I was at home this weekend, and my mom told me a story that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. Brace yourself, it’s a bit heart-wrenching.
My great aunt had been in the ER, and my mom’s cousin was with her. She told my mom it was a kind of hectic day at the hospital, and started telling her about a baby that was in the ER. She said that they would hear cries, and then it would go quiet, and then they would hear cries, and it would go quiet again. All she could tell was that they were obviously trying to revive this baby. My mom happens to have a friend who works in the ER, so a few days later she asked what had happened.
The baby had aspirated and wasn’t breathing. It had been in its dad’s care, so the mom was not even at the hospital yet. They were trying and trying to keep the baby breathing, but were starting to lose hope of it making it. What happened next is so interesting. Right when they thought they were losing the baby, its mom came running into the hospital, screaming, “Where is my baby! Where is my baby!”
And at the sound of its mother’s voice, the first cries of the baby since it had arrived at the hospital came out. As soon as mom was there, the doctors were hopeful that her baby would make it. Something in her voice gave her baby the strength to fight back.
I wish there was a happy ending, but what actually happened is that the baby was life flighted to Texas Children’s, and as soon as it was on the helicopter and away from mom’s voice, they lost it.
Wow. The literal power of life in the voice of a parent.
And this is kind of how we are with God, I think. When there’s a lack of hearing his voice in our life, we flat-line. Life happens and we get separated and we start to drown in our own junk. Last week I had some flat-lining moments. I was out of my routine, on spring break and life was hectic because I was working full-time. It was lonely because most of my friends were gone. I was, if I’m being honest, a little bit frustrated and even bitter that I didn’t get the break I felt entitled to. So I slacked on pressing in to God, and I stopped posturing my heart and my ears to hear Him clearly.
When we stop listening for His voice, we flat-line. And just like that baby, finally we reach such a place of desperation that it takes his screaming of, “where is my baby?” to draw us back to life with Him again. Reminds me of the first question God ever asks man. “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)
We were never made to be apart from communion with Him. We were never meant to be away from such an intimacy that we hear His voice constantly. We were always meant to abide in Him. But a long time ago, the enemy started making man believe that God wasn’t a man of his word, so we stopped listening and started hiding when things got hard.
And every day, I have to make a decision to abide instead of hide. Because away from Him, I lose the sound of His voice, and I’m setting myself up to partner with the enemy. To partner with death. I’m setting myself up to flat-line when I cut myself off from hearing His voice.