Yesterday afternoon this story popped up from one of several devotions that come to me daily…I don’t remember ever signing up for them but they do seem to appear at the right time for me.
This little short story called “Believing in Hope” came from the book Streams in the Desert by L.B.E. Cowman. The author died in 1960 but earlier in her life she was a pioneer missionary in Japan from 1901 to 1917. She then went on to write many books on her experiences abroad and at home. This true “at home” story touched my heart and I hope it does yours too on this beautiful Christmas Eve.
“When my little son was about ten years old, his grandmother promised him a stamp collecting album for Christmas. Christmas came and went with no stamp album and no word from Grandma. The matter, however, was not mentioned, until his friends came to see his Christmas presents. I was astonished, after he had listed all the gifts he had received, to hear him add, “And a stamp album from my grandmother.”
After hearing this several times, I called my son to me and said, “But George, you didn’t get a stamp album from Grandma. Why did you say you did?”
With a puzzled look on his face, as if I had asked a very strange question, he replied, “Well, Mom, Grandma said, and that is the same as.” Not a word from me would sway his faith.
A month passed and nothing else was said about the album. Finally one day, to test his faith and because I wondered in my own heart why the album had not been sent, I said, “George, I think Grandma has forgotten her promise.”
“Oh no, Mom,” he quickly and firmly responded. “She hasn’t.”
I watched his sweet, trusting face, which for a while looked very serious, as if he were debating the possibility I had suggested. Soon his face brightened as he said, “Do you think it would do any good for me to write Grandma, thanking her for the album?”
“I don’t know,” I said, “but you might try it.” A rich spiritual truth then began to dawn on me.
In a few minutes a letter was written and mailed, as George went off whistling his confidence in his grandma. Soon a letter from Grandma arrived with this message:
My dear George,
I have not forgotten my promise to you for a stamp album. I could not find the one you wanted here, so I ordered one from New York. It did not arrive until after Christmas, and it was not the right one. I then ordered another, but it still has not arrived. I have decided to send you thirty dollars instead so that you may buy the one you want in Chicago.
Your loving Grandma.
As he read the letter, his face was the face of a victor. From the depths of a heart that never doubted came the words, “Now, Mom, didn’t I tell you?” George “against all hope… in hope believed” (Romans 4:18) that the stamp album would come. And while he was trusting, Grandma was working, and in due time faith became sight.
Isn’t this a wonderful lesson for us, our children, and grandchildren…that while something we asked for might not appear under the tree Christmas morning…if we trust it will at some point…if we trust that God is still at work and knows the right time for the right gift…then “in due time faith becomes sight.”
So until tomorrow…At Christmas time may be you be filled with wonder touched by peace and believe in miracles.
Another miracle…tonight I will “walk” up to the podium at the five o’clock children’s Christmas Eve Service and tell my story titled: ‘The Christmas Time Stood Still.”
*I will provide you with a synopsis of it tomorrow for Christmas Day with the story behind the story of how it came to be.
*The family and grandchildren are all coming over this afternoon for a light lunch, snacks, a little birthday remembrance for Tommy and Walsh… a “fake” snowball fight and the opening of Boo Boo’s stockings for the grandchildren…then off we will go to the Christmas Eve Service. This year Eva Cate and Rutledge will assist me in the closing of the story…not to be missed.
Now all the grandchildren are on their Christmas pillows remembering their first Christmases with family…a treasure chest of memories.
Yesterday I took advantage of my new “wheels” and rode around Summerville snapping photos of beautiful homes decorated for the holidays.
To one and all…”Have a Very Merry Christmas!”
*I love it when my students I taught come by with their families now…this is Blair Mallard (Stegalis) ….happy and successful in her life…a wonderful sight for a teacher! Blair has little twin girls…one of whom you see in the picture…she and her husband were taking turns with each twin at every other neighborhood stop. Thank you and Merry Christmas Blair and family!