Caring for people in my confidential workplace has its specific challenges, but where there is challenge there lives the possibility for spiritual growth and wisdom.
The most important lesson I have learned in our faith based, not-for-profit this year, is to trust God. God is big enough for every situation. Doesn’t everyone trust God in all their circumstances? We’re taught about trusting God in the Bible, but trusting God is not in our nature. It is something that needs to be learned and practiced in our relationship with Him.
You can measure your ability to trust God just by reflecting on your actions in one day’s work. Recently one of my clients was booked in for her regular weekly appointment. She had a difficult story, and listening to her pain had become very challenging for me. I knew she had to drive in from the country. I glanced at the clock. I had just enough time to cancel. I wasn’t feeling strong enough to share in her pain that day. I reached for the phone, but before I could punch in the numbers I paused. “Dear Lord” I began, “do you want me to cancel this appointment?” My spirit sensed the answer was ‘no’. In that moment I could also sense I needed to pray and trust God to be present in our time together. I put the phone down and laid my head on my desk.
Thirty minutes later she arrived with a smile, something I had not seen in all of our visits yet. I closed the door as she sat down, and she grinned at me again. “I am so glad to be here”, she exclaimed. She continued to explain that having someone to talk to one day out of the week had cleared her mind on all the other six. She was no longer all consumed by the extreme trauma she had experienced as a young woman. My shoulders relaxed as I pulled up a chair beside her. I was so glad I had listened to the Spirit’s guiding, and had chosen to trust Him.
Another very important lesson in trusting God came about during a staff debriefing. One of my esteemed colleagues was helping a client who was in dire need. The first plan of action out of my colleague’s mouth was to talk to the Pastor about her client’s situation. This is one of the reasons we debrief, so we can help one another identify the best course of action in a crisis. I gently reminded her that if she went to the Pastor about her client she would be violating her client’s confidence, and our organization’s confidentiality agreement. It would be far better for her to encourage her client to speak to the Pastor herself. She could even accompany her there. More importantly, in this situation, going to the Pastor first revealed a common tale – a lack of trust in God. It is easier for us to immediately go to our Pastor and Shepherd, mentor or friend in times of need, and pour out what ever is on our heart, but God should be the first one we run to.
No matter what challenges we are facing we should always go to God first. We are not breaching any confidentiality agreement by bowing our heads before our Almighty God, and casting our cares upon him.
Who would you go to next? Well… that could be a topic for another time, but I am trusting God for the Holy Spirit to show you. In closing I would like to share a short poem I was inspired to write after these lessons.
To Whom We Go First
It’s not in the sound, or the language or form
but to whom we go first when the bleakness is born.
It’s not in your strength, or your nature, or name
but to whom you go first when the world pours the pain.
It’s nothing of man, yet we boast in our knowing.
It graces our lips if our hearts heed the calling.
It numbers our days, yet the promise keeps growing.
One God and one truth, He be first in my going.
by Cindy Palin ©October/November 2019