The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who searched for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. Lamentations 3:22-26 NLT
It is a cold and rainy Sunday, even so, we have been blessed with another day of life.
In 2001, I was searching for a new job and had sent out several resumes. I can recall interviewing for the position as a Home Health Nurse. I excitedly thought about the autonomy of developing my daily schedule, and the freedom of traveling as opposed to working in the confinement of an office setting for 8 hours a day.
While I was waiting for the completion of the Agency background check, I received a call from a Camp Administrator in New York City who relayed that she had received my resume and was interested in hiring me for the summer. As she explained the responsibilities of the position, I mentally laughed at the thought of a “New Jersey City Girl” working in the Catskill mountains of Upstate NY. I half-heartedly listened to the duties of the position, realizing that I had never been camping, and really was not interested at the age of 43 in new beginnings. My thoughts took a 360 spin when she spoke about the compensation-the salary was based on the NYC wage scale for nurses. With the salary I would receive for the summer, it would be possible to be selective in choosing a permanent job with the right fit when I returned home.
I had a decision to make; based on the completion of a successful background check, the position was mine, if interested. Honestly, my affirmative decision was influenced solely by the money. The next day, I received a Fed-Ex package with New Hire documents, pictures of the camp, and a very lengthy list of the required clothing, shoes, and supplies. There were three modules with a one-week away from camp break, which equated to 12 weeks of rendering care to girls ages 7-17, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including the On-Call duties.
Although my motives for accepting the position were not the best, my life experience expanded in a way that I never thought possible. The unadulterated beauty and peaceful environment of the land with it’s serene lake and majestic trees were simply breath-taking. I became Nurse-mother to 325 girls during that summer who often visited the infirmary (in tears) for various reasons.
It was hard work! The temperatures plummeted to 30 degrees at night, and my cabin had the only indoor shower in the camp with a reservoir of 5 gallons of hot water that was only to be utilized for the nursing staff. I received many offers of money and gifts from staff to take a hot shower; nonetheless, I adhered to the rules.
The most daunting thoughts were fueled by a history of watching too many horror movies (a habit that has ceased). During orientation week, we were taught to make Honey pots that were set out every night at the entrance of the campsite to deter the bears from entering. I must admit that my prayer life increased during that summer. God is awesome! Nightly, we could hear the bear eating from the pot; however, never once did the bears enter the campsite.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear Him. Psalm 34:7 NLT
With God all things are possible, I have come to appreciate the beauty of nature, and know that only a loving God could provide an earth filled with such magnificent splendor for our enjoyment.
“Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. It may even reduce mortality, according to scientists such as public health researchers Stamatakis and Mitchell.”
Challenge for today: Reach beyond your comfort zone…enjoy a day spent in a natural habitat.
Verse for today: The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the LORD; Psalm 24:1 NLT
Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for blessing us with the beauty of nature. Thank you for the elements that enhance our lives and total well-being. Please give us the desire to seek out your wonders. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!
Sonya Johnson Ruiz