Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, creates a beautiful word picture of the love of Christ. Have you ever thought about what Christ’s love means to you in the day-to-day situations and challenges you face? How could you personalize these verses? What would it mean to each of us to know the width, length, height, and depth of Christ’s love? How would it feel? What would it look like?
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ… (Ephesians 3: 17b-18, NIV).
Recently, the Lord reminded me of an experience from my childhood that helped me to “see” these verses in a new way. When I was six years old, my parents decided it was time for me to take swimming lessons. I love the water, but I am not a strong swimmer. The “dog paddle” is still my strongest stroke. This most ungraceful stroke helped me pass my college swim test (sometimes you just have to go with what works!).
I still remember the day when my childhood swim class was to jump off the diving board into the deepest part of the pool. I was terrified. I can still feel the bumpy texture of that diving board and how it moved down as I neared the end of the board. I remember wrapping my arms around myself and shivering with cold. But then, I heard a voice. My swim instructor, who I had a crush on, was treading water below me with his arms opened wide. “It’s okay, Christy,” he said. “Jump. I’ll catch you.”
I didn’t hesitate. I jumped. The thought of being in his arms was greater than the fear I had felt just seconds before.
Isn’t this how it should be with God? Our heavenly Father knows and loves us completely. We don’t have to be perfect. He accepts us in the beautiful, chaotic mess we all are in. He never leaves us alone. He promises to be with us in all the trials we face. He also knows our fears. His arms are open wide as He encourages us to jump. It’s a jump into the unknown, but it’s an unknown where He is ever present and ready to catch us.
How often do we find ourselves standing on the diving board shivering? How often do we tell Him, “No…I’m jumping here because I think this is what is right for me.” How often do we flail rather than resting in His embrace? I’ve been in all these positions, but the only one that satisfies my spirit is when I rest fully and completely in Him.
For whatever you’re facing today, you can trust Him. Take that jump into His arms. He’s got you.
Christy Secor RN, DNP, CDWF, NCF Professional Ministries Director
August 1 - On August 6th, NCF is launching the school year outreach with NCF LIVE, a web event. Pray that God will show favor on this event as the technical and content portions are in final preparation.
August 2 - Ask God for a miracle to bring all financial support needed for provisional NCF staff member Katharine to be able to come on board in September and serve nursing students and educators as a National Campus Staff Minister. Ask God to bless her with donors who will join in her much-needed NCF ministry.
August 3 - Give thanks to God with us for a meaningful Journal Club in July where nurses discussed the difference rehab makes. More than 3 dozen nurses participated.
August 4 - Continue to uphold in prayer Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner as she fully transitions back into her roles as NCF’s National Director and Editor-in-Chief of JCN. Many elements of decision-making and planning are on her agenda.
August 5 - Please continue to pray for Christy Secor, NCF’s Director of Professional Ministries, as she continues to care for her father who is in hospice. Each day brings its own joys and challenges. Pray for wisdom and discernment to use her time well while she also works during this time.
August 6 - Today is NCF LIVE. Ask God to prompt students to attend and be encouraged as they rest in Jesus and gain vision for reaching nursing students around them and online in the fall.
August 7 - Thank God for speaking to the NCF Leadership Team through Hebrews 11 in a recent retreat about how He speaks, chooses, and anoints seemingly unimportant, imperfect, failing people – and uses them to change the world. Praise God for his Word and that He speaks to us through Scripture!
August 8 - Pray for Divine intervention in selecting a new computer software system to help us serve NCF members and constituents. Ask for much grace as we work to solve recurring problems in the current system.
August 9 - Many of our professional nurse groups are beginning to plan for a new year. Pray for direction and leading as these groups seek ways to meet the needs of nurses. We ask God to provide creative ways for us to promote and share about these groups.
August 10 - Mary Thompson, retired nurse and an NCF volunteer, serves her church as a faith community nurse. She values prayer for herself in this role and asks for continued prayer for FCNs in general who are caring for people and giving leadership in their churches and communities in the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
August 11 - NCF chapters are uncertain about their campus re-opening. Pray for students to experience spiritual stability and strong campus relationships to override the anxiety and stress that uncertainty can bring.
August 12 - Ask God to provide financial support that NCF staff need. Ask God also to speak peace and trust to staff who are balancing support-raising with their NCF responsibilities.
August 13 - Cathy Walker, Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Christian Nursing, coordinates many elements of the journal production with the publisher. She asks for prayer about navigating changes in the art and design process for the journal.
August 14 - We thank God for those currently supporting NCF’s staff and ministry through their prayers and financial gifts. We could not do this without you! May God continue to bring new donors to support our staff and ministry as we work with Him to establish and advance in nursing, within education and practice, witnessing communities of nursing students and nurses who follow Jesus as Savior and Lord.
August 15 - Please pray for the team leading the Global Missions Health Conference to be held virtually November 13 & 14. This will be the 25th anniversary of this conference. Pray for the planners who are investing many extra hours of preparation as the conference transitions to a virtual platform. NCF is a partner to this conference and NCF Missions Director, Grace Tazelaar, will be among the workshop speakers.
August 16 - Jen Wojtysiak, Student Ministries Director, asks for prayer for NCF chapters and students to be creative and find ways to meet and reach others with online platforms this fall.
August 17 - Continue to ask God to bring peace and healing in the ongoing racial unrest. Ask God to show each of us His heart and desire for our lives and what He is calling us to do individually and in our churches and nation.
August 18 - Pray for the leaders of NCF’s East Texas group as they plan for a virtual nurses retreat in October with a special outreach to students. We ask God to provide His plan and for the content to meet those who participate where they are at.
August 19 - Intercede for all NCF staff members. Pray for protection, for ongoing deepening of relationships with God and with each other, and for staff with special family needs.
August 20 - Kris Mauk, JCN Senior Editor, is praising God for a continuing stream of new authors from all over the country who are representing a variety of universities and professional practices.
August 21 - Ask God to give all nurses an eternal perspective – that we would live in light of the promise of Christ’s coming and remember we don’t know the end of every story/situation, but God does.
August 22 - Lift to God in prayer nursing school faculty as they navigate teaching online and in hybrid classes. Ask God to strengthen and empower them in expectation for the additional stress and workload that these teaching modes can impose.
August 23 - Praise God for giving NCF favor with Himself and others (Luke 2:52). Ask God to use new marketing and outreach NCF is pursuing to make nurses aware of NCF and the Journal of Christian Nursing so they can come for support, fellowship, and biblical perspective on nursing.
August 24 - Please continue to pray for our professional nurse group in Oregon as they continue outreach events and find a date and time that works best for participants. Pray for times together to be refreshing and encouraging.
August 25 - Entreat the Holy Spirit to draw us to God—to help us seek daily, purposeful, worshipful, trusting, steady, loyal intimacy with Him. Ask Him to speak to us profoundly through daily Bible study.
August 26 - As the JCN staff process manuscripts for the journal, support them in prayer, including the need for new and qualified peer reviewers.
August 27 - We ask God for His leading in planning a virtual time of prayer for nurses this fall. We remember nurses who are caring for patients who are positive for COVID and are providing physical, emotional, and spiritual support for patients who are unable to have their families at their bedside. Pray for strong teams, open communication, support, and self-care for these nurses facing difficult situations while caring for others.
August 28 - Thank God for the student nurses who are taking on leadership roles for their campus chapters and ask Him to give them boldness and innovative thinking.
August 29 - Pray for our new ad partnership with Christianity Today. Ask God to make many more people aware of NCF through the ads and for God to bring more nurses and students to Himself through them.
August 30 - Pray for NCF staff and all NCF members that God would forgive our hidden and unconscious faults, keep us from presumptuous willful sins, and that “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my firm, impenetrable Rock and Redeemer (Psalm 19:13-14).”
August 31 - Intercede for nursing schools and ask God to give nurse educators knowledge and wisdom in preparing the next generation of nurses to serve Him.