I am a senior in the sixth decade of my life. I continue to work full-time as a nurse in a hospital where I am sure that I have been strategically placed at this time in life. I’ve been always been filled with energy, passion, and a great thirst for the things of God in my calling as a nurse. I’ve had a great love for people, especially those who are hurting either physically, mentally, or spiritually. I have come from the lowest place in life and want to share the victory that I have found with others who have not yet found that place of peace and acceptance. I’m going along in life and then came COVID, increasing violence everywhere, so much change and sadness, and I was not prepared for what I was seeing, hearing, and feeling.
All of a sudden I’m not just overwhelmed with all the sickness and death I was seeing at work, my whole world was turned upside-down. Everything I’ve ever known or been taught was changed. I was afraid to speak about anything for fear it would offend someone. Even a compliment to someone at work was extremely offensive to them. Everything I had ever known including old movies, songs I loved, phrases I used, and cartoons of my childhood. It was all being called into question. On top of all that, I can’t go to church, partake in corporate worship or fellowship, which I need so desperately. I was doing online church and small groups but I am terrible with anything on the computer, so it was all very challenging for me. I still found myself so tired all the time and my body wasn’t helping since I had this new mystery injury that caused immense pain all the time, even when sitting still. I tested negative for COVID, but life was becoming more and more challenging just to function day-to-day. The twelve hours of work on the night shift where I normally loved to work, were seeming like the worst nightmare I’d ever experienced. I knew and was confident that I was right where I was supposed to be. I knew and was confident that I was called for such a time as this, so I continued.
Then it happened...... my heart stopped beating. Not physically, but spiritually, mentally, I just died. I could not go on without being revived. I needed the paddles of life to shock me back to living, breathing. I needed what only God could give, a new outlook on life.
I started at the beginning again, asking for prayer, begging God to help me. I begged God to show me what to do. "Speak to me!" I would say. "Help me feel your presence again!" I prayed, "Please God let me know you are still here." I started pouring into my Bible. God has lifted me from the darkest places before. He had turned my deepest despair into joy and dancing before. Maybe He would do it again...
I found myself constantly singing an old song I knew, (and I meant it).
Jesus, Lover of my soul/Jesus I will never let you go
You’ve taken me from the miry clay/Set my feet upon a rock and now I know
I love You, I need You/Though my world may fall, I'll never let You go
My Savior, my closest Friend/I will worship you until the very end
I was pouring myself into God’s Word, and I was asked to write a blog about a passage of scripture that I thought I knew very well. God used that scripture to shock me back to life, revive me, and help me know He heard me.
“He has shown you, oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you. To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” ~Micah 6:8
He was showing me what to do when I am broken and afraid, in trouble or lonely, or spiritually bankrupt. God was showing me He had not moved, hadn’t changed, and had all the answers. I had a newfound love of God’s word. I found new meaning in everything I read every day. I was reminded that life is not about me. I started looking hard at this passage especially.
What does it mean to do justly? In Isaiah 1:17 it says to stop doing what is wrong, (looking only at me and my stuff) and learn to do right. That word learn means to train yourself by habit. I pray that God shows me what He wants and what is right. Jeremiah 22:3 says to seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless. Don’t wrong the foreigner and do not shed innocent blood. Not just physically, but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally not just in good times but in bad times, too. Wow, God, how was I supposed to do all that when I am so desperately in need myself? First I had to stop thinking of myself. Then the answer was right there in 2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is God-breathed and is useful in teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training [myself] in righteousness, so that the man [or woman] of God may be fully equipped for every good work. I needed to train myself to do justly, love mercy (compassion) and to walk humbly with my God. Especially in the hard times, I need to train myself. I am responsible to read and do the word of God. It doesn’t depend on the circumstance, or my opinion. A life of peace is a consequence of doing God’s word.
God shows me through being in His word (bible reading), worship, and fellowship that I will fulfill a lifestyle that protrays love in action, thoughts and word. Even in the hard times, if I cry out to God and look to His word, I will by my very life, draw others to Him. So then, all of my relationships must exude forgiveness, acceptance, kindness, and mercy. I must be open and willing for my very core to be shaken, changed, challenged, and redirected. I must accept God’s grace that I cannot attain on my own, it is God’s gift to me. God Himself, through Jesus Christ has shown me grace, forgiveness, acceptance, and overflowing love. It is through reminding myself of all He has done for me, that I am able once again to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. In so doing I am again renewed, restored and revived. I remind myself again, I cannot do life without being in God’s word continually. If I commit to memory the word of God, I will be continually with Him and will always have that strength to lean on, especially when times get really unbearable.