I’m sure you’ve felt it, too. That darkness that seems to hover over a building, a unit, a room, a bed. It lingers in the air, choking out all the goodness that could be seen. Sometimes it is obvious and you feel it the second you walk in. Other times it is subtle and you don’t know you’re in it until it is sticking to your skin, floating around in your lungs. As Christians, we have the words to describe it, but I am sure that every nurse has experienced it. Hopelessness. Pain. Brokenness. It can just sit there waiting for us to fall victim to it too.
There is only one cure for the darkness: light. We read about it over and over in scripture from the very first verses:
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:2-4 NIV
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2 NIV
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5 NIV
The only way to get rid of darkness is through the light, and the only way to truly heal people, to truly drive out darkness is for health professionals to reflect the glorious light of the Almighty one. The LORD allows His face to shine upon us and we become reflections of His glory when we follow and obey Him. We are the light on the earth today, the representation of the God who made everything. Who drives out darkness so that it cannot overcome the light, no matter how seemingly hopeless the circumstances. The LORD heals, and He will use us to do the physical work of His healing here on earth.
Even when we can’t boldly proclaim the name of the LORD, we can still proclaim His goodness and His dominion by being a light in the dark places. This means taking on the characteristics of God in our work – patience, love, mercy, compassion, justice. When we say yes to the light (to the LORD, to His calling), the light will go with us. And the light will carry the name and speak the words that we can’t.
Tonight as we are on the second day of the advent season, I am praying for you nurses. I am praying that you will never forget that you are light bearers, awaiting the arrival of our King. The LORD is doing great things through you, be encouraged!