On Christmas morning, 2008, while we were reading about the wise men and discussing the possibilities of when and how and where and why the star appeared (and how it was ONLY a sign for those who recognized its significance), my oldest son said something that blew me away. He said, in effect:
"The star for the wise men was like Jeff's baby blessing for us. Its appearance showed the wise men that the prophecy that had been given really did come from God, just like Jeff's health problems (his "physical trials") show us that his baby blessing really did come from God."
To explain more fully:
When our second son was born 20 years ago, he was 19 days early. There were NO complications, and he was released from the hospital without any delays. He was small, but he was perfectly normal and healthy. When he received his baby blessing, he was told something that really jumped out and surprised us all. Paraphrasing, he was told that none of the physical trials he would face in his life would have the power to keep him from his appointed mission in life.
At the time, I had absolutely no idea why I said those words. There was no indication he would have any physical trials, and I certainly didn't go into it thinking that I should "bless him" to have lots of physical trials. It was a really weird experience for me after the blessing ended and I realized what I had said.
Fast forward 20 years.
Of our 6 kids, he is the only one with severe and constant allergy issues. He is the only one who required speech therapy as a pre-schooler. He is the only one to have had major, emergency surgery (burst appendix at the age of 11 that almost killed him) - the only one to develop a serious medical disability (Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes at the age of 15 that was severe enough when discovered that he was rushed to the hospital for immediate attention). Our kids and his friends joke regularly about a pool to guess which organ will fail next and when it will happen. (When my daughter joked about him "having a heart attack" over being accepted into one of his top college choices, a friend responded with, "Oh, no, not another organ!")
I am grateful God reached down and put those words in my mouth 20 years ago, because they really are a comfort to my wife, a blessing to Jeff, and a testimony to our entire family. When Jeff's appendix burst and later when he was diagnosed with diabetes, the hospital staff was amazed at how calmly we reacted both times - but they didn't realize we had been prepared for those things to happen years before.
They really were nothing more than our own Christmas star - confirming prophecy that had been given long before.