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You may never know who's listening

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

" everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Oh, really? Even when I was in an ambulance being transferred 80 miles from one hospital to another was I supposed to give thanks? Of course! How else could I have spent two and a half hours chatting with a nurse and then witnessing to her of Jesus and how the Holy Spirit led me to become a believer through a miraculous healing of my nephew?

The volunteer wheeled me out of the hospital and waited for my husband to bring the car. I asked her about her volunteer work. She had cut back on hours, because it was hard for her to handle difficult patients who were often cranky, demanding and joyless because of their infirmities. "Yes," I said, "there are some people like that. Only God can give you His love and compassion to deal with them," I briefly narrated some of the miracles God did in my life. I thanked the Lord for allowing my husband to get lost in the parking lot so I could have that moment of time to encourage one more person to seek the Lord of Life!

Give thanks, in a hospital waiting room as my husband was being tested for cancer? Yes! The wait was a long one. A few people came and went, but the older lady seemed particularly agitated. In a strong foreign accent she uttered something of her discontent. I could neither hear nor understand seated across the room, so I moved to sit next to her. No one else was around.

I strained to hear through her thick accent. "Do you know God?" I asked. Her shrug indicated to me she either never knew God or gave up on Him through her various trials and distresses, which she expressed to me. In my sadness for this suffering and lost woman, I put my hand on hers, bringing assurance of God's love for her and her need to seek Him in her life. I hugged her as she went off to an appointment. Later, she returned briefly to thank me for encouraging her.

It may be the Lord gives that just perfect "Moment of Time" in a hospital for people to learn about Him! "...who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Corinthians 1:4)


I have set you in the midst of the world
as a light, a beacon
to guide those in darkness
to know the truths of My word.
Think not of your own self,
but rather give of your self
so others may know Me.
Show them the love I have put into your heart
that they may see Me,
and the hope that is only in Me.
Be that witness who shows
what I have done for
and continue to do in you.
I have given this time, this opportunity
to open the door to Me.
I have prepared that heart to receive Me.
This moment of time is yours.

Constance Vanides
23 February 2002

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