Here we are, once again. Traveling a road that is fairly familiar by now, but not one I ever thought I’d travel again. A path in life that is new, yet hauntingly a repeat of an earlier twist in this road we travel.
NICU. Again. Same issues. Respiratory distress. Breaths per minute too rapid…danger of aspiration in eating. So we said “hello” to my sweet little brother as he entered our world this morning, and turned him over to the doctors in another section of the hospital.
Yes, NICU is a familiar world. My third to last sibling was born 24 weeks premature, and spent 97 days in NICU….97 long, hard days. So when they said NICU with the next baby, we all panicked. We knew our God was sovereign, and had everything under His control…..but that old enemy called Doubt came to whisper in our ears. Yes, totally different circumstances, but still…..one never knew, right? But this time around, in a new hospital, a different NICU, and only 5 days, it was bearable. Hard, but bearable.
And here we go again. Another baby — another NICU stay. More monitors, more tests, more tears. Once again, God has a lesson for us to learn. Are we ready for it? Are we willing for Him to turn up the heat on the refiner’s fire, to conform us more to His image?
Are we prepared to walk down this path once again?
I never would have chosen this. But then again, most of the trials (dare I say all?) are ones I never would have asked for. But through all of it, as I am tested and tried, tossed about in a tumultuous sea, I am always taught something. Maybe He is trying to remind us to trust Him. Maybe the plan is to reinforce the lessons He has already taught us. Maybe He wanted to show us that His plans are different from ours, that men may make plans, but God directs our steps. Maybe we are never to know the plan He has for us in this world, but it will all be revealed when we arrive in our heavenly home, as we kneel at His feet in adoration.
Yes, I am at peace. I know that my Lord has a plan, and is able to bring it to pass. I know He has it all in His control, and that it is all under His ordaining hand. Does this knowledge make it easy? No — but it does give me hope, as I lean on the ever-present Saviour to guide me down this path. I know that in the end it will all be made right, according to His desires, and that He will bring glory to Himself.
I am reminded of a poem I wrote about 4 1/2 years ago. Every once in awhile, I enjoy writing poetry. It gives me a way to think in a different sort of way then prose does. I found a remnant — only just a start, really — of a poem that I had begun while my family was staying in someone else’s home as my mother underwent brain surgery, my 24 week preemie sister was struggling for breath, and we were waiting to hear how both of them were doing. I found the beginning while I was cleaning out my closet (’cause you NEVER know what you will find in all those piles of paper =}) and decided to come up with an ending several months ago:
With hands clasped together I kneel down to pray
With tears streaming down — not brushed away.
“Give wisdom, Lord, to know what to do,
Give the faith to take me through
This trial I so timidly face —
Oh! Dear Lord! Please give me grace!
I know not what the hour may hold —
Whatever comes, let me still love You Lord!
While I am sitting here, yielded and still,
Let Your hand subtly work Your will.”
Never in vain is such a prayer said
With heavenly manna my soul will be fed.
My flesh is sore stricken — sore stricken indeed!
My heart is at peace — on Christ will it feed!
My flesh and my heart together will war —
But Christ will soon cause my soul to soar
Above this war torn place of fear
Up on high to my Lord so dear;
To a place so sacred I cannot cry —
Nor fight or murmur, complain nor sigh.
Through this trial, though it seem long
He will cause my faith to grow strong.
He has lessons He would have me know —
Joy will I reap from the pain He does sow.
In part do I see — He sees the whole.
My seeing is finite — He sees my soul.
Away do I shrink — He knows what’s best.
In vain do I fight — He would give rest.
When will I learn that I struggle for naught?
That Christ my dear Master can never be fought?
Man’s thinking is foolish — human wisdom is vain
Only through suffering can I ever gain
A likeness to Christ, an image so rare,
A treasure so sweet — what else can compare?
“Truly dear Lord have Your way and Your will
While I am kneeling — yielded and still.”
Isn’t this true? At the time when we most need to lean on Christ’s sustaining arm is often the time that we try to pull away. When we try to take over because we feel helpless is often when we need to stay quiet and still and let the Lord work for us, on our behalf. When we need to sit quietly and trust Him, resting in His Presence. At least, that is how it is for me. Maybe it is because I am the oldest and used to being in charge, but I find this is true in my life. That I struggle and fight against anything unpleasant because I want to get back into the driver’s seat I relinquished during the smooth times and take over….problem is, I know I would make a bigger mess out of what already appears to be a big mess. Because I can’t envision the end, or what it will teach me, or what will bring the most glory to God.
How thankful I am when the Lord forces me to come face to face with the realization that I am weak and He is strong! That I can’t do it all and that He is more than able to accomplish it. That I can’t see the end from the beginning and He is all knowing and an ever-present help in times of trouble.
Don’t we serve an amazing God?