Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Here's a story from one of my recent hospital stays....God is love...and God really is everywhere...

During an recent hospital stay, I found myself watching news about a boisterous mom driving drunk with a helpless toddler in the car.  I cringed, wondering how a child raised in a faithless, careless environment could succeed. How would they find a better life? How would they find God?

Later that night, Jess (not her real name), a thin, dark-haired nurse with a gentle disposition, responded to the incessant beeping of my monitor. Soft light spilled from the hallway into my room, making her gentle presence a mere silhouette. I asked how she got into nursing, and her story kept me spellbound. Unbeknownst to her, it addressed my unspoken concerns.

Jess was born in the islands, but her father brought her and her brothers to the US when she was 10 years old, abandoning her mother and two other children. 

“My grandmother didn’t want him to take me,” Jess said. “She tried to get him to leave me and just take the boys, but he refused.”

Jess’s father was combative and violent to her. He was insulting, unpredictable and cruel. Worlds apart from her mother, Jess often cried herself to sleep.

“As a teen, I got involved in an abusive relationship,” Jess said.  “Then I had a dream. I saw my grandmother. She didn’t talk. She didn’t say a word. She stared at me. It was so real. I knew she was saying, ‘Don’t do this.’”  

The vision shook Jess. She ended the destructive relationship.

At the time, Jess was working at an electronics store. “Some people kept inviting me to go to church with them,” she said. 

Finally, she did…and she kept going.

A gentle smile spread across her face.

“It changed my life,” she said.  “I came to know Jesus Christ.”

Goosebumps ran through me.

Jess's first job at the hospital was delivering meals to patients. She worked her way through nursing school, earning her RN. Now in her thirties, she’s married to a faith-filled man and they have two young children. She aspires to be a NICU nurse someday.

“My brothers are still filled with bitterness and hate for my father,” she said. “But I’m not. I ask them to come to church. I want them to know Jesus. I tell them there is a better way, but they won’t listen.”

I nodded, smiled, and wiped away tears.

Oh, the places God will take us. Oh, the things He wants to show us there. I’m not the same person I was when I entered that hospital. The healing that took place was beyond physical. 

God is so big. God is so awesome. God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He showed me how he could reach into the heart of a helpless child, speak to her through a vision, lead her to Himself with the invitation of others, and set her on a path for holiness.

Amazing, isn’t it? Here she was now, the one caring for me.

Surely there’s hope for that toddler in the car.

Keep the fire burning.  Keep praying.  Keep inviting.

God uses us. God saves us. God speaks to us.

His work isn’t done.

Click here for a song...10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman 

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