May 2016 - LPNI

Lutheran Parish Nursing International
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May 2016

LPNI DevotionMay 2016
Lord, Lead Me, Guide Me
What a crazy whirlwind of a year it has been for me so far!  There is just no peace for me.  How many times have I been exhausted and asked God to please slow things down a bit so I can get my feet firmly planted on the ground again!  My parish nurse role has suddenly exploded to accommodate the needs of so many who are grieving, experiencing cancer treatments, dealing with the day-to-day issues of dementia and Alzheimer’s, families who are separated by military deployments, etc.  You get the picture because most of you have been in these same shoes as you walk your parish nurse ministry path.  Sometimes there is just no peace.

Now let’s just add a few “personal ingredients” to the mix.  This now includes for me the frightening onset of atrial fibrillation, a heart attack, an increased role in our family as one grandchild goes off to college, another grandchild begins a career in the Navy as well as starting his new marriage, and an additional grandchild who has serious health issues needing mental health intervention.  And yet, add to the burden already feeling too weighty are more physical symptoms that culminate in surgery to remove my thyroid gland. There was just no peace.

As though the above was not enough, all of this came right at the beginning of the Lenten services season!  The role of part time church organist became full time when the other organist moved from the area. As an organist, I have always found great solace and strength in music, and especially in the hymns we sing.  In recent months these hymns were not as comforting to me.  There have been many days when I felt so alone, so weak, so without direction, and my fervent prayers seemed unanswered and my struggles unrelenting.  There was just no peace.

Two hymns in our Lutheran Service Book were recently used as part of our worship, and suddenly the words seemingly popped off the page and into my mind and heart.  My path became more clear. My heart was listening to Him speak to me with “…take my hand and lead me” and “Lead Me, Guide Me” as found on pages 721 and 722.  Further we sang, “…if You lead me, I cannot stray”, and we open our hearts in prayer with, “Lord, take my hand and lead me upon life’s way.”  I finally found some peace!

The issues and struggles will continue, I’m certain.  The difference now is that I am focusing on His strength for me, with me and in me, instead of me trying unsuccessfully to run the show.  I daily ask that He will let me be His servant as I start each task, clear each hurdle, face each fear and calm each worry with the knowledge that He is in charge.  I now reach out my hand, and we walk together in peace.  Psalm 96 states boldly, Oh sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord all the earth.”

My prayer for each of you is that you will find peace through a song to sing, a verse to strengthen, and the knowledge that His hand is always reaching out to you.  I pray that all of the days of your life will be filled with songs of His love and strength, and that you begin each day with, “Lead Me, Guide Me…”  I close with the post Easter chant, He is risen! He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!  That gives me both temporal joy and eternal peace.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School
Bremerton, Washington, USA
LCMS Northwest District Parish Nurse Representative
peaceparishnurse@comcast.net
 
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