Praise The Risen Lord
Natalie and I have struggled these past few weeks and warred with anger over our circumstances. We have been angry, sad, happy, stressed, fearful, and many many more emotions. We have struggled with distrust of God, we have struggled with anger at God, and at times anger in general. It seems unfair that Ethan has had bowel surgery not even 24 hours after birth then in the NICU for 3 weeks; Open Heart surgery and in the CVICU for 1 week; and now the Flu intubated (on a ventilator) for 4 weeks with a total stay in PICU for 4 and half weeks.
All these things have caused me to lash out at God, fall flat on my face, and get up swinging time and again. This is the response that I have when things don’t go as I expect. Even in the worst of it all I was reminded that while yes things are bad it could always be worse, much much worse. We could have lost Ethan. We could have been deprived of the experience of feeling God’s sovereign hand in the events leading up to Ethan’s life, we could have missed out on all the encouragement, love, kindness, and grace from all the family, friends, and even people we don’t even know. We could have missed out or been overlooked by God in experiencing the blessing that Ethan has been to our family. We could have missed out on so much more than we ever could have imagined.
We hate the pain that Ethan has had to go through. As a Father I look on the events of Easter with a new perspective. I have seen my child suffer. I have seen my precious, perfect, innocent child suffer pain, sickness, and hurt that I couldn’t and can’t take away. How much more was the pain of God looking down on Jesus as His precious, innocent, perfect, sinless child was beaten, flesh ripped from bone, mutilated, spat on, and mocked for hours. How God had to sit back watching Jesus slowly, agonizingly walk the hill to his death. With the weight of the world, and the cross on his shoulder. To watch his perfect, sinless son become sin so that I don’t have to take the blame for my sin. I don’t have to take the punishment for my sin all because God WATCHED His son die, and at the last moment when His son was hurting the worst, dying, God had to turn away because in that moment God’s son became our sin. How much worse is our Father’s pain in seeing this? I ask myself this all the time. Everytime I mess up, every time I fall flat on my face, every time I lash out in anger, every time I fail to see God’s hand at work, every time I turn away from an opportunity to share Jesus and what he did I am reminded that God watched from afar the mutilation of his son. He watched so I can boldly approach His throne and be heard.
What arrogance I have to think I have a right to anything, let alone to feel sorry for myself or anger at God for what has happened!
I don’t say any of this to beat myself up, rather this is my turning point, this is my reflection. This is what keeps me zeroed in on God’s plan for my life. I have a better understanding of what God my Father has been through in seeing His Son suffer, and this helps me understand that God doesn’t want me to suffer. That even though yes this is a hard time, it is a hard time that is bringing glory to Him! My words run dry when I reflect back on what some would characterize as “The absolute worst thing that could happen” and see it as the most amazing and beneficial thing to my life, and marriage.
God has taken what some see as a travesty and turned it to the deepest blessing that I have ever experienced. Yes it hurts walking through the fire, but when you are on the other side you look back and see the sea of gold you passed through to get to the other side. I am so blessed. I can not express in words what all this experience means to me. Through all this I have seen my precious boy’s life touch so many that I don’t even know. I get messages on occasion from people I have met years ago, or friends I don’t even know. Natalie and I prayed that Ethan’s life would be used to touch others, we had no idea that this is what God intended, but we would not change a thing.
I don’t believe that things just happen. There is a reason for everything, there is a reason for Ethan’s tough and at times painful life. I am blessed to get to love him through it. I am blessed to see the love in his eyes, and the joy in his heart. Natalie and I are beyond blessed with our boy.
Ethan continues to do well. He has gone from near death, please make no mistake there were times when I was scared that Ethan was not going to make it through this and times that he nearly didn’t, to a somewhat rapid road to recovery. We are most likely just days away from getting to go home. Ethan is on 1/2 liter of oxygen which is next to nothing. He is getting a swallow study done tomorrow to evaluate whether he can start bottle feeding, and are weaning his ativan and methadone to off once all this happens we are almost home!!!! So hopefully just a few days left!
Please pray that Ethan can come off his oxygen in the next day or two, and passes his swallow evaluation tomorrow.
Please pray for restful nights for Ethan and us at the hospital. Ethan was up all night last night and Natalie got 0 sleep. So please pray that he starts sleeping through the night again.
I am sorry for my arrogance, I am sorry for my sin, and I am sorry for my anger. Father please continue to use Natalie, Me, and Ethan to bring glory and honor to your name. Let us be used by you. There is no greater purpose or feeling than being chosen to serve you. Lord I thank you for the sacrifice you allowed your Son to make some 2000ish years ago. Thank you for that sacrifice and thank you for that love you have shown. I am beyond grateful and hope that my life will in some way make you happy!
Thank you so much for all you have done for my family. You truly are an ever faithful God!
By: Ryan aka Ethan’s Daddy