It is often said that nurses make the worst patients. My family can testify to this. I hardly ever get ill (not even 'man flu'), so when I do come down with something I stubbornly refuse to accept that I am ill, until someone either makes me stop and lie down or I collapse! Then I want to tell everyone what to do and insist on doing things for myself that really I cannot at that moment... I fear that when I am ill I am trying to teach my family about grace and patience, when perhaps I need to be doing the learning!
Being a carer can often make it very difficult to be the one receiving the care - we are not used to the idea of being dependent on others. It is a lesson in humility (and love) that I suspect not just I, but many of us in the caring professions, need to learn.
Yet Psalm 41 says something that should make us sit up take notice. Verse 3 can be translated: '…all his bed You [O Lord] will turn, change, and transform'. 1 In other words, this passage is actually saying that God will make up and turn your sick bed. Like a parent caring for a sick child, or like a nurse with their patient, God cares for you, tends to you in your sickness and in your health; he transforms your circumstances, if you would but let him.
We might find it hard to accept care from our colleagues and families, but we also need to let down our defences and let God tend to us. Is your heart broken? Are you over-burdened, stressed and weary? Are you caught up in uncertainty and feeling directionless and lost? God is there to transform your situation, to tend to you and sustain you through your circumstances. Turn to him. Admit your need, and receive his grace and love.
This piece was originally published in the new CMF book for nurses and midwives Lighting the Way devotionals
1. Amplified Bible, Classic Edition