Running Empty: A Path to Fullness in the Midst of Panic

It is a pandemonium; I am a nurse. I work in a hospital.

A few weeks ago, I would never have thought that personal protective equipment (PPE) would be disappearing from hallways and storerooms. I have seen hand sanitizers containers mounted on the hallway walls and disinfectant detergents running empty within several hours.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or
forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deut. 31:8).

You feel it. I feel it. You do not have to be a nurse to feel the sense of urgency in the air. You have probably also witnessed the grocery shops shelves being emptied within a short space of time.

In times of uncertainty, rational thought often goes out the window. People are stealing from hospitals where there is a serious need. Counterintuitively,  they are exposing health care workers to infections which might end up killing them or altering their lives.

People are taking these useful tools to use in their homes. What would happen if they or their relatives came to hospital seeking care but facing  exposure all because the hospitals are running on empty!

This is all because of fear and uncertainty which has caused people to panic.

Anxiousness, distress, nervousness, uncertainty; this is how the world feels. But, how can I choose to feel?  

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6).

As a Health Care worker, it is my prayer for God to protect all Health Care workers as they go through this trying time because of the call of duty. I encourage everyone to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).

This is the time to surrender to the Lord who brings stillness and not depend on our own understanding. “Through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see (visible) and the things we can’t see (invisible)…….” (Col 1:16).

Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”

Psalms 46:10

During this time of COVID-19, when panic, fear, uncertainty, unbelief, selfishness and lack of knowledge and  lack of faith is at pick. Its good to know that we have a book full of promises and assurances and prophecies (the Bible).

It is my prayer that people refer to the Bible more than google, because it has the answers to all our questions and concerns. I have mentioned a few verses, but the entire Bible is full of promises, warnings, guidelines, answers. Let’s choose to love one another and “therefore do to others whatever you would like them to do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

THE POWER OF THE SPOKEN WORDS

Experience is the best teacher! I learned it the hard way when my negative words turned against me and negatively impacted others.

I grew up knowing that correcting or teaching the child, the elderly would insult, yell or bring fear to the child. It was through those insults that the child was expected to bring themselves up from such a demeaning situation and try to prove the negative words wrong (negative reinforcement). I used the same recipe in bringing up my children, but this recipe did not go well. This was what I only learned from my parents when they brought us up as children.

My children have become stuck with the negative spoken words I said to them when they were young. I have repented several times, yes, they have forgiven me but did not forget. Some of my curses turned to be fulfilled. I wish I could turn back the hands of time but its too late.

Lesson learned:-

Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” “ The life and death are in the power of the tongue, Proverbs 18:21.” I encourage every follower of Jesus Christ to chose life over death and bless their children, friends and everyone who comes your way with gentle words full of love. We are who we are because of the words said over us.

  • Words can uplift/inspire and build confidence or demean/ destroy the self-esteem/confidence and potential
  • The Bible is full of verses about the power of the spoken words and the tamed or untamed tongue. With the prompting of the Holy Spirit in revealing the scriptures to us, we can be a better people.

My Annoying Communication

Has anyone wondered, what did I say wrong that turned off my friend(s), colleagues and the loved ones? You could have said it verbally, non-verbal or commented in writing and it ends up being ineffective communication. I can relate to the experience.

Through deep reflection of my communication, I have learned how I am an annoyance to friends and colleagues. Yes, I mean my “freedom of speech.” I have completely turned off communication from the recipient’s side. I have found myself at times apologizing for the comments I made. I have received comments like “it’s only you who can say that or just because its you, I don’t mind.” The comments sounds like I have been getting aware with unacceptable language/communication. The Holy Spirit is the only person who can reveal to you as it is hard to be self aware of such.

Everyone is wired with fight or flight mechanism when met with a situation.  Our tongue which is the smallest part of the body needs taming because of its  annoyance to friends, listeners and colleagues, when left  untamed (James 3:18).

Communication is the exchange of information, messages and words. Both parties (sender and receiver) are equally important during the communication process. Sender and receiver can be interchangeable. There are always two sides of the message (positive and negative). The enemy who is the devil uses this tool so much to create discord, enmity and hatred amongst us henceforth we seek to communicate effectively.

Promoting health communication:

Sender:

  • Self-talk and sound it to your ears before it’s communicated to the receiver.(Interpersonal communication)  
  • Evaluate the communication outcome by being on the receiving side and taste how it feels(Do to others as you would want them to do for you)
  • Communicate when necessary or when you have something to say, don’t feel obligated to comment for the sake of commenting.
  • Don’t judge, underestimate or demean when communicating but always value and respect.

Receiver:

  • Seek to understand what, why and how the person is saying this (joke, under pressure or mistake) before turning yourself off or responding with fight mode.
  • Try to be always positive as the message might be of good intent than harm.
  • Be slow to anger and quick to listen (James 1:19)
  • Avoid assumption and speculation
  • Gently answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1)

Can we Pause a moment!!! Let’s evaluate the way how we communicate. We are accountable for every word that comes out of our mouth. The word of God (Proverbs 11:17)  says “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.” Also Proverbs 15:4 states that “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” You may be in a position of wondering why people are giving you cold shoulder. It’s never too late to invest in good  effective communication skills.

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