Life In Focus: Six Thoughts From My Week as a Father

lifeinfocus

I’m tired. To say anything else would be a lie. But I’ve never experienced the love I’m experiencing at this very moment. Last Monday, March 9th at 11:23, my beautiful firstborn baby daughter Addison Drew was born into this world and needless to say, momma and I were ecstatic! After nearly 10 months (cause let’s face it, its TEN not nine) of anxiously awaiting her arrival, we were finally getting the chance to meet this beautiful baby girl that we had prayed for and prepared for!

But it didn’t go as planned.

Addi came at 11:23pm and by 11:24 pm she was in the resuscitation room receiving breathing treatments. After a few minutes I was invited back to look at my beautiful baby girl, fresh in the world, pale as all get-out and very still. While something in me was worried, there was a greater sense that all was right and would be so.

“You can touch her, dad. She’s yours.”

“Are you sure about that?” Babies seem very fragile when you’ve never had one, afterall. But touch her I did, and I took pictures of her, and smiled over her. My first moment of joy as a father was crowded out by two specific thoughts however:

  1. I got to see her before Evelyn. (This made me sad.)
  2. Why is she back here?

After the Doctor explained to me that her lungs weren’t functioning properly and that she’d have to be taken to the NICU to be treated for premature complications, I was a little bummed but hopeful. I walked back to the Post-Op room and waited on Evelyn to come back and after an hour and a half or so, learned she was losing blood, significantly. It wasn’t until the next morning that I learned she had lost half her blood. The doctors and staff rushed to her side and spent an hour working on her as I watched her complexion turn cold white and prayed earnestly that God would intervene and I wouldn’t lose her. After they wheeled Addi back to the NICU I proceeded to stay by Evelyn’s side and just rub my forehead and try not to worry.

By the grace of God, after an hour of procedure, a very nice doctor came to visit with myself and my mother-in-law and informed us that Evelyn was stable and should be okay.

People always tell you the joy of seeing your baby for the first time. That there’s this unique ecstasy that happens when you lock eyes with your little loved one and all else in the world seems to drift away. I finally had that experience some days later, but the night of my daughter’s birth I was on an emotional roller-coaster experiencing the highs of joy, sorrow, confidence, fear, trust, and doubt. As I weeped in the room next to my beautiful bride and pleaded with God to act swiftly, I began to ponder life, and I’ve since come to a few conclusions about what Life is in a way I’ve never known.

  1. Life is Fragile

The Vast majority of us live our lives with the subtle presupposition that we are bulletproof. That is, that we cannot die, will not cease to exist, and will not experience harm. It’s a rare thing to find someone who prays every morning without fail, because it’s a rare thing to find someone truly humble before the Lord, numbering their days and focusing on the gift of life in every moment. We are fickle human beings who take for granted our wives, husbands, children, friends, family and even co-workers, understanding that they will be there tomorrow.

I know this because I’m one of these people. And in a moment of great fear, watching my wife battle for her blood and quite literally for her life, I finally settled: Life is Fragile.

  1. Life is Precious

People wander throughout life not understanding their significance. It seems that in the everyday and mundane, we lose sight of the fact that God himself chose to set his treasure in our broken bodies, our jars of clay, to reveal himself to others. Life has an intrinsic value that cannot be underestimated, nor overlooked, but we sure do a great job of it. Every twenty seconds a baby is murdered in his mother’s womb because of convenience, we’re told from day one in science classes now we originated from a bunch of apes over the process of a gazillion years, and at the end of the day we feel like it. Just a bunch of people doing random things. But it’s a lie. As I held My baby I realized, she doesn’t have to do one thing for me and I love her because of WHO SHE IS and NOT what she does. Why? Because she’s alive. Because life is precious. So as you go about your daily chores, work the same job, take care of the same kids, wear the same clothes, eat the same meals, and do the same things, remember this: Life is precious.

  1. Life is small

Though it may seem to undermine the previous point, we must understand life is small. There’s 8,000,000,000 people on the planet. And there is us. We could disappear tomorrow and the world would continue to turn. This doesn’t undo the fact that our lives are precious, but it underscores the fact that we are very small, dust in the wind, and our need for the blood of Jesus Christ is very real and very present. There is nothing special about the space of earth that we occupy and this fallen earth that we inherited from our ancestors could take it’s toll on us at any moment for the worse. Now our immediate temptation is to make what we would call “A Big Difference,” when the exact opposite is the pathway to success. If you watch the lives of the greatest celebrities deteriorate, you begin to find that those who reach the most, may be the ones that leave the least. On the other hand, if you watch a father – a real father, who recognizes his size in comparison with the earth, and embraces it, and lives small (raising children, loving his wife, serving in his church, sharing the gospel, enjoying his friends, and enjoying his grandchildren) you find that those who embrace the least, leave behind the most. It seems the only way to understanding how precious we truly are in God’s sight and the difference we can make is to understand the exact opposite is true as well: Life is Small.

  1. Life is Short

James 4:14 tell us that our lives are like a vapor; here one day and gone the next. This fact reminds us that our time here on earth is short. Very short. Like I’m a dad and just yesterday I was clinging to my mother playing drums and eating after-school snacks short. This reality forces us into one of two camps:

The first is the party camp. This is the camp that chants “Drink, be merriful, tomorrow we die! Live it up! Do whatever you want! Life is short!” (1st Cor. 15:30-34) This camp seems to have the truth but in time will look over their life and realize they left no mark and no legacy. They only existed, and very foolishly at that. Death will come to their door, and all that they will have to show is their own empires which will dissolve like snow.

The Second is the legacy camp. This is the camp that enjoys the small things and refuses to sacrifice their impact on the next generation, even at the expense of instant gratification, knowing that the ultimate gratification is looking back on life as you near the end and knowing you left a mark, you passed a torch, you brought forth life, you are leaving something behind.

Which Camp are you in? I suppose it’s a question you should ask, but as you make your choice always be swift to consider this fact: Life is short.

  1. Life is Living

This one just cannot be ignored. Life is more than breathing air and existing. Life is living. And living is totally under-appreciated! In the moment of dread that fateful night, I began to ask myself, If something were to happen to my family today, could I truthfully say I left it all on the field? Did I hug them enough? Kiss them enough? Tell them I love them? Spend time with them? Watch movies with them? Pray with them? Eat with them? Laugh with them? Love them? Serve them? Submit to them? Give to them? Fight for them?!?!? Did I?

Or did we just exist together?

You will never get a chance to hug a memory of someone. So lock arms with them today! Don’t sit on the sideline. Get up, move, and live the life God has given you to live!    Just Remember: Life is Living.

  1. Life is Eternal

The only thing that gives us hope in this world is that Jesus Christ himself rose from the dead, which means you and I get to as well. However, that resurrection depends on the Spiritual rebirth that you and I so badly need to counteract the sin virus we inherited. It’s time to come to grips with the truth because the truth shall set you free.

Truth: Heaven is real. Hell is real. Death is real. The resurrection is real. Christ is real. His judgement seat is real. His guest list is real. And so is your name.

Is it on it?

The question of Eternal life is one of eternal salvation. If life truly is short, truly is precious, truly is small, truly is fragile and truly is living, we must decide rather firmly how we are going to spend it after death. Seventy years isn’t even a speck in the sight of *Never going to die.* Let me be clear in this blog post: Don’t spend eternity in Hell. Spend it in Heaven. But don’t sign up for fire insurance. Come to Jesus. The true Jesus who gives you life and love and everlasting joy!

Because in Him, Life is Big, Life is beautiful, Life is unbreakable, Life is everlasting, Life never stops living.

Make your decision, but always remember: Life is Eternal.

For me, Life has changed for the best. And I aim to enjoy it. I pray that God would grant me grace to always view life in focus.

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