In everyday nursing practice, we need the leading of the still, small voice of God—at the bedside, in the classroom, leading an organization. A simple responsiveness to God in everyday events can create significant moments.
Once I had a patient with Bipolar II disorder who had been difficult to manage since admission earlier in the day. He was extremely anxious about the loss of his state-issued identification (ID) card.
As I introduced myself, he immediately begged for help. I told him I knew this was important, and I would look into it with him after I assessed all my patients. He persisted. I started to get irritated, then a still, small voice said, “Kathy, you'd be anxious if you lost your driver's license (my ID card). Talk to him.” So I sat down and asked him to tell me step-by-step what he remembered about the card. He mentioned the hospital safe where we keep patient valuables, but he said he'd already looked there.
He then said, “Do you think God would help me? Would he? I don't think he would...” The still, small voice said, “Ask if he wants you to pray with him.” I cringed. He's so manic: is that going to be helpful? I'll check to see if he has medication for anxiety. He kept spitting out words, then exclaimed, “Lady, please, you've got to pray with me!” I thought, How can I pray? If we don't find the ID, then what?
Jesus' words came to mind, “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven...” (Matthew 18:19-20, NIV). I remembered what Jesus said about having faith, even as small as a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). So I prayed with him, asking God to help us locate the ID card. Silently I prayed, God help me know what to do. I know you know where that card is.
As we finished praying, I noticed a security guard at the nurses' station. I asked him about the ID card, and if he would check the safe. He said no, he'd already looked. I countered, “It would help him calm down if I could tell him you'll check the safe one more time. Take your time so I have something to tell him for a while.”
In less than an hour, the guard came back with the card in hand. He'd found it in the wrong patient envelope. I grabbed the card and ran to my patient. We hugged, and he cried as we realized God had answered our prayer.
Responding to the still small voice of God can create significant moments.
Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing
Excerpt from Journal of Christian Nursing, Oct/Dec 2016, p.197. Become a member of NCF and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.