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).
The following email was sent to me as a matter of prayer: “In April, my wife was found to have a large frontal lobe GBM. Her last MRI showed diffuse recurrence despite radiation and Temodar. She has decided to enter hospice care. She is incredibly at peace. She tells everyone that very soon she will be healed when she is in Glory. I’m not near as strong as she is, and have been ‘frustrated’ at my inability to help her. I think we, as physicians, feel that we have to ‘do something’ about everything. Saturday morning, I had a sitter for her, so I could do some errands.
My mother suffers from severe dementia. She often seems to understand what we say and who we are but can never speak coherently. Her life is difficult, and our goal as children is to visit often and give her moments of joy. Yesterday my sister was visiting Mom and told her about one of her friends who was seriously ill. Mom bowed her head and began, “Oh Lord, you are the one we come to in our need.”
My nurse practitioner is a Catholic Christian who has expanded her options by embracing Buddhism after multiple vacations to Thailand, where she fell in love with elephants. When the church at Notre Dame burned, she was heartbroken, as was I. Today I asked her if she had ever been to Notre Dame and seen the Crown of Thorns that was kept there. She had not, but then showed me a picture of St. Anthony she carried with her, and then drifted to her admiration of St. Francis. She said. “I’ve always wanted to walk where St. Francis walked.”
This was a weekend off-duty, so I had time to visit a few patients as a friend, not a professional. I had just prayed with two for healing in very difficult situations and was traveling between hospitals. My thoughts drifted to personal needs. A child of mine desperately needs a work of great power. “Dear Father, everything else is okay in my life. Just give me this one thing, and I can manage the rest.”
He sat there for a moment after I had finished his exam. I wondered what was keeping him in his chair. He then asked softly, “Are you a Christian?” I was a little bit stunned, as this was out of the blue, but answered, “I certainly am; are you?”
She was middle aged, chronically anxious and doing well from her past cancer. When I asked her about her weight, she replied, “I was losing weight until I started smoking marijuana.”
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged…” (Matthew 7:1-2, NIV 1984).
I have a wonderful daughter-in-law, who is a fantastic cook with a culinary degree and is very health conscious for her family when it comes to food. A few years ago, she decided to remove gluten from her diet. I thought it was a fad and teased her for her decision. And then, the next time I underwent my annual health exam, my physician discovered I was both iron and B12 deficient. As an oncologist, I was convinced I had a GI cancer. I was relieved to discover I was simply gluten sensitive, secondary to celiac disease.
“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8b, NIV 1984).
He was big, a John Wayne kind of a guy, still well-nourished, but tired after the treatment I had put him through. While examining him, I admired the leather jacket he was wearing. “There’s an interesting story about this coat,” he said. “It wasn’t long after I bought it that I was at a pawn shop I frequent. The clerk noted that someone was breaking into my car.” My patient paused. “I was carrying. I ran out to the car with my little pearl-handled pistol and caught the guy holding this jacket I’m wearing.
“…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.