At Christmas, as we bring to mind the past, enjoy the present, and dream of
tomorrow, may we forever be grateful of God’s love.
May we always remember that God does not lead us around hardship, but leads
through hardship . . . And amidst the hardship, He is nearer to us
than ever before. Sometimes He rides out the storm with us and other times He calms
the restless sea around us. Most of all, He calms the storm inside us in
our deepest inner soul and lead us to a peaceful and happy life.
Here's a touching story of a single mother who learned that God's blessings
come out of the blue in a timely manner for those who truly believe in Him.
As the story goes, in
September 1960, I woke up one morning
with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was
gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was
God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow,
nor sun without rain, but
He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.—Anonymous
Their dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever
they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to
hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.
Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no
If there was a welfare system in effect in Southern Indiana at that time, I
certainly knew nothing about it.
scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best
homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to
find a job.
The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small
luck. I had to have a job. Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a
few miles out of town, was an old root beer barrel drive-in that had been
converted to a truck
was called the Big Wheel.
An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window
from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard
shift, eleven at night until seven in the morning.
She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night. I raced home and
called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained
with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night.
That night when the little ones and I knelt to
say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job.
And so I started at the Big Wheel.
When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home
with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.
As the weeks went by, the
tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to
leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning
before I could go home.
One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found
four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just
those beautiful brand new tires.
Had angels taken up residence in Indiana?
I wondered. I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for
his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took
me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for
him to do the tires.
I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.
Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the
On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel.
There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.
A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the legion and were
dropping nickels in the pinball machine.
The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the
morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.
When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to
my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of
all shapes and sizes.
I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the
front facing the back seat. Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top
box... Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked
inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.
not only for Christmas but all the long year through, the joy you give
to others is the joy that comes back to you.—John Greenleaf Whittier
Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and
bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and
canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and
cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and
cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little
As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most
amazing Christmas day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude.
And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious
morning. Yes, there were angels in Indiana
December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....
Prayer is very powerful. I believe that God only gives three answers to
2. 'Not yet.'
3. 'I have something better in mind.'
You maybe going through a tough time right now but God is getting ready to
bless you in a way that you cannot imagine. Thank God for what you have; trust
Him for what you need.
By Tim Pedrosa
When we get tangled up in our problems, be still.
God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.