In our back yard, Gary and I have two flower beds that I haven’t done much with for the past two years. Plenty of our perennials still grow there, but some have died that I haven’t replaced. Gary is planning a patio remodel at some point, and knowing that those beds would be downsized or moved caused me to just let them grow as they will. Our tall Tiger Lilies bloomed out there recently, but now those bright orange blooms are gone.
This morning I looked outside as I worked at the kitchen sink. There among the flowerless Tiger Lilies I saw the bright pink blooms of a random Garden Phlox. The pink was very noticeable now that the lilies weren’t all in bloom. What a pretty sight that Garden Phlox was as it stood among all the green leaves of the lilies! The Phlox is shorter than the all those giant lilies surrounding it, but it stands out beautifully because of its bright, pretty flowers.
As I looked at that Garden Phlox, I thought of a nurse…..a nurse that I have never met and whose name I don’t even know. Andrea, our daughter, told us about her last night. Andrea has moved to a new area of the big city in which she lives, so yesterday she had her first appointment to get established with a family practice doctor there. The doctor’s nurse who worked with Andrea was not only very nice, but Andrea said that she also gave a clear testimony of her relationship with the Lord. She was definitely born again, a follower of Jesus, so she and Andrea shared that common bond as they talked together. She then gave Andrea the name of two good churches in the area for her to visit.
This interchange may seem like no big deal, but it was very encouraging to Andrea…..and a huge answer to prayer for Gary and me. As our two children that have moved far away get established in their new lives, Gary and I pray often that God will protect and lead them. Part of our prayers for them is that God will bring others into their lives who are believers…..who will be there to encourage and befriend them. It’s a rough world out there for all of us, but as parents we especially worry about our adult children as they navigate life far away from home and family.
I just love seeing how God answers prayers in ways we don’t orchestrate at all. Who would have thought that God would use this nurse to speak her testimony to Andrea, to lift her up in that way, and to give her the names of two churches? But God knew just where Andrea needed to be yesterday morning. The first doctor in that group couldn’t see Andrea, so she ended up with another doctor…..who has this nurse….and she was working yesterday when Andrea was there. Thank you, God!
And thank you, dear nurse, for not being afraid to speak of your relationship with Jesus. She truly let her light shine, just as Jesus told us to do, so that others will see the Lord in our lives. This nurse was a huge blessing and an answer to prayers for us…and she may never know it this side of heaven. But she was just walking in obedience, letting her light shine, and she sure did brighten Andrea’s day and ours as well.
Then I have to think about myself. Often as I’ve prayed for those who will come alongside our children, I wonder if I might be on the other end of such a prayer. Could I be the one that God wants to use to answer a mother’s prayer for their child? Could I be that person who could encourage and bless a person for whom someone is praying? Am I letting my light shine in the lives of others? That thought has given me great pause over the years as I’ve prayed for our kids, and now even more so as I think of this nurse…..this random nurse…..who meant so much to our family yesterday in such a seemingly simple way.
This nurse was like my Garden Phlox showing its beauty among the lilies. She was a bright spot in Andrea’s day, and she was a bright blessing to Gary and me. I need to be willing to do the same…..to grow where God has put me and to share the beauty of my relationship to Him because of what He has done for me. I need to be careful to reach out to ones that God puts in my path, in whatever ways that I can. Even the simplest acts can be just what a person needs at that moment, and just might be the answer to a parent’s or another’s prayer.
So may I not let fear or selfishness or lack of caring grow around me so much that I don’t even try to help those who come into my life. I pray that I will be open to God’s leading and obedient to his command to let my light shine so that others will see God, and thereby be uplifted. May I shine like my bright pink Garden Phlox amongst all the tall, crowded lilies.
I’m certainly thankful for that nurse who was a beautiful blessing in our lives yesterday. May God bless her richly as she shares His beauty with others.