Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
by Greg Wooddell

December 17, 2012
Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:18-25

God gives each of us gifts and trusts us to do His will.  If He calls us, we are to obey.  We are to give an account to God as to how we used His gift.  As for Rebecca and I, we tried for 5 years to have a baby; and with lots of prayer and faith, we now have Jacob. As Hannah committed Samuel to God in
I Samuel 1:11, so Rebecca and I have committed Jacob. Our son has been a blessing to our lives and has provided us with a testimony to God's grace and power. 
In February 2012, Jacob became very ill and was admitted into CHKD.  Numerous procedures and blood tests were performed, and by the morning of day 6, the doctors told us that the latest test results looked very bad and that Jacob may not live. The doctors were at a loss, but after consulting with the infectious disease specialists, they thought that Jacob may have contracted Kawasaki's Disease. After a long consult, and as a last resort, a spinal tap had to be performed for further testing, along with a 12 hour infusion of IVIG treatment.  They told us the IVIG treatment was not guaranteed to work; and if the diagnosis was incorrect, it could harm Jacob further.

     So we were left with a very hard decision—to either let things go as they were and pray for the best, or to try this treatment that could go either way. The doctors told us we needed to make a decision very soon as we were approaching a critical time window. If we didn't act, it would be too late.  We prayed for God to make the decision for us and not to leave it up to us.  We prayed for God to present us with an answer, that in our hearts, would tell us what to do.
Within the next couple of hours, God would show us the answer through many signs and wonders. Scriptures came to Rebecca's remembrance that helped affirm our decision. In addition, several doctor shared that if this were their child, they would have the IVIG treatment done.  All of these signs were the answer we were waiting for.  God spoke directly to us through His scripture and through the doctors responses, and we chose to go through with the treatment.

The spinal tap was done, and the IVIG treatment began that night. We were told that we would see results of the treatment by the next morning but that did not happen.  This was day 7 and Jacob was not improving at all and again, the doctors were at a loss.  They were considering beginning a second treatment of IVIG as they did not know of anything else to try. We put out the word of what was happening and asked our family and friends to pray for Jacob's healing. 
Jacob continued to decline for the couple of hours but then all of the sudden, about 9:30 am, we noticed Jacob starting to improve.  He was actually asking for food (which he didn't want any part of before) his color started to return, and he wanted to get out of bed and play in the window seat of his hospital room.  We were in awe and praised God for this miraculous turn of events.  It wasn't until later, we discovered that Calvary Baptist Church held a prayer service for Jacob shortly after receiving news of the failed IVIG treatment. 

When Jacob didn't respond to the IVIG treatment, we sent out a plea for everyone to pray. What we didn't realize was that the entire Sunday School and Worship Service was then dedicated to prayer for Jacob. Little did we know that when the whole church began praying for Jacob, that was the exact moment of his miraculous recovery. So with our faith in God and with support from our christian family and friends, I can truly say that prayer for Jacob worked where no man's medicines or doctors could heal him. With our faith in God that He would see us through this, Jacob began improving and did not need any further treatments.  Jacob had his ups and downs after that and remained in the hospital for 2 more days but recovered enough for him to be released on the 9th day. 

We owe everything to God as He is the ultimate healer.  Without God in our lives and the lives of our friends, I do not believe things would have turned out as they did. We must entrust God with our lives. 
There was one man that God entrusted with the life of His own Son, and that man was Joseph.  When Joseph discovered that his future wife was with child (Matthew 1:18-25), Joseph was heart broken at this news; but rather than put Mary through public disgrace (Deuteronomy 22:23-24), he decided to divorce her quietly.  After much unrest, when Joseph finally did sleep, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

When Joseph woke up, he believed God and did what we are all supposed to do—to trust in the Lord, to have faith in His works, and to obey. Joseph took Mary as his wife and she gave birth to our Savior on Christmas morning. Rebecca and I both did what the Lord commanded and prayed and had faith in God's healing powers (James 5:15).
Just as Rebecca and I can now use this life experience as a testimony to God's power, love , and grace; do not doubt that whatever you may be going through in life, may be used in the same way someday. May we all have the faith of Joseph, to trust and obey in situations that don't make sense to us or to others, but that are clearly outlined in God's big plan!

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