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).
“…for I am the Lord, who heals you” (Exodus 15:26b, NIV 1984).
He was a bit short of breath as he sat on the side of his bed, trying to regain his strength after a therapy complication had placed him on dialysis.
“I think we will hold your cancer treatment for a few weeks,” I told him.
“That will be good,” he said. “It makes me weak.”
“We need you to get your strength back and then we can deal with all your other stuff,” I continued.
He nodded, and then, after a pause for reflection, added, “You know, Cathy and I have decided that we are going to start seeking the Healer more than the healing.”
“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured” (Mark 1:41-42, NIV 1984).
Thus far he had beaten two cancers, along with chronic hepatitis and severe peripheral vascular disease.
I told him, “You have had more bad happen to you than most anybody I know. You are really an overcomer. Why do you think God has been so good to you?”
“Grace,” he said. “God has just treated me special. I know lots of other folks who had what I got and they didn’t make it.”
“Why are you special?” I asked.
“No reason. I don’t deserve it.”
On the first day of my week away from work at the CMDA National Convention, my wife told me, “I had this horrible dream last night.” Now, I’m used to my wife occasionally sharing bad dreams with me, none of which have ever come true; so, I asked her for the details. “I was on this spiral stairway, leading to who knows where. Nora Jane (our 3-year-old granddaughter) was on the bottom step, but the bottom step dropped off into a long fall. A big man was coming down the stairs above me and Nora Jane is afraid of big men. I was scared to death when she looked up in fright and backed off the step into nothingness. I cried out to you and you just stood there looking into your phone.”
Thad Williams underwent the first bone marrow transplant in Memphis when we treated him for his Burkitt’s lymphoma years ago. He and his wife Cathy became dear friends, bound together by their struggle and by our mutual love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Thad survived the transplant and lived more than 15 additional years before God called him home. Today, my wife and I attended Cathy’s last concert as band director in her city’s high school, a school system she served for 37 years. It was a celebration of Cathy’s life. Many speakers described her accomplishments and lauded her with words like: kindness, competence, mentor, passion and determination—words that well describe our Lord when He walked the earth. With such praise surrounding her, Cathy conducted her final concert as band director, ending with a magnificent arrangement of “God of Our Fathers.”
Dr. Dave Hafer is a retired maxillofacial surgeon in Montana. He and his wife Bobbie took up painting to fill the Montana winters. They are both incredibly talented and love their new avocation. They love it so much that Dave took it to the Lord and asked Him, “Don’t let this be just for us. Show us how to use it for your glory.” And they have, repeatedly auctioning their work to raise funds for Christian ministries. Last year when they attended a conference for Christian women physicians, an attendee asked him, “Would you consider letting me commission you to do a painting?” Dave replied, “I guess I can do that. What did you have in mind?” The physician answered, “I want a picture of heaven. I want to place it on my office wall so that every morning when I arrive for work, I am reminded of my goal for the day.”
This week Ron was in his wheelchair, at the end of his journey with cancer. I asked him if he had any fears.
“No, I am all right. I know where I am going.”
“That’s great,” I said. “We were reading John 11 in Bible study this week and I have been reassured about my own death.”
“I love John 14:2,” he said. “In my Father’s house are many rooms…” (NIV 1984).
“You are right on,” I said. “You should also check out John 11:25.”
He spoke softly but confidently, without bitterness, as he described how he had been removed as chief of psychiatry at his medical university because he had voiced concern over the psychological effects of transgender transformation. It was he who had built the department from four psychiatrists to 17, and the 17 had voted him out. As I left the auditorium, another physician’s husband stopped me, “Do you know my wife may soon be incarcerated?” He then described a new bill moving through their state’s legislature that will make it a crime for physicians not to refer their pregnant patients for abortions when they ask.
We met for two hours and worked for the Lord—an important ministry in Christian healthcare. Our future work was time sensitive, so we scheduled a telephone conference for the nine of us. The time chosen by the committee was a night when I was on vacation with my family. As an overworking doctor, I gather all of my kids and grandkids once a year to enjoy life together. The committee’s telephone time would land during dinner on one of those vacation nights…and I have spent too many years choosing work and ministry over family. As trivial as it may seem to many who serve the Lord sacrificially, and as atypical as it has been for me in the past, I told the committee, “I won’t miss dinner with my family. I’ll join you once our fellowship is finished.”
He sat across me with a swelling on his arm, one-fifth the size it had been before. “You know you are a miracle, don’t you?” I asked. “Most people with your cancer would be in heaven now.”
“He doesn’t want to talk about heaven,” his wife answered for him.
“My brother is a preacher,” he said. “I don’t talk to him much. I’ve been good as best I can.”
“That won’t get you there,” his wife responded.
“If you love Jesus, that will get you there,” I suggested.
He changed the subject, and we finished our medical business. He really was miraculously improved.
He had a Santa Claus beard but little hair on top. I told him, “You know, you are one of the few over 60 who has been cured of their acute leukemia.”
“Yes, I know,” he said.
“I hope you are telling folks how God has blessed you. “
“I am,” he said. “One thing I tell folks a lot is about the day my wife came in one early morning and saw the sunrise coming into the hospital. I had been having an uncontrolled fever for 10 days. She looked at the sun and prayed to God, ‘Dear God, burn it out.’ That morning after she left, I felt a deep burning inside. I fell off to sleep, harder than I had been sleeping in a long time. About 10:30 I woke up, and I was hungry, and my fever was gone and never returned.”
You know how it is, or, if you don’t, someday you will. Sleepless nights, where you fall asleep dead tired and awaken at 3 a.m., either to get up and read or toss until morning, begging your mind to shut off. Usually these nights are related to a financial worry, a hurting in one you love or the cumulative effect of a highly stressful week. Well, I’ve had four straight nights of this, trusting God fully in the daylight but not in my dreams. Last night, it was 3 a.m. again, wide awake, focused on the unsolvable issue, dreading my fatigue for the next day. But this time, after praying once again for God to take my burden, I fell asleep. I was running this morning when I heard God speak, in His clear, inaudible voice, “I’ve got this.”
I was surprised to see his name on the schedule, as he had completed his therapy a few years ago. However, in spite of chemotherapy and radiation, his cancer had recently returned and required a laryngectomy. I was seeing him for the first time after this surgery—complicated by a stroke and a pulmonary embolus. He was not the same proud man I remembered. My first words to him were, “I am so sorry you have had such suffering with your stroke and with your voice gone. Can you overcome all of this?” He looked me in the eyes, then looked to my lapel, touched the gold cross pinned there and nodded with assurance.