Hope From the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Little Isaiah Daniel Ortlund, our ninth grandchild, was born full term, but very small and with a blood sugar problem. He needed to spend seven long days in the neonatal intensive care unit.
What a hard time that was for his parents. Short visits to touch and talk with him. Trying to hold him with all the machine hook-ups and the IVs and the pic line up through his tiny arm and into his chest. Gavin and Esther going home empty-armed each night and hurrying back the following day to see how their son was doing.
Now, it wasn’t that Isaiah didn’t receive good care there. The staff was fabulous, meeting his every need. They took extra effort to help Esther and Gavin bond with their son. But we all knew this wasn’t Isaiah’s real home. He just needed more time before he was free to come home with them.
What a happy evening it was when he was finally released to come home! Home to his bright and engaging nursery, so lovingly prepared by his mother. Home to a clean house and new clothes just for him. How she worked to prepare just the right place for their baby. And how joyfully she and Gavin welcomed him into the room they had prepared for their son.
Do you know that Jesus is preparing a place for you?
Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:1–2)
Some of you may feel like you are in intensive care right now. You may be in pain or depression or financial distress or emotional turmoil. You need others to care for you. You know Jesus is there, but not up close the way you want Him to be. There are “tubes and machines” separating you. It doesn’t feel right. You are longing for something more permanent, more intimate, more "this-is-what-I've-always-wanted."
Don’t lose hope. This world is not your final home. Jesus is preparing a place for you, a “room” with you in mind. And someday you will be released from your intensive care unit to go home with Jesus, never to be separated.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:3).
Some day you will be home, really home. Let’s be sure to pay each other a visit!