The 8 year old boy pictured here with me has probably come closer to death more times than most people reading this post combined. He has had nearly twice as many major surgeries than he has had birthdays beginning with his first, basically an exploratory open-heart surgery at 6 days old, and has averaged 30 nights per year hospitalized since then, mostly due to life-threatening illnesses. During those 8 years I have sat many of day in ICU waiting rooms beside parents who lost children, mostly to what appeared to be much less serious illnesses than what Caden battled while we got to take Caden home. Would I like to do something? Yes! Could I really do anything in the heat of the moment to help the next parent take their child home alive? NO, but now learned over time that I do try to help them prepare for the seriousness of the situation! More on that in a minute. But in the moment there is little than can be said or done to comfort these parents. They are experiencing a grief like most of us have never had to face and prayerfully will not have to face. So what can be done RIGHT NOW?
What we need to do right now is to quietly love on these people who have lost loved ones… especially those parents who have lost a young child.
How you might ask? In my opinion we should start by doing what Job’s friends did at first. They got things right with their initial response to Job’s grief in my opinion. They sat with him without saying a word for seven days and seven nights. There is nothing we can do or say for those hurting right now. Reference: Job 2:13
Am I saying that I am opposed to talking about new gun laws? NO!!! What I am opposed to is talking seriously about new gun laws in the heat of the moment…just as much as I am opposed to talking new laws governing surgeries or ICU procedures before the parents sitting next to me at a children’s hospital have even had a chance to bury their child. I believe we should step back and take a deep breath and realize that this time should not be about trying to fix anything, but simply being there for those who hurt so bad…while we still get to tuck in our kids or other loved ones safely tonight. Getting you and your family right with God, understanding and accepting Jesus’ gift of eternal life through salvation, is the most important thing you can do, especially given the increased frequency of events like this one at the Sandy Hook school in CT. There is NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW for our family than understanding, accepting, and sharing the message of God’s gift of salvation.
For several years now I have been able to hand off my son to a surgeon or ICU nurse without an overwhelming fear of losing him because of the peace I have. My wife and I get asked often when our son Caden is facing a very serious condition or surgery, “How do you do it?” (remain so calm and peaceful) It is not easy or simple and I am completely convenced that our ability to handle life threaten situations with our son is not within our own power. As said so plainly by Dr. Charleston Stanley, “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”
If you want to have that peace then I am happy to share how I got it. The peace did not come immediately or easily. But it came painfully over a period of years by watching others lose kids and by facing very tough odds of survival with my own child. All this while becoming increasingly convinced that we are not in control of everything no matter how much we would like to be. So we and our children should be focused on what does matter most and what we can control. Those two things are one in the same. We can control whether or not we accept God’s gift of salvation. Podcast episode 19 outlines a pretty good understanding of God’s gift of salvation which is the first step I took towards a peace when facing death. Ephesians 2:8-9 There is more to it, but that is the most significant step you have to take first. I’ll share more on my journey to peace at a later time.
Please pray for peace and comfort for the families as they grieve. Don’t try to do something, because there really is not much a stranger can do at this time other than to lift these hurting people up to the Lord in prayer. None of us will be able to understand why all these terrible things happen in this life. I am certain that God will use these things for the good of those who put their trust in Him. Reference: Romans 8:28 In the meantime, realize how precious of a gift you have to spend another moment with your loved ones and make the most of it.
The Father’s Mandate is a great place to start with the most important mandate being the last one. I share my implementation of the Father’s Mandate in Episodes 12-19 of the Daddy Life Podcast. All episodes can be found on iTunes. Love your children now. Share God’s word with them and teach them the importance of knowing and accepting God’s greatest gift, eternal life through salvation.
May God Bless You and Yours!!!