Psalm 91 | A first responder finds comfort in a time of crisis
Working long hours on the front lines, Eric Poll, a paramedic and emergency room nurse in Nova Scotia, was facing extraordinary fear and anxiety brought about by his role in the fight against COVID-19. “I never was that drawn to the Psalms – but now I understand them”, he reveals. Eric found answers in Psalm 91, which became significantly important to him, serving as a reminder of the hope and reassurance God can give us, despite the circumstances.
“I have never worked in a time where there are such anxieties and fears amongst my colleagues and in the general public.” he declares. Eric started his career as a paramedic at the time of the SARS epidemic, but he feels that even that does not compare to this current crisis. “When I treated my first COVID case – seeing the breathlessness and the severe headache – I thought, this is definitely not something that anyone wants to go through.”
COVID-19 has changed the way health professionals respond to patients. Instead of “help first – ask questions later,” they now must ask several questions before even beginning to offer help – “Have you been out of the country? Have you been with anyone who has COVID-19?” Even for a cardiac arrest, the questions come before administering CPR. “Losing those precious minutes is hard on our hearts, but if I get sick, I can’t help anyone,” he says.
Besides the threat to their health, these Canadian heroes also endure extreme fatigue – both from working long hours and stressful conditions. Many of them are panicked and/or full of fear, even while externally maintaining a “state of calm.” With hospital Emergency Rooms filled with so many sick people, there is a hyper-vigilance that drains healthcare workers of their energy.
“Every night, when I go to bed, I pray, pray, pray,” says Eric. He spends time reading the Psalms regularly and has even taped Psalm 91 to his locker door. “I see many who are turning to faith for comfort. I pray over my patients and sometimes pray with them,” he says.
In the shelter of the Most High, sirens, anxiety, and fear are no more. “I turn to the Scriptures to find comfort and quiet. My Hope comes from God, who gives me the strength to face each day. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” states Eric.
The Canadian Bible Society is on a mission to offer hope through the Scriptures to Eric and other front line workers who are dealing with extreme conditions during this pandemic. We invite you to join us in our COVID19 Emergency Response and donate today.
If you are interested in meditating on Psalm 91 too, check out these special resources available here for FREE.