Waking up to a new day, I find myself wondering about the suffering that will be present at my door. Each day presents the same routine for me: ministering to people who are suffering physically. As I begin anew my nursing duties, the pain of the daily lives of those that surround me engulfs me. Suturing, extracting, lancing, bandaging, dispensing, and so many other verbs describe my daily nursing duties.
And yet, I start each new day wondering, Am I making a difference? I cannot help but feel useless, powerless, and helpless as I attempt to care for so many physical needs. Each new day I am armed with the desire to help these people, and yet, I find myself feeling defeated before I even start. Why? Why is it that while I am doing what I most love to do, what I am called to do, that I am discouraged instead of encouraged? There is no easy answer to this; every medical global worker faces these same questions throughout his or her ministry.
There is, I know, at least one reason for these self-defeating thoughts. Focusing on the pain and suffering keeps my mind off the individuals to whom I will minister, and who will oftentimes minister to me!
Suffering in this world is a result of sin. There is no getting around it; sin causes the destruction of human lives. However, as a Christian medical worker, I know that I am equipped with a far greater tool than medicine to help those that suffer. His name is Jesus. His pain made human suffering temporal. His suffering allowed us to have hope in ours. We have not yet suffered to the point of death, death on the cross, which came with the price of being forsaken by God. He was forsaken in His suffering so that we would not have to be forsaken in ours.
In Hebrews 2:14 we are told that He shared in our humanity since we, God’s children, are flesh and blood. Our questions and cries powerfully move the Almighty. He parts heaven and shakes earth to respond. He reaches down. He takes hold. Jesus is God’s embrace, His way of reaching down and taking hold. Jesus is where we encounter God.
Thinking on these truths in the midst of caring for a suffering world around me enables me to face the day offering a helping hand. More importantly, I am here to offer a heart that speaks of an assurance of a hope beyond the pain, a peace in the midst of it, and an eternal life because of it!