Friday, May 10, 2024

With Us In the Boat

By: Lauren Thomas 

It was a day that could have melted into the blur of all those many days in the NICU. Instead, it turned out to be one of the scarier ones. 

My 24 weeker was about two weeks old. He was intubated due to his underdeveloped lungs. That day, the white board in his room recorded his weight: a whopping 1 lb. 12 oz. He was lying on my chest, skin to skin, peacefully sleeping. But he began making strange sounds. I wasn’t sure what to do, having little experience in the NICU and being nervous about all the wires and tubes connected to his frail body. I couldn’t reach the nurse call button. What was there to do, but pray?


As I began to pray, I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Jesus is in your boat.” 

Suddenly, my baby’s nurse and a nurse practitioner walked in – for an unrelated reason. I told them my concern. They immediately started working. They moved him off my chest and called a “code NEO.” A blue light started flashing on the hall and an alarm sounded. Nurses and staff flooded in as I was ushered out of the room. 


For what seemed like forever, I watched and waited, not knowing what was happening, not knowing how serious this was. 


My baby’s breathing tube had backed out of his lungs. The tube he needed in order to breathe was not giving him the oxygen he needed.


It took some time for the team to intubate him again. While I waited outside of the room, nurses kept reassuring me that everything would be okay, noting that all his numbers were great! After the ordeal, the nurse practitioner told me that she was surprised at how stable his oxygen and heart rate had remained during the situation. 


There is a Biblical account in which the disciples were panicked by a sudden storm. Meanwhile Jesus was sleeping peacefully in the boat with them. The disciples woke Jesus, and Jesus rebuked the storm. This signaled his power, but also his personal concern for his friends. 


24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Matthew 8:24-27 ESV


Through our storm that day, I was concerned. Worried. Afraid. But I also had an unexplainable sense that Jesus was with us, and that we would weather this storm together.


I didn’t know then just how many storms I would weather through the next months with our baby. Yet, what was true then is true now: Jesus is in the board with us.


And I know He is in your boat too.



What storms do you find yourself in lately?

It’s time to stop trying to sail on your own. Ask Jesus for help.

Imagine how Jesus will respond. Could it be that Jesus’ response in the Matthew version of this account had more to do with the disciples’ delay in waking him, and less to do with their lack of faith?

Know that Jesus is powerful and personal. He’s with you in the boat. 

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