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Our last days with baby Joshua

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And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son.

1 Kings 17:13 ESV


The little cake God asked of us was named Joshua. We were obedient and so God then made for us.


He was about two weeks old when we got him. We'd been married about fourteen years and had no children. My wife's body was allergic to my seed and killed it on contact. We'd gone to doctors for tests, had artifical insemination using my seed, the whole medical thing and still nothing. We were not Christians at the time, we'll I wasn't. After I was saved we began attending the Christian Center in Levy. One day our church called my wife asking if we would take care of a newborn boy that had been left with them she said yes. I wasn't there but she knew I'd be good with it.


The baby's mother was a party girl drugger and wanted what she wanted rather that the beautiful dark haired, dark eyed baby boy she'd given birth to. She didn't give leaving her child with strangers who were willing to take responsibility a second thought.


We adapted to a baby easily. We'd decided years earlier to live on my income so Martha could stay at home and be ready to take care of any children the Lord sent us. We had no idea the first one would not be our own flesh and blood. We learned almost at once that you can love any child with all of your heart whether your own blood or not. Those times were hard economically but we made it through. Later we were told by others that they were impressed of the Lord to assist us but thought for some reason that we were very well to do and needed no money help at all. We've never been hinters or beggars and place all of our needs before Jesus, not men, seeing how it was Jesus that rescued us. If you have an unction to help someone do it. They may be in desperate need.


Joshua was a happy baby and was nourished in every way. Once when he had a fever we anointed him with oil in Jesus' name, praying over him with my hands upon him. As we prayed and rebuked that fever it broke and he started sweating as my hands were still on his little body. It was we three and the Lord Jesus without any others to call on.


Oh how we enjoyed that baby! He went everywhere with us. Every church service, every shopping trip, every everything. After several months Martha began to sense our time with him was just about over. I didn't want to face it I guess. We were also waiting on a promise that God had given to the both of us. The promise of a son of our own. Just like Abraham and Sarah we were just waiting on the Lord's time.


At lunch one Sunday after church we were in a restaurant eating. The Holy Spirit impressed me strongly with scriptures, Genesis 17:18-19.


Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.


It was me saying Lord we're willing to keep Joshua for our son and raise him. But God was saying "I promised you a son of your own who will come in due time". I felt very heavy. We would lie in bed, weep and pray together for the promise the Lord had been speaking to us. He spoke in scriptures, dreams, through prophets and made it clear in many ways. We held onto our faith with all of our might.


There was another childless couple that was kin to a person we went to church with. They'd not been married nearly as long as us but Martha felt certain in her spirit that this couple was to receive baby Joshua as their own. The Lord had been speaking to her heart. We'd had him nearly six months at that time. He was just like our own. One Sunday we were forced to stay home from church because Josh had chicken pox. We didn't want to expose other children. We're amazed at those that drag sick babies to the church nursery not caring if others are exposed. Uncaring and unthoughtful.


We drove around aimlessly that Sunday while Josh cooed and was pretty quiet. We'd been given some food stamps with him but they were used only for him. I remember one Saturday night that all we had to eat in the house was some popcorn and a chocolate cake that the excellent miss Martha, as I am wont to call her, had baked. We praised God and rejoiced that He had counted us worthy to care for such a little jewel. God has called the poor of the earth to be rich in faith and though we've never considered ourselves poor you could see poorville from our position more than once! My affliction, a big one for an American, is that I've never been in love with money or the idea of being rich. I saw many friends that destroyed their lives, homes and marriages, piercing themselves through with many sorrows chasing after the elusive dollar. We've had abundances and we've had little but we've always had Jesus who is sufficient for every circumstance.


Josh's mother had moved to Colorado and was living with an attorney there and of all things was looking after his children. There's a book of other things that happened before that the mother was involved in like being with a coven of witches that tried cursing us for "stealing" Joshua. We prayed through much spiritual warfare during that time, often staying up all night praying for the baby and us against those demonic attacks. We were safe under the blood of Jesus but had to fight those pitched battles. Ephesians 6 is very real.


The mother told the attorney and his wife the same thing. That we were evil baby stealers that took advantage of this poor innocent woman. Josh's parents to be provided me a ticket to fly to Denver with papers for the mother to sign. It was a terrible marathon for me and difficult to recall. A sub-zero blizzard had been pounding Denver when I got there but I made it to the place where Joshua's mother was living. Upon arrival the wife didn't even want to let me in since they'd believed all that had been said of us.


The man of the house, the attorney, finally came home and I got a chance to speak my piece. Afterwards he advised Josh's mother to sign the papers! Unheard of for a lawyer to do. But we'd prayed for favor and the Lord was with me. She signed the adoption papers and left with me as that family booted her out when they heard the other side of the story. We fought our way to the airport in the cold Temps even riding the frigid open air trolleys that traverse Denver.



It was night now and waiting on my flight back to reality. Josh's mother, who had my sympathy despite her evil actions, sat at the table with me as we peered out into the falling snow at the plane I was to fly on. They were working on it doing something. Silently I prayed "Lord take me home safely". When it was time I said goodbye and stuffed some money into her hand. She would go to friends so wasn't out in the cold. She had abandoned a previous gift and I prayed for her salvation.


The dark tunnel of the fuselage seemed a prison on the flight to Little Rock. An aluminum cell hurtling through the winter storm toward a safe haven. It was about eleven pm when we landed. The parents to be awaited me and I handed the signed papers into their anxious hands. Finding my truck on the cold dark lot I pulled myself wearily inside and drove toward home, fifty miles away, exhausted by the hardships and drama. I fell into bed after telling Martha about the marathon gut rending adventure. I'd been up almost two days.


It seemed that I'd just laid down when Josh's parents to be called us at seven am. Five hours sleep, after all, ought to be enough for anyone! Martha had already packed up Josh's little things and we dressed him warmly for the trip, his last ride with us. It was two or three days before Christmas and we'd had him for six months. A lifetime.


We put his blue coat on, sat him on a little couch where I snapped this last ever photo of him. Driving to Little Rock and to his new home we delivered the little fellow to the joyful couple. After praying with them and for Joshua we said goodbye. It was church night so after awhile we went and there we sang and praised the Lord. Our hearts were heavy but we knew that we knew Joshua was where God wanted him even though his new parents weren't believers. It's not up to me to question God's will and His ways. Joshua has been grown for many years now and we've never tried to contact him nor he us. We were just discussing in caretakers.


Our house was beyond empty then. I didn't realize what a big part of my heart that he'd moved into. I sat in my private space at work and silently wept. A picture I had if him in that blue coat I threw into the waste basket. Hoping I guess that the untreatable pain in my heart would be discarded too. I fetched it out and put it back on the desk. He was forever a part of me now even though he lived under another roof.


During the wait for our own son we went to a meeting at the Robinson Auditorium to hear the evangelist R. W. Schambach preach. We sat on the first or second row in the center section. As Schambach began to preach we were amazed to hear that the subject was Abraham and Sarah! He glanced at us more than once if I remember correctly as he exhorted everyone not to give up on the promises of God no matter how impossible they seemed. To continue to act and speak in faith, not doubt as we walked on. We left there walking on air knowing the Lord had sent a great encouragement to us. Over the next weeks the Holy Spirit gave us scriptures, dreams and visions about what God had promised to us. It wasn't all glorious though and there were many spiritual battles and times of hardship. Some of those we witnessed to laughed in our faces. Well, it was our miracle and not theirs.


Our prayers for the son that God had promised to us never slowed down. Another year or so crept by and I was home from work and praying. As I prayed in the spirit I realized that the Holy Spirit was giving me the interpretation. I had a note pad so I began to write. I wrote;


"I tell you this, I've done as I promised and have fulfilled my counsel. Now ears will tingle at the testimony of this work. You have waited but I have waited too. I have heard you from the first time you ever cried out to me for a child. Because you looked to me and not to men I have done this. The mouths of the scoffers will be shut at the telling. Fear not the word of the Lord is good news! We will rejoice together in this"!


We were amazed. After waiting so long and pressing through so many things could it really be time now? We were numb.


The next day or so we headed to a clinic for a pregnancy test. There they told us "it's a nice positive result". We went our way rejoicing telling everyone that would stand still long enough for us to pour out our testimony. As we drove it seemed God was sitting in the back seat and smiling as we told the story. There had been plenty of scoffers. They'd look at the ground or roll their eyes as we told them God was going to send us a son. Martha's father, a dour person replied unenthusiastically "are you sure" with all the joy of a typical scoffer. Sadly we were never friends.


But many were glad and had believed right along with us. To those we are forever grateful. That same week Martha had purchased a baby book where we placed the name, Nathan Matthew Jennings. He was born right at nine months later on Wednesday, June 25th, 1980. I think half our church was there and they realized that they'd seen the hand of God in action. What a wonderful time of rejoicing after the arduous trip through the hot dry desert walk.


It had been a long journey but ended as God said it would. I don't know why we had to wait so long and go through these trials. The Lord thought them necessary is the only answer so we praise Him that we found grace in the wilderness and saw the move of His hand.


The good things that so many take for granted or actually think they decided upon God actually planted the thought.


Delight yourself in the Lord , and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalms 37:4 ESV


The desires of your heart are not only things you want but are things that were placed in your heart that will come up at different times in your life when God wants to bring things to pass.


I do know this. That I have an obligation to God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and to Jesus the Christ to share what He did as I, as we have the opportunity. In some way maybe this testimony may help you in your quest, your journey of faith toward whatever impossible dream He has planted in you own heart.

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