Beyond our Expectations (Reflections on Easter)

    Last year at this time, life was moving right along rather nicely. And then our world was turned upside down. Our son, who looked beautiful and perfectly healthy in the ultrasound a few weeks prior, had to be delivered four months early. He was two days short of the age of viability. I remember praying that he would survive until Easter. I prayed that because I wanted to point to the fact that if He was still alive it was because Jesus Christ is alive. At four days old, the doctors told us that death was certain for Pierce. His heart had stopped a couple of times and the doctors were sure that soon it would stop for good. Without hesitating, they gave Pierce a shot of calcium in order to keep his heart pounding long enough for us to hold him while he was still alive. Of course today, by God’s grace, Pierce is still here with us.

    But what if Pierce didn’t make it? Would I have still been able to proclaim that Pierce is alive because of Jesus Christ? Would I still think that Easter is that big of a deal? I hope so.

    We live in a day and age where people think that all happiness is to be found in this life. To be certain, there is wonderful joy to be had in this life. But a life that places all its hope in finding satisfaction in the seventy or so years we are here, is a sad life.  By God’s grace, Lindsay and I had the freedom to leave Pierce’s fate in God’s hands. We prayed for healing and knew very well that God could do it. But if God was to take Pierce, we knew that He could rightly do that as well. It was truly a bittersweet experience. To lose a child is heartbreaking, devastating. But to have absolute trust in God is utter joy.

We can have absolute trust in God because He is absolutely trustworthy. The deep, dark places of life are often the only things that shake us out of the slumber of mediocrity and selfishness. The pit is often times the only place where we come to realize that we are terribly helpless and weak and where God is, well, God. And it is in that place where we can see beyond our expectations. We expect life to go on as usual and that everything will be dandy. We like to avoid death and thinking about death as much as possible. But when we are leveled with the fact that this life is jacked up, death is real, and our only hope is God, we are on the road to a life that goes beyond our expectations.

    Easter celebrates an event that has changed history. It celebrates the day when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Since this event happened, philosophy, religion, politics, government, every realm of humanity has been drastically changed. This Jewish man that died naked on tree and rose from the grave 2000 plus years ago has changed history in every respect. To this very day, there has been no sufficient theory or evidence disproving the resurrection of Christ. One professor from Harvard that sought to disprove the Resurrection later on came to the conclusion that all the legal evidence points to the fact that the Resurrection did occur. I say all this because Jesus is the only one who causes this life to make sense. I have found that apart from Jesus, all is contradictory and shallow. Ephesians 4:8 says of Christ, “When he ascended on high He led a host of captives.” That host of captives is us who have trusted in Christ. And when He ascended or resurrected He freed us from the captivity of death. Elsewhere, Jesus says those who trust in Him will never see death (John 8:51).

    Within the last week we have heard of several children dying in the NICU. Even now, Lindsay and I are in a waiting game to see what will be the total effects of Pierce’s prematurity. Does Easter really matter when for many of us, all we are expecting is heartache and pain in this life?

    Easter is everything if we are going to live beyond the expectations that this world throws in our face. Death is dead. If Pierce died last year, we could still say, without a doubt that he is still alive. When Christ rose on Easter morning, he conquered sin and death. Everything that is wrong with this world was dealt with on Easter morning. The sun has been dawning for 2000 plus years now, with its rays of light touching every aspect of human life. And one day, perhaps soon, death and sin will be fully dealt when Jesus appears. Until then, live beyond the expectations of this world. Live beyond your current expectations. I believe all infants that die, those that are aborted, those that die from prematurity, or what have you, are all caught up in the train of Christ’s Resurrection robe. They are alive right now; far more alive than you and I. I believe that this life is the closest thing to death that we will experience if we listen to God’s love song which has its chorus in Jesus’ Resurrection. And that is why if the Lord decided to take Pierce last year I could still trust God and proclaim that my son was still alive. That is why I can live with the expectation that this life, with all its heartache, is preparing me for something beyond death.

    I thank God that Pierce was born in the midst of the Easter season. I have no excuse now not to be overwhelmed with the power and love of Christ. May this season overwhelm you and cause you to live beyond your expectations. 

In Christ,


  1. Amen! I agree with every word written. God is good.

  2. Beautifully written and wonderful to behold!

  3. Hi, I found your blog one day when I was looking at the Grahams Foundation website. I scanned many blogs that day, but ya'lls caught my attention because your son's story sounded very similar to our son's. The other thing that drew me to your blog was your obvious belief in Christ and his purpose in your life. It's hard to find a story like ours..and harder still to find Godly parents navigating it all. So, I'm thankful to have found your blog!

    2 months ago I gave birth to my twin boys at 23 weeks and 2 days. Our son, Titus, lived for 45 minutes. My water, his sack, broke at 19 weeks, and so he had no fluid for almost 5 weeks..which meant his lungs could not develop anymore after that point. He was a strong boy, a fighter, and protector of his younger brother, Asher. Titus had great purpose in his short life and God has used him in a big way to speak to others! Asher is in the NICU and continues to fight..he's also a tough boy! Our blog is bryanandrobynadams.blogspot.com and that's where our whole story is. I hadn't looked at your blog since your wife posted about RSV season survival tips. (Which I plan on coming back to in October!! ) So, I read this tonight, and I am not surprised, but still so thankful at the way God plans things. He knew I needed to hear those words. Because often, the death of Titus feels so heavy, and sad, and just not right...not the way it was "supposed to be". And I know the Truth, and I know he is blessed because he got to skip all this..this broken world. But it still hurts. I spent a month in the hospital on bed rest before the boys were born. And we said and believed that God was good no matter what he decided about the boys. I know how difficult that is to say and believe..and now to actually live out. And so I'm thankful for God using you tonight, through your words to remind me that my pain is preparing me for more, it's bigger than my husband and I, and that Titus is more alive than us- which is so true! I will be praying for Pierce's continued healthy development!

    Robyn and Bryan Adams