"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you."
For me, this is one of the most comforting verses in the book of Psalms. As a teacher, my job is to instruct my students and to help them understand the information that is to be covered in the course. If they have questions, I am the person to ask. If something in their textbook is confusing, my job is to bring clarification. I'm to guide them gently through the information, facilitating their learning, and showing them what they need to pay attention to and pitfalls they need to avoid. I can't do this effectively without communicating with them and having an understanding of their problem.
When a student is confused or has a particular question, the best way I can help him or her sometimes is one-on-one. There are days when I address the whole group, but when a student has a question that is specific to his or her paper, he or she needs to talk to me directly. We will look over the paper together and plan out how the student needs to proceed. Group instruction is no longer enough: the individual matter demands my individual attention.
The beautiful thing about the Lord is that He treats all of us on a one-on-one basis. While we have corporate instructions as His Church to reach the world, His relationship with each of us is not dependent on a group setting. The Word of God speaks of His intimate knowledge of us as individuals. In Matthew 10:30, Jesus told His disciples that the very hairs on their head were numbered. In Isaiah 44:2, Isaiah prophesied that the Lord formed us in our mothers' wombs. Countless other Scriptures remind us that God has plans for each of us, and they speak of His loving care toward His creation.
We can find comfort in His love and intimate knowledge in the times when we don't see answers that are immediately clear, times when we feel like our life's compass is spinning out of control. God is the Greatest Teacher, and He promises not just to give us directions, but to guide us personally, with His watchful eye on us.
We may not know all of the answers on our own, but Jesus has promised to instruct, teach and counsel us: to serve as our Great Guide on this journey of life. With this confidence, we can learn to trust Him more than we trust ourselves—and we will find we are stronger for it!
Thank You for Your care for me, that it isn’t lacking in any way. Help me to turn to you in times of discouragement or worry; establish my thoughts in Your word. In Jesus’s name, amen.
“…to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:79
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16
One of the most recognized symbols in nursing is the lamp, but the reason behind this symbol goes back to a pioneer in the field: Florence Nightingale. The British government adopted the lamp to honor her pioneering work in the field of nursing.
In 1854, the Crimean War broke out, as the British Empire and the Russian Empire struggled for control of the Ottoman Empire. Florence Nightingale was a nurse sent to a base hospital where wounded British soldiers were being taken. She soon became known for her compassion and seemingly tireless concern for the men. She would walk the halls at night, personally attending to the soldiers, and earned the nickname “the Lady with the Lamp.” It was said that soldiers, finding comfort in her care, would kiss her shadow. The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the following lines about her in his poem “Santa Filomena”:
“Lo! In that house of misery
A lady with a lamp I see
Pass through the glimmering gloom
And flit from room to room.”
Luke 1:79 and Matthew 4:16 are prophetic verses about part of Christ’s calling: to give light to those who sit in the darkness and in the shadow of death. His presence was a source of life and hope wherever he went. Throughout Scripture, His occupation was about those around Him. He was Light; we are called to carry that Light into the world.
What if we were to become The People of Lamp? What if we saw each day at our workplaces as places where our faith and peace were needed? What if we looked with our spiritual eyes at those who are in such need, wounded, hopeless, and dying around us? Jesus came to bring light to those who sit in darkness; shouldn’t we do the same?
Show me how to be Your light to a lost world. Teach me to be less about me and all about You and what You want from me. Help me to fulfill my calling to bring Your light to all those I come in contact with, especially at my workplace this week. Open my eyes to the needs of those around me. Thank You for Your wisdom and peace.
In Jesus’ Name,