This is one of my favorite pictures.

Yes, this is REALLY one of my favorite pictures!

"I get paid for this?" was a question I often asked myself while doing nursing Home Care and Hospice visits. I enjoyed driving in the country and seeing patients on a one-to-one basis. I had actually fallen in love with this side of nursing when I 'shadowed' a nurse during schooling. She was happy in her job and taught me more than nursing when she made her rounds.

Now of course there were bad too, but let's not go there today. Hmmmn?

On the day of the accident I remember passing a school on the main drag and praising the Lord for such a beautiful morning. I stopped for the red light, then the road took a steep decline. I still don't know why, but I decided to take a left for a different route as I had seen this patient several times before. My foot was on the brake and my left turn signal blinking as a pickup truck came toward me. Right before the impact of a car from behind, I saw the mirror fill up with its image. Her car pushed mine to the left.

Before I could think one thought, I suddenly felt a peace in my spirit that I had never felt in my entire life and have never felt since. It was a heavenly peace because during its short span, it did not matter to me that I had been in an accident. Then a hand knocked on the driver's side window and a voice asked if I was OK. The hand and voice seemed to stop the peace and start my involuntary shaking.

The driver of the truck was talking rapidly and loudly. He said sentences over and over. You are strong to keep your foot on the brake! Not enough room for my truck between the fence (around the field) and your car! Thank you, thank you! You kept my truck from being hit! He had called for the sheriff and said he would stay. He did not stay. He told me his name. I forgot it. When I got out of my car, I met the driver of the car which hit mine. She had finished her nursing shift at the same hospital where I had been. Her face was drained white and she was shaking too. She asked if I was alright and in my foggy mind, I don't remember if I asked the same about her.

I tried to call home twice using the wrong number. Brain fog blocked my own home phone number. The third call reached my husband Jerry. He would meet me in town and I would ride with the car hauler to a garage.

A deputy arrived bringing a sense of duty. A nurse from my department came to pick up the charts of my patients and reality began to set in. I drew strength from my husband who has more common sense and perspective than most people. I was able to get to sleep but woke up at 4 a.m. with giant question marks zooming through my head:

How long would it take to fix the car?

How can I work without a car? I didn't want to drive Jerry's pickup.

How much will this cost?

Will I be in trouble at work?

Will the other nurse be in trouble with her husband or at work?

Still lying in bed, I began to use a quieting method I had learn from Hannah Whitall Smith's book The God of All Comfort. At a critical moment in Hannah's life she was sadly in need of comfort, but could see none anywhere. She could not lay her hands on a Bible and cast about in her mind for a passage of Scripture that would help her. The 23rd Psalm came to mind and at first she dismissed it as too common. But as she began to repeat the first few words to herself, comfort came in like a flood. The moment she had a Bible in her hands, she read the Psalm and then built a pyramid of declarations and promises concerning the Lord being our Shepherd. Once built it presented an immovable and indestructible front to any storm, doubt or trial. She became convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Lord really was her shepherd. He declares Himself to be a good shepherd who gives his life for his sheep (John 10:1-18) I, too, believe the above.

Jesus said in verse 14-15 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep."

I began to do what Hannah suggested: say the first 5 words, placing emphasis on a different word as follows:

The Lord is my shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd.

As I whispered the above words, I also pictured in my mind the photo at the top of this page. I pictured in my mind the photo of Jesus in the meadow with the sheep. As I continued I began to calm down, but then something happened. The picture in my mind shifted without my effort. I was back in my car at the accident and the same Jesus was standing at the front corner of the car while facing me, looking at me, protecting me. No meadow, no sheep. No strong right foot on the brake. It was Jesus.

I need to bow out now as I don't have words to describe what I felt when I saw Him at the front of my car. The car was deemed 'totaled'. I missed some work. A bigger Saturn was purchased that helped Jerry be more comfortable.

I challenge you to try Hannah's suggestion for peace the next time you are having anxiety.

May God bless you as you trust in the Lord our Shepherd.

Let's close with a prayer: Father, Help us to be trusting sheep and believe Your Son, Jesus, is our Good Shepherd. We want to lose all our spiritual discomfort and know Your peace that passes understanding. Amen

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