Traditionally, my husband is not a fan of Christmas. His objections are largely focused around the forced gift-giving. Year-after-year he would voice his objections around the gift-giving practices, and finally give in and get presents for his children and some immediate family members and friends.
Changing a heart
As Christmas approached in December 2006, we found ourselves in an interesting position. Out of obedience to the Lord’s instructions to us, we had destroyed all our credit cards. In working towards becoming debt-free, we were spending any “extra” funds paying off debt.
So we found ourselves with Christmas upon us with no extra cash to buy presents. We would certainly not buy presents in lieu of paying bills, nor would we apply for new credit and go into debt simply to purchase gifts.
Finally, Christmas Eve was upon us. It fell on a Sunday and on the way to church an interesting thing happened… the Lord changed my husband’s heart. It wasn’t that we wanted to buy gifts for his children out of obligation, but he realized he loved getting them even a little something just to say “I love you!”
Knowing we serve a big God, I said something to the effect of, “Who knows, God may provide a way for us to get them gifts yet!”
The service was wonderful as always, and afterwards we made our rounds saying our hellos and holiday well-wishes to our dear family in Christ. In the midst of all that, one of the young ladies at our church came up to me and told me that she and her fiance would like a brief moment with us if possible.
I rounded up my husband and we found them again… they told us that the Lord had put it on their hearts to give us $100 for Christmas. We were completely surprised and overwhelmed! We are not known as “needy” people so there were no cues in the natural that could have let them on to our situation!
We told them how the Lord had used them and my husband even told them of my comment on the way to church that God might provide a way even still. We gave them teary, grateful hugs and went on our way.
As incredible as the money was, we didn’t want to give the children money – we wanted to give them gifts, but we didn’t have time to spend shopping. We said a quick prayer in the car – knowing that if God could provide the funds He could direct us to the right gifts as well.
We headed to a nearby mall and in 18 minutes had found one gift for each child that was a unique fit for them… and we had $12 left (which we knew was the tithe!)
The Lord is mindful of all our needs – no matter how big or small. And when we are obedient and trusting, He is faithful!
August 2011 Additional Conclusion
It’s funny to read this now given our current position on Christmas (and Easter). I think it only further reminds me that the Lord meets us where we are at. We can’t put Him in a box (and shouldn’t try). He loves us and will use whatever we are focused on to talk to us through…