Nursing students seem to be ceaselessly busy, going from classes to clinicals, writing papers, polishing projects, and studying for exams. The competitive nature of nursing school along with travel to clinical sites and long days adds to the stress. Would you ever admit that you feel like you’re running on empty?
It seems paradoxical that the antidote for this crazed, incessant race is to stop. Sometimes what we most need is not more time, another day to study or more hours in the simulation lab. Instead, we should be still before God to allow him to fill us with his presence, his Word, and his peace. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” counsels David in Psalm 37:7.
God delights in his relationship with us, not in what we do for him. When we intentionally stop--push a mental ‘pause’ button--and listen to his still, small voice, then we can hear, obey, and be blessed. Joy results from experiencing God’s presence: “You have made known to me the path of life: You will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).
When we’re quiet before God, we have the opportunity to think through our lives, where we’re headed, and where we need to be pruned and healed by him. This is crucial time for getting to know him in the same way that we need time with friends to deepen and savor our relationships with them.
As we learn more about who God is and understand what he values, we’ll start to share his values. Plato said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I suggest that a person who does not take time to gaze at the sunset, inhale the perfume of flowers, listen to beautiful music, enjoy wonderful food, and invest in time with friends is missing the real life we were meant to live. Savoring what God has created and given to us makes us relish his presence in those moments: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
Help us, Lord, to rest, revel in your spectacular creation and to be filled spiritually by stilling ourselves in your presence.
--Diane Stegmeir, RN MACL, CDE, CCM, is a diabetes case manager with Kaiser Permanente in Salem, OR. She served as NCF Regional Staff in Northern California and Southern Oregon from 1995 to 2002.