enough, Ken called this evening, and the reconnection was made—and God told me, “Continue.”
“He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how’” (Mark 4:26-27, NIV 1984).
Jerry is a follower of Christ who was recently recovering in a rehab facility that also housed a nursing home. At dinner he was regularly seated next to two men who had difficulty with cognition. One was 103 years old and had a “fetish for sweets.” The other ate grilled cheese sandwiches for every meal. Speaking of his life as a Christian witness in that venue, Jerry told me, “How in the world could I hope that my witness would be of any value when these men were suffering from such dementia? It was impossible!”
Our view of Tirana was magnificent from the 25th floor of the Plaza. The international scientific speakers had completed their presentations and the Albanian doctors were discussing among themselves. These bright physicians were as knowledgeable as those who had presented this fantastic new science but had no way to use that science due to their diminished resources. They have been my friends for many years and one of them spoke, “This is great to hear, but for us it is just a dream.” Then another took the microphone and chastened his discouraged colleagues, “Yes, but we insist on the dream.”
“He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” (Mark 4:40, NIV 1984).
I settled into a chair in the hotel lounge away from the crowd so that I might catch up on my email, with some real anxiety over the news that email was bringing me. Earlier in our mission I had prayed that each of us might be ready for God’s work of interruption. Just so, an Albanian medical student saw me sitting there alone and asked, “Are you busy?” As he sat down, he reflected on an earlier talk I had given and asked, “Which level of happiness are you experiencing?” As we talked, I asked him about his own faith experience. He described, “I am a Christian. My mother is a Christian who believes. My father is a Christian who does not believe. I am more like my father.”
“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you’” (John 17:1, ESV).
William carries the diagnosis of autism. He is a handsome and strong young man whose family loves the Lord. I have been praying daily for William, but my prayers may not have been correct. A few years ago, when William was much younger, his family was gathered with all eight of William’s siblings and cousins. As usual, there was vigorous activity throughout the house. Then someone noticed that William was missing.
“The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself’” (Luke 23:36, NIV 1984).
Each of us should have a few very special friends in our lives. Dr. Mark Johnston is one of those for me. I love this man, and God has done amazing things through his life, none of which I will mention here. He and I have been serving together in an Albanian mission for Christ over the last 25 years. Mark has been feeling the call of God into an even deeper walk with Him. Not long ago, Mark’s pastor asked his church members to place on the altar a sacrifice, to give to God something that God would truly desire. As Mark was praying earnestly what sacrificial offering might please his Lord, he clearly heard the inaudible message, “How about significance?”
“Whoever closes his ears to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13, ESV).
Last week my son-in law-called me with a new problem. He had sneezed vigorously, and, after that sneeze, had developed periorbital pain, swelling around his eye and a minor change in vision. My daughter sent me a text picture of his eyes with one pupil smaller than the other. I had no idea what was going on, but, as an oncologist, I had seen nasopharyngeal cancers looking just so.
“And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits…So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent…” (Mark 6:7-13, ESV).
Beni Baboçi often assists us with our medical evangelism work in the Balkans. He came to my home the other night and shared with me his early days of ministry. In those days he was part of a team that trudged from village to village in the rural mountains of Albania sharing the Jesus Film, accepted by some and rejected by others. As he spoke, I envisioned the disciples’ experience when Jesus first sent them out from village to village, two by two, preaching that people should repent.