Job 12:10

Job 12:10 (ESV)

In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

Working in the ICU has forced me to face the fine line between life and death. The first few encounters with losing patients was difficult. I would lie if I said I was okay and accepted it because that is the way of life. It hurt so badly to think of what the family felt; the pain, the grief, the finality of death. I have personally experienced those feelings, maybe too much at a young age, and my heart ached for those families.

As I have said, it has been two years now in the ICU. Why am I still here? My family and friends ask me this every time I am upset about losing someone. It’s a good question. Why would anyone put themselves, voluntarily, in that kind of environment?

Through the tears and stress, I have found a better strength in my faith to God. Sounds cliche right? We call upon Him in times of stress, not peace. Maybe it is cliche and predictable, but with Him I am still in the ICU, playing with medications and monitors. Prior to being a nurse, I said, “God determines when it is your time to be with Him.” Sure, I said it; I’m not sure if I really believed it. Maybe if I said it enough I would believe it. I lost people close to me too soon as I thought. How could a loving God make me hurt so much? It was confusing, and I was naive.

God does work in mysterious ways, and we as unknowing humans will never understand exactly why. However, I do theorize that if I hadn’t personally experienced death and grieving, I would barely be able to relate to my patients and families. That hug and those futile words of encouragement would have been semi-empty. Now, more than ever, I put my faith in God.  He does work in mysterious ways, and His hand is the life of every living thing. That is how I keep my sanity; that is why I am still an ICU nurse.

2 thoughts on “Job 12:10

  1. Jesse

    “Unknowing humans” have made remarkable strides in becoming…well, more knowing. It is only that which we do not understand that we call god. At first god(s) were nearly everything. As we have learned more and more, god has been forced to retreat again and again. Now of course we know that rather than humans having dominion over the world, it is the world and its tiniest inhabitants that hold dominion over us. This gradual advance of knowledge that has allowed the life-saving science you practice to be honed has been opposed by religion at every opportunity. If our faith should truly be only in god, life and death being only by his design, then why not simply pray for your patients or even do nothing at all? Why involve the medicines and treatments and procedures that science and the human drive for understanding have afforded us? If god wishes the patient to live than surely they will live, and if not then surely they will die the death that god has set out for them.

    Your intelligence and hard work deserve more credit than this. It is precisely because it is only up to us to care for each other and further humankind, not any god, that your actions are so important. You have excelled at what you do because of your empathy, intelligence, drive, and passion–not the designs of some celestial dictator.

  2. Susie

    I’m definitely not saying the practice of medicine is absurd, and we should cease to further our knowledge in it. I’d be out of a job, and my $90,000 college education would be swirling down the drain, along with my credit rating. However, as much as we humans do to try to salvage and save lives, there is an unknown factor which we will NEVER fully understand: God. And I’m not intending to make God the substitute for which we do not know. For centuries, some scientists and members of the Church have used God to explain what they did not know, but as time progressed, we managed to stumble upon what we think of as the truth.

    I’ve worked on people long and hard throughout the night with the adrenaline going, fearful any moment could mean failure or hopeful any moment I could see a glimmer of hope. Some people have made full recoveries, some people find themselves living the best life they can in a nursing home, and some will face their time to meet their maker. I’m sure you could make hypotheses as to why some fully recover and some die based upon lifestyle, genetic predisposition, age, gender, etc.; however, sometimes there is no rhyme or reason at all. If it’s your time, it’s your time.

    I appreciate your feedback and point of view. My intentions are not to raise unhealthy controversy, and it is always enlightening to see differing points of view. You will disagree with me, but that is okay. I do not wish to sway you because then it wouldn’t be you. Faith is a very strong subject and am not willing to debate it to the death! Rawr! Thanks for the comment!

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