Yesterday, I had an appointment with a specialist to whom I had been referred by my family doctor for what turned out to be nothing, thankfully. But the visit wasn’t about nothing at all. (I hope you can keep pace with my double negative sentence there…)
When I started filling out paperwork for this doctor, I couldn’t help but notice at the bottom of every page the phrase, “In God we trust.” This left me wondering whether he was trying, subtly, to get a religious message of some sort across, or if he had a ‘thing’ for American money!
I decided the best approach to take would be to ask him outright: “What’s the deal with the ‘In God we trust’ on your paperwork?”
He smiled, having gotten precisely the reaction he surely hoped he’d get from every patient.
He proceeded to tell me about his faith in Christ and, knowing I am a pastor, felt more free to do so with me than he might have with other people, especially since the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario looks askance at colleagues who express their faith in anything but the most subtle way.
We talked about his church family a bit, and then he told me a marvellous story of how he had, that very morning, performed a very tricky procedure on a patient who also was a believer. He said to me, “Whenever I find myself in a position like that, I always pray and ask God to help me. And every time, he does!”
I was thrilled with his testimony, and grateful to God that this physician places his trust in the Great Physician!
It got me thinking: you don’t have to be a medical professional to ask God to help you in your work. You don’t have to be a preacher to share your faith in the workplace. All followers of Jesus can seek God’s help in what they do, and can share their faith in their workplace.
Seeking God’s help? Most will say that’s pretty easy, and is just a matter for private prayer. True enough, though it can mean much more, too. But sharing faith in the workplace? Some reading this might say, “Jeff, you don’t know the people I work with.”
No, I don’t know the people you work with. But I do know the God you serve, and I am confident that he can, and will, give you the words to say when they need to be said, and the open doors through which to walk, to share those words when the time is just right. Make no mistake: there are right times and wrong times to share our faith with others. Part of our prayer for God to help us in our work should be to show us the open doors to encourage other people to follow Jesus.
The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Colossae, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3.23, NLT). When we leave our faith at home, or worse, at church, the good news is bottled up, and God’s light is kept under a bushel basket. Take your faith to work. Let the light of Jesus shine through you. You might not even need words to share your faith – people might just come and ask! Now that’s an open door.
I’m praying with you, for God to open doors for you to share his joy with others.