So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. — 2 Corinthians 5:6
Ashley MacRae, a registered practical nurse in the emergency department at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in Northern Ontario, said during a particularly stressful time during the pandemic that she and fellow nurses worked in constant fear of what was coming through the door when the district was seeing a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“I’ve seen my co-workers in stressful situations,” she explained. “As our scope has increased, it has become more stressful to be at work. We are doing more with less and having more tasks than before. Sometimes giving my all is not enough.”
Sharleen Stewart, Service Employees International Union Healthcare president, agrees. She adds, “[Nurses and other medical staff] have shown up every day for our family, friends, and neighbors under unprecedented conditions. They have found the dedication to enter what some call a warzone.” (source: tbnews.com)
Paul knew about warzones. In fact, Paul daily faced death. The apostle did what I pray frontline medical staffers did (and still do), and that is come to terms with death that is not an end, but a beginning. Nurses understand the dying bodies Paul speaks of in this text, but Paul doesn’t stop there. In the same breath (or spirit), Paul also speaks of new bodies. This is what gave him confidence each day. This is what gives Christians the same confidence each day, too.
We can be with fear, or, like Paul, we can be with faith. It’s never both. Ultimately, we choose one or the other.
PRAYER: Jesus, conqueror of death, help us follow you so that we conquer our fears with confidence not in ourselves, but with you. Amen.