As I sat and watched the ventilator breathe for my son Corey, I felt questions about my faith emerge. Fear mingled with doubt and became a poisonous concoction injecting itself into my mind. While people had regularly commended me for my faith going through this ordeal, here sitting in my son’s ICU room in the middle of the night, my heart was weary. Doubt in my own ability to maintain my faith dripped slowly into to core of my being.
I prayed. “God, give me faith!”
I watched the ventilator carefully. Thin red and yellow lines continued in a rhythmic pattern across the screen. Red lines indicated the breaths the machine took for my son. Yellow lines showed his own breaths. The pulmonologist had explained to me that the machine was not only breathing for Corey, but was also infusing his own breaths. If at any point Corey would stop breathing, the ventilator would take over, never leaving him without oxygen. In order to be taken off the ventilator, yellow lines needed to replace the red ones permanently. He needed to “breathe over the ventilator”. I looked intently at the screen, trying to catch even the tiniest glimpse of the healing process of my son’s lungs.
I felt the Spirit move in my heart. Maybe, I was in need of “ventilator faith”. My ordinary life, with all its provisions does not usually require deep faith. I breathe through life, taking many things for granted. However, on occasion my faith gets tested. In my struggle, I become utterly dependent on God to provide even the smallest faith-breaths. As the author and perfecter of my faith, Jesus is the One who is faithful. He never leaves nor forsakes me. Like a ventilator, He grows me stronger with each breath as He Himself infuses it with His power. I have but to be still, cease striving and know that He is God. He loves me and restores my life and faith. In all my doubts and fears, in times when faith, like breath, is hard to come by, He is utterly faithful. He makes me whole as He breathes His faith into my life. I continue to grow stronger- from breath to breath and faith to faith. Each trial is designed to grow me in perseverance, steadfastness and faith.
“God, give me ventilator-faith!
Help me rely on you when I can’t rely on myself.
Help me to see that you are the ONE giving me
Life and Breath
and everything else,
in Jesus Christ.”