News for the week of Saturday, December 21, 2013

Opinion — Reflections
The Hope That Only Comes From Jesus
By Lonnie Wilkey
editor, Baptist and Reflector

Last Christmas was a bittersweet time for the Wilkey clan. On Dec. 17 our grandson, Elijah David “Eli” Beasley made his grand appearance into the world.

Instead, of the joy we had anticipated, Eli came more than a month early and had major complications. To be honest, when we finally were able to see him the day after his birth, we did not think we would ever hold him or see the day he would go home with his parents.

And on Christmas Day last year we did not have much “joy.” As grandparents, we were heartbroken about our grandson, but we also hurt for our daughter and son-in-law.

The doctors offered little or no hope. They kept telling us everything that could be wrong even if he survived.

The only thing we could hold to was the hope offered by a baby born to a virgin in Bethlehem 2,000-plus years ago. Romans 15:4 (HCSB) reminds us: “For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from Scripture.”

God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world so that people like us could have hope.

We also had the hope that can only come from prayer. Within hours after Eli’s birth, hundreds, if not thousands, of people prayed for that little baby boy. Slowly, but surely, he began to show improvement. After more than three weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, Eli finally got to go home. People continued to pray for our grandson and we are indebted to all who prayed for Eli. Keep praying! God hears prayers!

In the 12 months since his birth, Eli has done incredibly well. Not long ago, while he was in for a checkup, the doctor who knew his medical history looked at our daughter, Joanna, and told her that Eli was a miracle.

We already knew that. It was not easy and at times we wondered why Eli had to have such a struggle when he was born, but we never lost hope. We knew God could still work a miracle if He chose to and we are so blessed that He did.

We are scheduled to celebrate his first birthday on Dec. 21. By human account, he should not even be here. But God had other plans and He worked a miracle in the life of Eli Beasley.

We give God all the honor and glory!

We know that Eli may still experience some health issues in the years ahead, but let’s face it. That holds true for all of us.

No matter what any television preacher may tell you, life is not a bed of roses for either believers or non-believers.

Jesus tells us: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world” (John 16:33, HCSB).

With that promise you can indeed have hope!

May you have a blessed and very Merry Christmas!


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