The waking world greeted me as I emerged from the recesses of the hospital’s emergency department. I walked out alone against the flow of beginning workers – people in uniforms, the sleepy-eyed and yawning, the fresh-faced, already showered gym enthusiasts, and the patients tousled from a sleepless night. It had been raining and the air was still cool, although the sun now began to sow its warmth. This was my final nightshift done, the end of my hospital years, and the beginning of new experiences in the land of general practice.
I was a little sad to leave, having made some wonderful friends and memories in this place. The team outings and corridor catch-ups would be missed. Most of all, however, I felt I would miss the precious testimonies God had given me; of powerful prayer, miraculous opportunities and tender love. While I looked forward to the many more testimonies God was sure to create with me in future, I also remembered some incredible encounters with Him during my hospital years.
As I leave these hospital years behind and press on towards what lies ahead, I remember these last parting testimonies.
——- GOD THE PAINTER ——-
One of the things I love about nightshift, is being able to enjoy the beauty of the changing sky. On each of the four last nights that I worked, I travelled to the hospital beneath a mesmerising mural –purple-blue shades tinged with pink, the golden glow of the setting sun, and on another occasion, clear blue skies that let me glimpse the distant sea as I drove down the hill. I noticed the sweeping trees that lined the road’s edges, and the abstract appeal of architectural designs. We cannot deny God’s work in nature.
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day until day utter speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun…”
– [Psalm 19:1-4]
God never ceases to speak to us. The knowledge of His Name is everywhere, ready to be discovered at any time and in every place.
——- THE VICTORY SONG ——-
Driving to my last nightshift at the hospital, I felt some songs of worship well up within my soul. I cannot remember exactly which songs they were now, but I remember their meaning. I remember proclaiming the victory of God in the workplace, that he lifts the veil from before our eyes, and that He is wonderful, and glorious. I remember all the times I prayed before my shifts at work, my crying out for Him to be present in the hospital, to heal and do miracles. I asked that His Spirit would move in me, and through me as I worked. I asked for opportunities to bless, and for the presence of God to saturate the wards. He sang His victory over every challenge, and over every illness.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”
– [Proverbs 3:5-6]
I know that the battle belongs to the Lord. I know that He hears, that He answers and that it is His Spirit that inspires my prayer. I know that God’s presence never retreats in the midst of a challenge, but that He always upholds, always protects, always loves, and is forever faithful in victory.
——- ARTISIANS CALLED——-
Following my final nightshift, I walked to a little café to have breakfast with the Lord. As I enjoyed my smoothie and my muffin, I turned to Exodus 35, and God spoke a word.
“And Moses said to the children of Israel, ‘See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge, and all manner of workmanship…” – [Exodus 35:30-31]
The context of this passage lies in the building of God’s tabernacle by the nation of Israel. All the people gave offerings for the work of the tabernacle, and God called forth skilled workers to engrave, design, sew, weave and create all that was necessary for it. As I read this passage, I saw how God called people by name, and filled them with all the skills necessary to accomplish the work He had purposed for the house of His presence, the tabernacle. I was reminded that God had called me for a purpose.
I am a builder of the house of the Lord, and I want to be filled with the Spirit of God – to have all wisdom and understanding, all knowledge and manner of workmanship. God will equip me to do and to be all that He calls me to do and be. So then, I submit my talents to Him and say, “Use me Lord!”
——- THE FAREWELL SIGN ——-
I entered the hospital to begin my last shift and just once more, I gave this request to God – “Lord, show me something that I might not forget all the work you do at the hospital, even when I am no longer around to see it.” I didn’t know what kind of sign I wanted. Perhaps He would show me a miraculous healing. He had done this before. Once, the miracle was so astounding, I told the Lord that if I never saw another miraculous healing, I would still always remember His power to heal.
There was no literal raising from the dead that night, but I enjoyed my working with patients. In the morning, as I walked to breakfast, I looked left and saw a rainbow. I knew immediately that this was God’s answer to my request. As I walked a little further, I was amazed by the vibrancy of this rainbow’s colour, and I also noticed a second rainbow above it. In this, God assured me that His promises never fail, and that His mercy endures forever.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.”
– [Lamentations 3:22-23]
Even though I will miss seeing God at work in the hospital, I know that He will never cease to be present there. Though some of my favourite times with God have been during the night, I know that His Spirit will continue to bless my soul at all times. The Lord fills me with so much joy because of His great love, and I want this love to be known to all. He is God, and there is no other.
“Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.”
– [Isiah 45:22]