My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. Psalms 62:5
I’m the eldest of seven children and when I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of money and sometimes we didn’t have any money at all. After my grandfather would leave our house I’d dig behind the sofa cushions and collect all the change that fell out of his pockets while he was visiting with my mother (his daughter). It was a treat to walk the short distance to the corner grocery store and buy a little paper bag filled with penny candy…Kit Kats, wax coke bottles filled with a sweet, fruity liquid and chocolate, shaped like coins, wrapped in gold foil paper.
We didn’t eat out either. I didn’t eat at a McDonald’s until after I was married. Mom cooked all our meals, which was usually a big pot of homemade vegetable soup or vegetables from the Farmer’s Market, since she was a vegetarian. Dad liked his meat, so fairly often we had pork chops, hamburgers, meatloaf or fried chicken and Spam…there was always Spam (the too salty, mystery meat).
My husband thought is was funny when I told him my dream as a child was to one day be able to buy a whole box of ice cream sandwiches and eat them all myself without having to share a single one.
I had three brothers and if you didn’t get to the table right when Mom called us there might not be anything left to eat! I had that happen a few times, so if I was hungry, I made sure I went to the table right away. I was pretty skinny back in those days.
I do remember walking home for lunch one day (we lived right across the street from the elementary school) and all I had to eat was a watery little bowl of soup. Dad worked at a factory and he was the only one working in our family. If it hadn’t been for my Mom’s parents, we would have went without more often than we did.
I believe there are kids today that go to school hungry. As a Teacher I have provided snacks for my students who I knew didn’t have the means to buy or bring a snack to school. I have also provided weekend snacks for them to take home. It bothers me that school lunch programs have cut back on the food it provides to our children. This is a whole other subject that really pulls at my heart strings. I believe there are hungry children in America and something needs to be done about it.
I wore hand me down clothes and shoes that my older cousins had worn. I didn’t know what it was like to wear a new dress until I was nine years old.
One afternoon the phone rang and I overheard my mother telling someone what size dress she thought I would wear. My older cousin was working at a five and dime store and she had bought me three new dresses. I still remember opening that bag and seeing three brand new dresses with the tissue paper still on them. They were different styles and colors and I didn’t know which one to wear first! I still faintly remember the butterscotch colored one with tiny roses on the border. I felt like a Princess with all those dresses. My cousin was very good to me and I’ve never forgot her acts of kindness.
Christmas was just a few weeks away and we didn’t have our tree up yet. I was probably about seven years old at that time so I finally asked my Mom when we were going to put up our tree. After all, there was a tree in everyone’s window on our block, but not in ours. She told me to ask dad that afternoon when he got home.
Winters in Indiana can get quite cold. It was beginning to get dark and daddy still wasn’t home. I was so anxious to get our tree. I loved putting on the string of colored lights, shiny glass ornaments and then standing back and tossing clumps of silvery, shimmering icicles on the top and all around. After decorating, we would turn off all the lights and sit around the tree enjoying it’s magnificent splendor while singing “Silent Night”. It was as glorious and beautiful as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in my opinion.
This particular afternoon, I thought daddy would never come home! Why was he so late? It was growing darker and darker and big snowflakes had started to fall. The ground was becoming whiter and whiter with the new fallen snow. My despondency was growing as well. I was getting more and more depressed with each passing minute because I was thinking…we’re not going to get our tree up today! I was tired, bored and very sad. My hope was quickly fading. I stretched out on the sofa and soon I was fast asleep.
I felt a cold rush of air and voices. What’s going on? I opened my eyes and I saw my dad and my grandfather struggling to get a huge, fresh evergreen through the front door of our little house. I could smell the evergreen scent as the boughs were squeezed through the tiny frame doorway. My heart was thrilled! Tears filled my eyes! We had a Christmas tree…a big, beautiful, live, green tree! I jumped up off the sofa and we all began to decorate our tree. My sorrow had turned to joyous rapture.
This reminds me of God’s promises. He says in His Word exactly what He will do and we begin to wait in earnest expectation for a certain thing. Most of the time the answer doesn’t come right away or as quickly as we’d like. It usually involves a process of time and sometimes it can be a long time of patiently waiting. If we’re not careful we can get despondent and begin to lose our hope but just when we’re about to give up, here it comes! The promise we’ve been waiting for is there coming right through the door! We see it, we smell it and we can touch it! Our hope is renewed and our cup is filled to overflowing. That’s God! He raises our spirits to new heights of faith and belief in Him.
The thing is…it happened just like He promised. God always comes through. He is faithful and true to His Word every time. If He said He would do it, then you can count on it! He is always, always, always true to His Word.