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Christmas Memories

Learn to Trust

By J.I. Loewen

We were nearing Christmas, but that was not at all a bright thought at our house, because poverty was our lot. I had been out of work for some time, and we were in desperate need. Seven children to feed and clothe, and a house to keep warm in the dead of winter in Winnipeg, is no small item. We did not have our “bare necessities,” let alone any trimmings to make Christmas an event to look forward to.

One Monday morning when the milkman brought the milk to the house, my wife met him at the door and instructed him not to bring any milk the next day, as we would be unable to pay for it. Already we were owing him for a few days past. On finding out that she could not pay, he reprimanded her for letting it slide so long. Needless to say, this was very hard for her to bear, as she was well nigh discouraged already.

The very same morning, on going to the basement I found that we were out of coal. There was not enough to last until the next morning. The picture really was dark. In my need I knelt right there in the basement and prayed, bringing the whole matter to the Lord. Then I took my Bible, not knowing where to read, but feeling confident that God surely had a word for me, to comfort and strengthen. I turned at random to Matthew 6:25-30 and read about “the fowls of the air” and the “lilies of the field,” how God cares for them. Then the question, “Are ye not much better than they?” and “Why take ye thought for raiment?” The climax came in verse 30 with the question “Shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

Here was comfort indeed, and just what I needed; but those last five words fairly leaped from the page: “O ye of little faith.” It was not only comfort that I was needing; it was also rebuke. I got that too from these words; they spoke to my heart. God showed me how I had been worrying and doubting. I need not read any more. It seemed as if Jesus himself stood before me and faced me with these heart-searching words. I felt ashamed of my lack of trust in God. I confessed my sin of unbelief and asked God to forgive me.

The next day, on returning to my house, I found that my wife had gone across the street to visit a friend. I had been home only a little while, when there was a loud rap at the door. As I opened the door, the stranger said, “Where shall I put the coal?” I said, “I haven’t ordered any coal.” “Well,” he said, “I have orders to deliver a ton of coal at this address, so that’s that!” It was the very best grade of coal, too. With my heart filled with wonder and praise to God, knowing that He was in this, I hastened to show the man where he might put the coal.

Just when it had been unloaded and the truck had pulled away, another loud knock was heard at the door. This time it was the grocer. He marched in with a large box, containing everything from milk to meat. It was as though someone had been to our house previously to find out just what we were in need of. This, of course, was not the case, but the Word of God says, “Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things” (Luke 12:30). By this time my heart was overwhelmed by His abundant supply.

I could contain the news no longer, so I hastened to tell my wife. Good news must be shared. I surely had some, and I must tell it. On reaching her, however, I found that she was very happy about something. Before I even had time to begin, she burst out with the very words I was trying to say, “I have some very good news for you.”

The foreman from a large factory nearby had been to the house during my absence and informed her that he had a job for me. I was to report for work the very next morning; and, best of all, I had the promise of work for the rest of the winter. The amazing thing about this was that at this very factory there was always a long lineup of men seeking work. Many were on the waiting list. I had been there a number of times myself, seeking work, only to be turned away without even a promise of anything. Then, this day of all days, the foreman had left the long lineup and had come right to my own home to seek me for a job, that could just as well have been given to one of the others.

While I was marveling at the whole thing, my wife said, “Now if we only had enough food to see us through until you get your first pay, we would be well away.” I hastened to relieve her troubled mind by telling her my “good news.” So, while I was astonished at the good news she had given me, she was wondering at the good news that I had brought her.

Together we truly marveled at God’s goodness to us, and rejoiced in Him. With light hearts and a quick step we soon reached our home. Her concern now was to prepare a meal for the family, while mine was to get ready to go to work the next day.

In the evening as I reviewed the day, remembering the gloomy outlook of the morning, the meeting with the Lord in the basement, the definite message from the Word of God, the decision of my own heart to trust Him, then the wonderful way He had undertaken, and how abundantly He had supplied, my heart welled up with praise and thanksgiving to our God “who only doeth wondrous things.”

In the midst of my great joy I also recalled the sense of shame that I had felt in the morning for my lack of trust in God. Now I was even more ashamed of myself for worrying and doubting. Surely God had proven to us, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the very word that He had given me in my desperation during the morning hours. Again our God had intervened for His children, and our faith was strengthened.

From the Pentecostal Evangel, Dec. 20, 1947.

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