Within three hours of Caleb’s birth, the Navy pediatrician arrived at the NICU and without even looking at me, commenced setting up his equipment and conducting Caleb’s first—first of hundreds—echocardiogram. I felt so alone in this vast room with dozens of blue and green scrub-clad people buzzing about. Many crowded around to stare intently at the monitor. It seemed I was the only one who saw nothing other than a snowy, random haze on the TV-like screen.
For what seemed like hours, all eyes followed the painstaking progress of the doctor as he moved the echo probe back and forth, back and forth, over little Caleb’s tiny chest. I mused they’d need to use lotion to help heal the chafing his instrument was sure to induce on this child’s tender chest by his incessant back and forth, back and forth movement. I wondered how many times he could run back and forth over the very same few inches of my son’s chest.
Since I was unable to make sense out of the fuzzy black and white clouds on the monitor, I tried to read the expressions of the poker-faced doctors. I nervously shifted my weight back and forth from foot to foot, afraid my sighs of anxiety and fatigue would distract the doctors who continued to intently stare at the messageless screen, searching for something that wasn’t there. Finally, well beyond the time I could bear, the doctor completed his examination and handed the equipment to the medical technician for clean up.
Without looking my direction, the doctor slowly moved away from the echocardiogram equipment and motioned for me to follow him to a spot strangely out of hearing range of “the baby.” The deliberate but grave tone with which the doctor began his words sent chills down my spine. As I braced myself for the mind numbing news I anticipated, I feared my legs would not hold me.
What do you do when it seems your whole world is caving in? To what can you cling when the waters are nearly over your head and you can barely take a breath? At times such as those you find out if you are anchored or drifting. I know of no anchor like the Rock of Ages that Luther described as “A mighty fortress…” The Psalmist likewise described his anchor, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge…” Psalms 18:21
The oftentimes never ending trials of life can be overwhelming without a bulwark of defense to which to run and find refuge. Where do you run when plagued and overwhelmed with trouble? When your whole world is shaken to the breaking point—when trouble comes your way—do you find yourself anchored? Are you anchored to the Rock of Ages?