Surrounded by miracles, I feel hushed and hesitant to even breathe for fear that I might somehow break the tenuous thread of life… So small… these babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, many only 20-some weeks when they entered this world.
Frail, fragile, yet fiercely fighting for freedom…
At this age many cannot effectively breathe on their own because their lungs are under-developed, and their hearts cannot pump effectively enough… this necessitates the need for multiple IV's, oxygen, and other types of tubes and monitors.
Helpless, vulnerable, and completely dependent they have two options; to tenaciously fight for life, or to give up and die. Thankfully, God has installed an instinctive desire to live within our human genes – to strive for life with every fiber of our being.
As I observe one tiny girl, who has recently reached 100 days old, my heart twists with concern – she has to fight for every single breath she takes. Fervently I wish that I could somehow share my life with her so that she could breath easier and rest. As I watched her, God brought the orphan story from Ezekiel to my mind.
God explained His loving care for Israel by saying that He had found her – a discarded orphan in an empty field, "And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' Yes, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!'"
Our human plight becomes more obvious to me as I care for the infants… we are helpless, vulnerable, and completely dependent - with only two options; life or death. God alone can breathe life into our fragile existence, steady our fluttering hearts, and nourish our souls. As He does, we flourish into the realization of the reality of His dreams come true in our lives. "I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful."
There are not a lot of procedures that I am allowed to do as a student nurse on such a specialized floor, so one of the nurses instructs me to try to quiet one of the fussy babies. Although this little one has improved a lot and will be able to go home soon, he is still is perhaps only 4-5 pounds - so tiny… taking him in my arms he quiets down.
The nurses are so busy they don't have time to rock him, and he just needs to be held.
So many people are alone, and those of us around them too easily miss the loneliness because it is camouflaged by layers of business, complicated schedules, emotional facades of all kinds, and sometimes just because we choose not to see it.
Hands hardly bigger then the end of my thumb, so perfectly formed… how innocent this sleeping child is. My thoughts swirl in wonderment of God's creativity, and my heart trembles for what the world may do to him… What will his home be like? How will his friends influence his life? Will he be taught to love or to hate? Who will show Him Jesus? As these questions and all their possible outcomes begin to torment my mind, I recognize that there are only two things I can do; pray, and hold him.
So I pray that God will guide and protect every step of this boys' life, that he will come to know Jesus as his personal Savior, that he will cling to truth with the same tenacity he has for life, and that he will become a man of God. But even deeper then these wishes, I pray that no matter what turns his life may take or what failures he may face, that someday I will meet him in heaven.
"Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you… Then you shall know that I am the Lord" Ezekiel 16:60, 62
And I hold him... cuddled close into the warmth of my arms, and wish for a pair a little wings that would carry him above the storms of life…
Do you feel helpless, vulnerable, and as if you must fight for each breath? Or do you feel alone, misunderstood, and confused about this often-cold world?
Listen closely to Gods' heart as He thinks of us; "I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love… How can I give you up? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely… (I am) with you, (I am) mighty to save, (I) will take great delight in you, (I) will quiet you with (My) love, (I) will rejoice over you with singing." Ezekiel, Hosea, Zephaniah
Please let Him cradle your heart close, let Him remind you of your identity in Him, and relish the warmth of His love. Then as we grow in His love He will teach us how to hold others, and through our hands life can be shared.