Today was the first time that Rylee opened her eyes and began looking around. When I spoke to her she responded by looking up at me as if she knew me. This was a wonderful moment, but also a very difficult one. I knew Rylee was hurting and I saw her struggling to breathe. I would do anything to take her place, but I couldn't.
Then I had this thought: there are many people in life that don't believe in God or see God as an impersonal force in the universe. There are also people that believe in God but they don't believe he is loving. If you fit into one of these categories, consider this: humans are flawed, imperfect creatures, capable of awful crimes. Some have said we are the only species that destroy our own. Yet, even with such a terrible record, a stunning characteristic remains. This characteristic can be described like this: today, I wanted to take my suffering child's place.
Some may try to postulate a naturalistic explanation, but there is none. Why would a fully grown man with a wonderful wife, great job, good friends, nice house, who is very happy, stable and doing good things in the world ever want to give up his life for a helpless baby that has accomplished absolutely nothing in life? It's absurd! Yet, there I stood ready to take her place. It defies human logic and naturalistic explanation. However, it bears every evidence of a divine touch.
There was a time when God looked down upon the terrible condition of the human race. He looked down and was grieved at what we had become. But was God unable to act? No! He did exactly what I wanted to do for my little girl but couldn't. Why is it so hard to imagine that an infinite God could take on human flesh and bear the sins of the entire world? It wasn't hard for me to imagine taking my little girl's place there in the bed. If we had the technology I would have done it. You see, within our very being there lies the mark of this divine truth: that God himself took our place; he suffered so we could be free.
If I could take my baby girl's place of suffering, I would. Why, then, is it so hard for us to believe that God would not do the same for us? Am I capable of loving more than God?
What an incredible evidence of the reality of God and his sacrificial love. Maybe this helpless little baby has accomplished something remarkable after all.
Today - Wednesday, July 14th, 2010:
We're going home! Rylee has progressed so much better than the drs anticipated that they are discharging her at 2:00pm this Wednesday, July 14th... that's just 2 days shy of one month since she first went into the NICU at Loma Linda. Jess and I have learned so many wonderful lessons throughout this journey. And it has also been made abundantely clear to us that we have such a tremendous family of believers that have been willing to travel this journey alongside us - not physically for many, but they have traveled alongside us on their knees. Oh, what tremendous value it is to be surrounded by people that have access to the throne room of God himself! And thank you again to those who have given financially to help us cover some of our lodging, food, and medical costs throughout this time. God has supplied all our needs and we are so very grateful. We are looking forward to showing off our little Rylee Anne to you all as soon as we are able. Please enjoy the little slidshow/movie I put together. Our deepest love and gratitude to you all.