One of the most important things I’ve learned as a Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse is to gather everything I will need and might need before entering a patient’s room…especially if they are on contact precautions. There are two reasons this is so important, 1) it’s annoying (and a time waster) to have to go in and out to get additional supplies and 2) anticipating what could happen makes a huge difference in an emergency. Let’s say I enter a room planning to re-tape an ET tube (breathing tube), I know I need tape, but if that is all I take with me things will go downhill fast. Gathering all I need and anticipating bumps along the way, I take medication (depending on the patient to help keep the patient still), protective barrier wipes (to help the tape stick better), adhesive remover wipes, scissors, bag and mask connected to oxygen (in case the tube comes out), knowledge of the current depth of the tube, and definitely a helper…or two! I also let my charge nurse and respiratory therapist know what I’m doing in case I need them to jump in. Having all the supplies I need and anticipating potential complications definitely increases success. It doesn’t eliminate problems from arising, but equips me to better handle those problems if they do arise.
God not only wants us to be successful, mature Christians so we can navigate life in the Kingdom and handle the obstacles that come our way, but he also wants us to pour into others. Matthew 28:19 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” And God doesn’t leave us without the supplies we need; no, He has provided everything! Ephesians 6:10-18 details how to equip ourselves for a Christ-like life…the Armor of God:
1. Belt of TRUTH – honesty, consistency, transparency
Jesus values our brokenness and honesty over our fake righteousness
2. Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS – righteousness is the proximity to what is right…so get close to Jesus. The more we spend time with Jesus, the more we’ll be like Him!
3. Shield of FAITH – there will be obstacles in life, but with faith the obstacles will not overpower you (you can move a mountain Mt 21:21)!
4. Helmet of SALVATION – Jesus did for us what we could not do on our own! This knowledge keeps our minds renewed…which combats the messages Satan tries to send.
5. Sword of the Spirit (WORD of God) – Slices & dices those parts of us that are inconsistent with God. We can only become who we were intended to be through the Word.
6. Shoes of PEACE – peace is contentment in the midst of the worst conflict.
It is common for kids who spend a great deal of their youth receiving medical treatment to have a desire to become a nurse, doctor, or another type of medical professional. Something about their experience inspires them to want to provide medical treatment to others. John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” If we will gather our supplies, put on our Armor of God, we will have that full life, navigating the obstacles that come, drawing others to Jesus by the way we love so that we can help equip them with the Armor of God in their walk with Christ.
Father God, you are not a distant God who gives orders but nothing else. You provide all we need! I confess to you that sometimes I try to do things my own way, but I know if I give you full control of my life and follow your principles, even the worst obstacles will not overpower me. Thank you for Jesus and his selfless love for all. Open our eyes to see and love others the way Jesus does. We pray that as we draw near to Jesus, others will see Him in us and want to know Him too. We ask all these things in Jesus’ name, Amen