When God Doesn't Intervene | Lessons From The PICU
“Something’s not right, babe – she’s not herself. We need to go to the hospital now”. Take those words and play them over the frantic tone of a mother’s voice, and you have the perfect recipe for fear and worry. The catalyst for all this commotion? Our beautiful little baby girl, Simone. She had been coughing for what seemed like a lifetime, but it had progressed to shortness of breath accompanied with flaring nostrils signaling severe respiratory distress. What would take place over the course of the next eight days is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy’s child.
Imagine having to hold you daughter down while tubes are being shoved down her nose to the back of her throat. Imagine doing that while trying your best to calm her screams by whispering, “this is for your benefit, baby…”. Imagine uttering those words to an eight-month-old child who can’t understand nor process what’s happening to her. Did I already mention I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy’s child?
As a father, so many emotions ran through my mind this past week. Seeing my daughter – a rambunctious, feisty, happy, slap-you-in-the-face-for-fun type of girl – hooked up to tubes on consistent oxygen support, created the deepest feeling of helplessness I’ve ever experienced. Her body, exhausted from the energy it was using just to breathe, turned my active little pumpkin into a couch potato, unable (unwilling) to move nor eat for at least two to three days.
Moments like this send people of faith in two possible directions – relentless petition or resentful inquiry. The people on either path are aware of one common truth – God is in control. However, one chooses to plea for God’s favor in the midst of His sovereignty, while the other wonders why God’s sovereignty would allow such a thing to happen in the first place. Where did I stand? I’d be lying if I said I resided solely in the former; this experience was an emotional roller coaster to say the least.
God was all over this. Every treatment, every discussion with the doctors and nurses; every visitor who came to show their support. Of all the lessons, this one has stuck with me the most – the absence of God’s intervention is evidence that the trial is necessary.
I can’t speak for her (she can’t speak for herself either), but I can guarantee my daughter wondered, “Why isn’t mommy or daddy stopping this? Don’t they see I’m in pain? Don’t they care for me?” I can also guarantee she didn’t think to herself, “Hmmm, OK, mommy and daddy must believe this is beneficial for me, therefore I’ll endure this trial for the sake of the greater good…”. Why can I make these guarantees? Because no child enjoys pain; not even grown behind children of God like us.
It’s been weeks, months even, and God hasn’t intervened in your situation. You’ve prayed, cried out; you’ve spoken the Word over your life, and you’ve pled the blood of the lamb over your circumstance. Nothing. Not a single watt of light appears to be shining in your direction. What does this mean? Has God abandoned you? Has He turned a blind eye to your plight? Does He have more important fish to fry? Or, does He know something you don’t? Is He aware of a greater good that’ll result from you enduring this season?
Our issue with God is never the question, “Will He…?”, but “When will He…?” You see, our Christian experienced is confound by time, whereas God, the author of time, sees things in ways we can’t find the words to adequately describe. His lack of intervention in our trials should set an alarm off in our spirit; an alarm indicating (1) this circumstance holds something great in its grip, and (2) theneed to shift our mindset from “When will I get out of this?” to “What can I get out of this?”
My baby girl had no clue what those tubes were for; she couldn’t assess the need for the constant flow of oxygen coursing through her nose. She had no idea what the purpose of those sticky things on her chest were; nor did she understand why the doctors kept pricking her beautiful little body. But you know what? She’s home now and she’s better. She’s laughing, slapping me and my wife in the face and smiling about it (not for long, though, fam – she’s strong), and most importantly – she’s eating.
Thank God my daughter, unlike most of us, didn’t have the ability to refuse treatment. Thank God she was too young for consent, and subject to mommy and daddy’s care. Why? Because though this past week was the most gut-wrenching experience as parents, my wife and I made sure our baby girl endured; it was the very thing that saved her life.
We, too, must make the choice to endure, regardless of the discomfort. If we choose to refuse the treatment presenting itself in the form of a trial, we may never receive the healing, breakthrough, growth – you name it – that the Lord has prepared for us.
God bless you...