Don Jacobson almost died in a hunting accident, but God saved and transformed his life through a series of miracles, he says, inspiring him to publish other Christians' stories about God's amazing deeds.
"I ended up shooting myself in the stomach with a 12-gauge shotgun," Jacobson, creator of the forthcoming project and book It's A God Thing: When Miracles Happen to Everyday People, and author of God Makes Lemonade: True Stories that Sweeten & Inspire, told The Christian Post in a recent interview. God Makes Lemonade tells his own story, while It's A God Thing will narrate at least 45 other miracle stories, with the help of K-Love. He said his own miraculous survival led him to begin this project which aims to help people see God's activity in their lives.
Jacobson's story goes back to 1980, when as a 24-year-old, he was working in construction. One day he had his shotgun fixed, but the gunsmith crossthreaded a screw that runs through the stock into the metal part of the gun. When the young hunter used the stock to give his dog a swat on his back leg the weapon broke in half.
Shell-shocked, Jacobson slowly realized that he'd shot himself. "I prayed a quick prayer – God, I'm going to need some help on this one," he told CP.
"My gun was laying in half. I yelled, I hollered, I shot SOS shots. Nobody came, so I tried to walk, but my leg wouldn't move." When his leg stayed put, he realized he'd damaged it, and the "unbelievable pain" in his chest alerted him to his critical condition. The doctors took 18 BBs out a month after surgery from the surface of his skin.
A whole load, around 120 BBs, entered his right side. "If a BB had come out, I'd have bled to death," Jacobson said. He credits God that none did.
Noticing his absence, his wife Brenda became anxious, but had no idea where he was. At 11:30 pm, her brother told her Jacobson had asked him to go hunting, and they rushed to find him in the woods.
The rescue party got lost on the way to the lake, and so they ended up in a spot the hunter had never visited before. In this foreign territory, they saw a little glint in the woods, and found his car. They finally reached him, "right on the edge of hypothermia."
Once they'd found him, Jacobson was very thirsty, and asked for a drink. A man offered a jar of grape juice, which the construction worker could have easily opened normally, but no one there was able to open it under the circumstances. "That was God's protection," Jacobson explained, because it he'd have swallowed that juice he would likely have died in surgery.
The medical helicopter sent to pick him up almost turned around due to fog, but just as it was arriving at his location, the fog cleared. It returned once the copter had picked him up.
Jacobson remembered an orderly at the hospital telling him "you're in luck." A missionary doctor who gained experience repairing gunshot wounds worked at that hospital one in every eight weekends, and he just happened to be working that day. A Christian also, the doctor attended Jacobson's church, but the two had never met.
After a tense surgery, the doctor told Jacobson's wife that her husband would never walk again. God had other plans.
After 28 days in the hospital, Jacobson's life was completely altered. "That took away my ability to work in construction, so I went back to college and into publishing," he explained.
"Many people will say the miracles in the Bible are silly," he said. "Maybe they are, but let me tell you about something else that's happened."
Jacobson's upcoming project It's a God Thing chronicles the stories of approximately 45 different modern miracles – from stories of survival involving 9/11 and the Boston Bombing, to a daughter getting saved in a capsized canoe, to a father catching a baseball for his son. The book is scheduled for release in January.