Introducing the Why

Jimmy Phillips

writes from Bakersfield, California, where he is director of marketing and communications for San Joaquin Community Hospital.

​How Is God Using You?

From my sophomore year of academy to the beginning of my sophomore year in college, everything I did was centered on my goal of becoming a youth pastor. I led Student Weeks of Prayer, worked at camp, and went door to door as a literature evangelist. As you know by now, God led me down another path.

Today I’m marketing director for an Adventist Health hospital. Being on the business side of a health-care organization is interesting. On some days—especially when I’m task-oriented—it’s easy to forget that I work in a hospital. I realize that Jesus often healed people physically before doing anything else, but I sometimes wonder if my work actually makes a difference.

The big picture for our marketing team is creating positive encounters with the community. We do this through television commercials, social media posts, and other engagement strategies. One of our new initiatives is holding a monthly community lecture series. We choose a high-level health topic, identify a presenter, and invite people to the hospital for a one-hour program, complete with a free lunch and valet parking.

Perhaps you’ve been tempted to think God isn’t using you in your current position.

In February we chose to focus our event on how to prevent, recognize, and respond to heart attacks. Because our January session was at the end of the month, we had little time to publicize and plan for the next one. We strongly considered canceling it.

The day before the event, we had 26 RSVPs, far below our average. For a minute I regretted all the effort we’d put into it, time that could have been better spent elsewhere. Oh, well, at least we tried. To my surprise, however, a number of last-minute registrations poured in.

The lecture went well, and that was that. Or so I thought.

One of the attendees was an employee. That night, prompted by the lunch event, she decided to have a conversation with her husband about the symptoms of a heart attack, and the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately.

A few days later, while home alone, her husband began to experience chest pain. Remembering their conversation, he called for an ambulance and was transported to our hospital. Just 10 minutes after arriving, he coded, the technical term for saying his heart stopped. Fortunately, our chest pain team was on top of it and was able to resuscitate him. Just a few days later he was discharged and is expected to make a full recovery.

What if he’d waited 10 more minutes to call 9-1-1? What if his wife hadn’t decided to share what she’d learned? What if I’d planned for another topic, or decided to forgo the event altogether?

You might have had different plans for your life. Perhaps you’ve been tempted to think God isn’t using you in your current position. Or maybe you’re exactly where He wants you.

Commit your actions to God every morning. You never know whose life will be changed—or saved—through your actions.

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