Working as a nurse, there are many different situations that can come up suddenly that you have to deal with. I work in a bustling recovery room at a local hospital, and my coworkers and I are trained to deal with any emergencies that come up. We handle them as calmly and efficiently as possible.
On one otherwise regular day, a sudden announcement on the hospital PA system threw something at us that we’ve never had to deal with before. “Code Sierra is now in effect.” Code Sierra! Only hospital employees understood the true portent these words contained. A bomb threat in the hospital. News spread like wildfire through the unit. The bomb was thought to be in an elevator shaft. I had seen my coworkers handle medical emergencies with total calm, but now they were becoming frantic. Anxiety and fear took over the unit.
Complete faith and confidence
But as I stood there taking it all in, the lines from a song started to play in my head. “All my days are resting in His keeping; from all worry, by His grace, I’m saved.” While panic prevailed all around me, all I felt was a deep sense of inner peace. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I believed that my life was resting in God’s keeping, and it became clear that I had nothing to worry about. That by having complete faith and confidence in God, He gave me rest and peace in the midst of the utter chaos around me.
I thought too of a verse in Psalm 118:6, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” I knew that I had absolutely nothing to fear. God was as close as the shadow of my right hand. (Psalm 121:5) I was able to continue caring for my patients as though nothing was happening. And within a couple of hours, local law enforcement was able to secure the hospital and make it safe for the patients, visitors and employees.
My battle with anxiety
It might sound like this was a reaction that just came naturally to me, but the truth is that being at rest and fully trusting in God has been something that I have had to really work on. By nature my thoughts and actions are easily consumed by anxiety, so I’ve really had to fight against it. Even in seemingly small, everyday situations, the temptation comes so quickly. Whether it’s getting to work on time, the weather, my personal finances, etc. But just because I’m tempted and the thoughts come, doesn’t mean that I have to give in to them and be anxious. Instead, I pray to God earnestly. He has promised to give me the help that I need to overcome. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
It’s by fighting and praying in these small situations every day that I’ve come to have faith in God. It’s only by God’s grace and power that I have victory over anxiety and remain in an unshakable rest and peace. It is because I have fought to learn to trust God in these small situations that I was able to be unshakable in that moment when my natural reaction would have been to panic.
It’s so good to have these reminders that the gospel of victory over sin works. That just because things like anxiety – or envy, or laziness, or whatever it is – are what is natural to me, faithfulness to deny them leads to transformation. I can actually become a new creation! (2 Corinthians 5:17) And the result is rest and peace in my life, rather than stress and fear.