Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving to Remember

When I reflect on past Thanksgivings, there is one that stands out more than the rest. It was not the meal that was so unforgettable; rather it was the awesome way God came through during a time of desperation.

It was 1997 and we were moving for the second time in a year. We had rented a house while waiting for the old country farmhouse we had purchased to be vacated, and then remodeled. Finally, the remodeling was finished and it was time to move – on Thanksgiving Day.

Even though the day was hectic, we stopped long enough in the afternoon to dash to my mother’s house and inhale turkey and all the trimmings, barely tasting the food. On the way home we stopped by our storage shed and emptied it, including loading the old washer and dryer into our pickup truck. How we hoped they would both work; with all the unforeseen expenses from the remodeling, money was tight. And, just the other day the previous owner had shared with us that there were muskrats tearing apart the dam on our pond.


It was dusk when we finally got home and unloaded the truck. I held my breath when my husband plugged in the appliances. Sadly, just as we suspected, nothing happened.

Then I remembered my brother Danny was an appliance repairman – I’d call him! But when his wife answered the phone and explained that Danny’s schedule was jam packed with furnace repairs, I plopped down at the kitchen table, exhausted from the move, and wept. All these expenses and now we need a washer and dryer?

And, along with that problem were those pesky muskrats; I didn’t even know what one looked like, much less how to get rid of one. Why does life have to be so hard?

I found myself crying out to the Lord, and was suddenly, painfully reminded… I had not been praying about our situation. I had been so stressed from moving that I had neglected the Lord. I hadn’t been reading my Bible, praying, or spending any quiet time with Him at all. I had put God on the back burner; that is, until now.

I prayed from my heart, pouring out my concerns about our finances, the appliances and even muskrats. I praised God for who He was, believing He would take care of everything. Instantly I was filled with peace and went on to bed, knowing somehow, that God would work it all out.

But the next day when the phone rang, nothing could have prepared me for what would transpire.

The caller was Phil, a co-worker of Danny’s. He explained that Danny had told him about our old appliances, and Phil hoped we could work something out.

Shocked, I gasped, “Sure! What did you have in mind?”

Phil began, “My teenage son likes to trap.”

“Great!” I anxiously butted in. “He can trap in the forest. No problem.”

“That’s not what I had in mind,” Phil continued. “I heard you have a pond and, well, if you and Chuck would “let” my son trap muskrats on your pond, I’ll fix your washer and dryer.”

Chills ran up and down my spine as I recalled my prayer from the night before. Only God knew my desperate plea, and only He could orchestrate something this awesome.

And now, years later, I continue to gain strength from the memory of how God came through one exhausting, yet incredible, Thanksgiving.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34: 17).

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