God speaks to us in the little things, often when we least expect it...but when we need it most.
So many internal struggles had been building. Worries about this, frustrations about that. Uncertainties, unknowns, fears. Giving them to God was something I knew I needed to do in my head, but something my heart found difficult to do. And so I carried them with me, despite how they weighed down my spirit.
On a typical Thursday morning a few weeks ago, I worked in the stress test room in Cardiology. We had our usual line-up of patients. Everything is specifically timed and must run like clockwork for a smooth day.
Our third patient of the morning arrived. A middle-aged man with thick glasses, clutching a book. I sensed something different about him. When I looked into his eyes and saw the lack of focus. When I heard him speak and listened to his words. When I read the diagnoses on his chart.
He was legally blind.
And he had schizophrenia.
There's a special place in my heart for those with mental illness. Going through my psychiatric nursing clinicals in school allowed me to see into the hearts and minds of the patients. And you just don't look at mental illness the same again.
Throughout the morning, the patient was friendly and talkative. Optimistic even though we were performing a test that was attempting to determine is the arteries of his heart were blocked. I realized the Source of his joy when I saw that the book he was clutching was his Bible. My heart was touched, but I continued with the day's duties, anxious to stay on time.
As I mixed his IV medications, I overheard him chattering to the other nurse. He was discussing the struggles he had gone through and how his faith helped him in difficult times.
I stood behind the room curtain listening, amazed at the beauty of this man. Everything in me urged me to take his words to heart-- to believe that his message was for me, that God wanted me to listen to his words. God was manifesting Himself through this man. Allowing me to see the beauty and wonder of a soul that trusts in the Lord.
And then, in the patient's sweet and simple way, he shared the thought he treasures most from his case worker:
"Let go and let God."
I've seen the statement on bulletin boards; I've read it in print. But it has never had the power it had that moment when this helpless patient spoke it from his heart.
'Let' is such a big word, he said. And he's right. How difficult it is for us to let go, to release our grip from things that are safer in the hands of the Father anyway.
Today my patient came in again for the results of his stress test.
They were abnormal.
But he and I both know he'll be okay. He knows the One who makes all things new. He knows how to let go, how to give his uncertainties and fears in exchange for strength and courage.
He may be thankful for the care the nurses have given him. But I'm thankful for what he has given us.