Come Aside and Rest A While

Summer – 1976 – Midwest USA

I started out the summer working as a Nursing Assistant at Children’s Hospital where I had my clinicals last summer. They floated me one day to the burn unit and the nurse asked me to watch her do the dressings on a 2 year old so I could do them the next time with her watching. As a senior nursing student, they allowed me to do some procedures under close supervision. The little boy stood in his crib as she began to unwind his dressings. As the burned skin was exposed, his blood ran down his legs and arms and he began to scream. I felt myself begin to black out and turned and sank into a nearby chair and put my head on my knees. After the blackness cleared, I stood up and went out into the hallway. The nurse finished the dressings and came out into the hallway to speak with me. I said, “I’m so sorry, but I thought I was going to faint. I have never witnessed anything like that before.” She said she understood and told the supervisor not to assign me to the burn unit again. They sent me back to the orthopedic unit where I was last summer. I guess I deal better with the kids in traction than the burned ones.

After 4 weeks of arising at 5 a.m. in order to catch the 6:30 a.m. bus to work, the dizziness, nausea, and weariness was almost unbearable. I could not smile at anyone and my soul was crying in agony to God. I felt like Elijah under the juniper tree crying out to God to take him home. (I Kings 19:4-7) My Pastor was very concerned about me and asked me to take a walk with him before church Sunday night. “Pam, I think you are so rigid right now and have planned everything so much that God can’t work. Let go, and let God do whatever He wants! For one week, don’t plan anything. Take every day as it comes and do everything the opposite you usually do. Go out to a restaurant and eat a meal, listen to the birds, take long walks in the woods. Don’t study your Bible for one week except to read a few verses in the morning.  It will make you a better Bible student in the long run.”

His words were quite a shock to me, but I was willing to try anything since I had lost all joy in the Lord. The next weekend, I drove up to see Jane for one night and we went hiking at the state park. I had to stop every 30 feet to rest a little. When I awoke on Monday, I was still so dizzy and exhausted that I called in sick. After praying about it the rest of the day, I decided I needed to resign and return to my parents’ home to rest the remainder of the summer. I called the head nurse and told her the situation, and she said she understood. After 7 quarters straight of school, with the last one in psychiatry and the demanding classes, my body was beyond exhausted.

My parents were very concerned about me also and were extremely kind to me. After 2 weeks of total rest, I began to feel like myself again and could smile and laugh! I just finished reading a little book by M. R. DeHaan MD called Broken Things. He said, “The Lord only breaks those whom He is going to make.” “Sunshine all the time makes a desert.” I understand better now that I don’t need to strive and push doors open, but just relax and let the Lord open or close the doors. His tenderness in giving me 2 months just to meditate and enjoy Him brings tears to my eyes.

My Dad kindly drove our travel trailer to the state park a couple hours away and set it up so my Mom and I could stay for the week while he returned to work. God has given my Mom and me very precious times together. I so enjoy walking through the woods listening to the rustling leaves, watching the butterflies and dragonflies fly from flower to flower. At night, the chirping crickets lull me to sleep, and the singing birds awaken me every morning. How I thank God for these precious blessings and restoring my health!

Camping at the State Park was so relaxing!

Camping at the State Park was so relaxing!

Reflection

Since 1976, I have had several other times in my life of total exhaustion when I have simply burned the candle at both ends and pushed my body too far.  As I read the passage in I Kings again about Elijah, he had just run for his life 93 miles to flee wicked Queen Jezebel who was trying to kill him! No wonder he was exhausted. After he said to God, “It is enough! Now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, an angel touched him and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he ate and then slept some more and ate some more. He was able to go 40 days and nights after that. Now I realize I am certainly not Elijah, but the cure was the same for me. Sleep and eat, sleep and eat.

The disciples were deeply grieving after burying their beloved friend, John the Baptist, who was beheaded by wicked King Herod. I love the passage in Mark 6:30-31which says And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told Him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And He said unto them, Come aside into a desert place, and rest a while; for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” It’s so wonderful that our dear Savior sees when we need to rest and provides it for us!

trillium

3 petaled trillium wild flower reminds me of the Trinity!

A restful walk in the woods.

A restful walk in the woods with my sister, Marsha.

January, 2018

I am currently recovering from pneumonia and a horrific reaction to a medicine that put me in the hospital for 12 days. As I slowly regain my strength, I will repeat some of my most popular posts. Please pray for me to learn all the lessons God has for me during this time of recovery. I praise Him that He has made the Bible extremely precious to me as I lean hard on Him. The medicine caused some short term memory loss which was terrifying to me, but God quieted my heart when I remembered 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 

If you have any encouraging Bible verses that you want to share with me and other readers here, please post them in the Comments section. May you have a blessed week of “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” Hebrews 12:2.

Pamela, APRN

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Sleeping in Statistics Class

College Freshman – May, 1974

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary…” Isaiah 40:29-30

“Pam, Can you please see me after class?” announced my statistics professor. I nervously approached Professor L. who had shared at the beginning of the quarter with the class that he was a Christian. (He was the only professor in my four years of college who claimed to be a Christian.) He said, “I noticed you have been falling asleep in class. Do you have a job where you work at night?”

Sleeping in Statistics Class

Sleeping in Statistics Class

stat class

I explained that I worked ten hours weekly at the main library. The statistics class was from 4-5 pm Monday-Friday when I was most weary. I had also just missed a week of class because I was sick with the flu. We reviewed my midterm grades of 96% (A) on the first one and 6% (F) on the second one. I had never failed a test before and was horrified when I saw the F! I had reviewed my classmate’s notes for the week I missed, but I guess I didn’t understand the material. He kindly said, “Pam, get a tutor to review the material before the final exam. If you do well on the final exam and remaining quizzes, I will drop your F on the midterm now that I understand your circumstances”. I thanked him profusely for his consideration and advice.

In addition to working and taking classes, I was teaching the women’s Bible class weekly and children’s Bible Club every other week. It was no surprise that I became ill, because I was simply doing too much! I found someone else to teach the Bible clubs, found a tutor, and did my best on the statistics final exam. In June, I apprehensively opened my grades when they arrived in the mail.  B in statistics!!! Thank You, Lord, for your grace and strength! My courses this quarter were: statistics – 5 hours, chemistry- 5 hours, violin lessons – 1 hour, logic – 5 hours, tennis – 1 hour.

Reflection

So ended my freshman year of college. It still remains a constant balancing act between worshiping and serving the Lord, working, maintaining my home, and getting enough rest and relaxation. I ask the Lord daily to help me put Him first and do all things for His glory and honor while resting and delighting in Him. When people ask me to do something, I pray about it first and ask the Lord what He wants me to do. As nurses, we are used to always helping people and our automatic response is “Yes”. But I have slowly learned over the years to say “No” if God does not give me peace about going forward.

Many times in my nursing career when I have been totally exhausted, I have cried out to God to strengthen me and ask Him to do my job through Me, while leaning hard on Him. A favorite poem of mine is “Lean Hard“.

Child of My love, Lean Hard, and let Me feel the pressure of thy care;

I know thy burden, child, I shaped it; Poised it in Mine own hand, made no proportion

In its weight to thine unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said,

I shall be near, and while he leans on Me, This burden shall be Mine, not his;

So shall I keep My child within the circling arms of My own love.

Here lay it down, nor fear to impose it on a shoulder

Which upholds the government of worlds.

Yet closer come; Thou are not near enough; I would embrace thy care

So I might feel My child reposing on My breast. Thou lovest Me? I knew it.

Doubt not then; but loving Me, Lean Hard.

(unknown author)

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee.” Psalm 55:22

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” I Peter 5:7

Rest in the Lord

Sleeping in Statistics Class

College Freshman – May, 1974

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary…” Isaiah 40:29-30

“Pam, Can you please see me after class?” announced my statistics professor. I nervously approached Professor L. who had shared at the beginning of the quarter with the class that he was a Christian. (He was the only professor in my four years of college who claimed to be a Christian.) He said, “I noticed you have been falling asleep in class. Do you have a job where you work at night?”

Sleeping in Statistics Class

Sleeping in Statistics Class

stat class

I explained that I worked ten hours weekly at the main library. The statistics class was from 4-5 pm Monday-Friday when I was most weary. I had also just missed a week of class because I was sick with the flu. We reviewed my midterm grades of 96% (A) on the first one and 6% (F) on the second one. I had never failed a test before and was horrified when I saw the F! I had reviewed my classmate’s notes for the week I missed, but I guess I didn’t understand the material. He kindly said, “Pam, get a tutor to review the material before the final exam. If you do well on the final exam and remaining quizzes, I will drop your F on the midterm now that I understand your circumstances. I thanked him profusely for his consideration and advice.

In addition to working and taking classes, I was teaching the women’s Bible class weekly and children’s Bible Club every other week. It was no surprise that I became ill, because I was simply doing too much! I found someone else to teach the Bible clubs, found a tutor, and did my best on the statistics final exam. In June, I apprehensively opened my grades when they arrived in the mail.  B in statistics!!! Thank You, Lord, for your grace and strength! My courses this quarter were: statistics – 5 hours, chemistry- 5 hours, violin lessons – 1 hour, logic – 5 hours, tennis – 1 hour.

Reflection

So ended my freshman year of college. It still remains a constant balancing act between worshiping and serving the Lord, working, maintaining my home, and getting enough rest and relaxation. I ask the Lord daily to help me put Him first and do all things for His glory and honor while resting and delighting in Him. When people ask me to do something, I pray about it first and ask the Lord what He wants me to do. As nurses, we are used to always helping people and our automatic response is “Yes”. But I have slowly learned over the years to say “No” if God does not give me peace about going forward.

Many times in my nursing career when I have been totally exhausted, I have cried out to God to strengthen me and ask Him to do my job through Me, while leaning hard on Him. A favorite poem of mine is “Lean Hard“.

Child of My love, Lean Hard, and let Me feel the pressure of thy care;

I know thy burden, child, I shaped it; Poised it in Mine own hand, made no proportion

In its weight to thine unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said,

I shall be near, and while he leans on Me, This burden shall be Mine, not his;

So shall I keep My child within the circling arms of My own love.

Here lay it down, nor fear to impose it on a shoulder

Which upholds the government of worlds.

Yet closer come; Thou are not near enough; I would embrace thy care

So I might feel My child reposing on My breast. Thou lovest Me? I knew it.

Doubt not then; but loving Me, Lean Hard.

(unknown author)

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee.” Psalm 55:22

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” I Peter 5:7

Rest in the Lord