"The poor and needy seek water, but there is none,
Their tongues fail for thirst.
I, the LORD, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers in desolate heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water." Isaiah 41:17-18
I've been seeing a recurring theme in my Bible reading this last week. Almost every single chapter says something about the fact that God always hears when His people cry out to Him. Clearly, that's something I need to hear and read about, for it to be so prominent.
And I sure love reading those words and rolling them around in my head. They fill me with an incredible peace. They let me know that even though there may be times where it seems like things are not going well at all, that God hears my cries and He will not forsake me and forget about me.
A few weeks ago I was looking at the calendar and figuring out how to make money stretch through the month. No matter how I did it, no matter how I configured the tiny bit coming in, there was literally nothing left for Christmas gifts this year. Nothing. You know, I can certainly go without any Christmas gifts myself, and have been going without many of the basic things of life for a while now, simply because there hasn't been money for them, but that was kind of the last straw for me. I almost got angry, but then instead I just got really weepy. Because no matter how the year has gone, my children do not deserve to have to go without gifts for Christmas. Oh, they would get a few from relatives, but I was saddened to think that those gifts were it for them. And I told God so. I poured out my heart to Him and just asked Him to please, please not make my children go without gifts this year.
I feel like I need to pause and interject here, because our family knows that Christmas is not all about the gifts. In fact, my precious children LOVE to give gifts rather than receive. But the gifts accent the holiday season. It's a fun way to interject some surprise into our celebration, and a great way to remind each other that the greatest gift of all was Jesus. But children should not have to come down the stairs Christmas morning to an empty Christmas tree. I don't care how much you try to emphasize that the meaning of Christmas is not gifts- no gifts makes for saddened children on Christmas morning.
You know, I believe that God cares about our children, very much. God heard my cries to him. He heard my mommas heart pouring out to Him, asking for some provision so that we could try and do a little something for Christmas. He heard my cries, and He did something about it. Friday afternoon when I got the mail, we found an envelope addressed to our children with no return address on it. It was a rather nice gift card that we'll be able to use to put some Christmas gifts under the tree. I've been overwhelmed about this ever since. Every time I think about that gift card, I think about how someone had heard that we had so little money this year that they wanted to make sure our children had some gifts for Christmas. Part of me certainly wishes I knew who sent it, so that we could thank this anonymous person. But I know that God knows, that God laid my children on their heart, and I know that He will bless them beyond measure for such a generous act.
And now there isn't such a dread of Christmas either. While it certainly won't be the year of incredible delights under the tree, it will still be wonderful, and festive, and we can celebrate with each other in love- and not feel like we're lacking. God's goodness is overwhelming, and I know that He Always, Always hears the cries of His children. Even better? He answers.