Intensive Care Unit … By Cheley McDowell

ICU is not a desired destination at anytime in life, but especially since the invasion of the pandemic.  Visitors have been restricted from seeing their loved ones in the ICU since everything started shutting down in mid-March.  This restriction infringed on my family’s connectedness on May 3rd when my dad was taken by an ambulance to the hospital for an emergency surgery.  After 42 days of not being by my dad’s side, not being an immediate advocate for his care, not being a familiar voice in his ear, my mom, my sister, and I were granted permission to spend an hour in ICU with him this past Sunday afternoon.  What a wonderful answer to prayer, and it brought joy to our hearts to see him in person!

The acronym ICU has rolled off my tongue in conversation and prayer recently more than ever before, and the Lord has impressed upon my mind the reality that everyone is living under His intensive care.  Revelations 4:11 reminds us “for you (God) created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”  We have our “being” because God grants it.  Moses and Aaron described God as “the God who gives breath to all living things” (Numbers 16:22).  Because of God’s intensive care for His creation, we have breath and life.  Just as my dad’s life is under the careful watch of a critical care team, we are under the careful watch of Our Creator.  According to His own will, God grants all creatures their being, involves Himself in all events, and directs all things to their appointed end.  God is completely in charge of His world.  His hand may be hidden, but His perfect rule extends to all things.  We often move through life believing we are in charge when in reality every breath we inhale, every heart beat that pulses, every neuron firing across a synapsis is completely controlled by Our Creator.  Christians are never in the grip of blind fortune, chance, luck, or fate.  All that happens to believers is divinely planned, and each event comes as a new summons to trust, obey, and rejoice, knowing that everything is for one’s spiritual and eternal good.  It might appear that my dad is less “stable” than I am when it comes to vitality, strength, and longevity; however, God’s sure hand is no less in control of his breaths than those you and I breathe.

Acknowledging God as the giver and sustainer of all life should lead us to then surrender to His Lordship over the intimate details of our lives as well.  Timothy Keller reminds us we live in a culture that demands that we cede authority over ourselves to no one.  Yet it would violate God’s glory and our nature to not give Him Lordship over our lives. Henceforth may we willingly obey whatever He asks and accept whatever he sends, whether we understand it or not.