We couldn’t afford it, but I wanted a REAL Christmas tree. This was in 1980 and trees didn’t cost all that much. Yet we had only $15.00 in our checking account and a Christmas tree would not have provided food for our then three children.
Our bank balance was low for several reasons.
1- We had just closed on our first home, purchased for $35,000.
2- It was November and the furnace needed a “tune up” immediately so that took our $200 reserve fund.
3- We didn’t have much money to start with. I was staying home with our three children aged 3, 2, and 9 months old, so we were living on a library cataloger’s salary.
God had shown himself so faithful in the purchase of our house. He had provided all we needed and there was one more paycheck coming before the property taxes were due.
God had promised to supply all our needs according to his riches in glory and we had witnessed that, one bill at a time.
Christmas trees are not a need.
I knew this, yet I wanted a Christmas tree for our first Christmas in our first home of our own.
So, I told God how I felt. I wanted a Christmas tree, but if it was not to be, I asked God to change my heart about a desire for a tree.
It was a cold, dark night. We were driving back from a holiday dinner at a friend’s house who lived in Cashiers, a remote community higher in elevation farther up in the mountains.
Phil came around a curve and we saw something black and large lying in the road. He pulled our little VW bug over and stopped. There in the middle of the road was a big, BEAUTIFUL, Christmas tree!
It must have fallen off a truck hauling Christmas trees from the farms up the mountain. It was dark, no trucks around, nor any other cars. It was there just for us!
It was our Christmas tree – and much lovelier than one we would have purchased. Phil opened the trunk, which is in the front in a VW bug, put the tree part way in, and tied the trunk down as far as he could. He slowly drove the 18 miles home.
Did God provide that tree? Does God care about Christmas trees?
Some Christians I know and love feel that all the trappings of Christmas take away from it’s real meaning. These individuals choose to celebrate Jesus’s birth in simple ways. I respect that and honor their motivation.
I also know that receiving that Christmas tree during a time of financial need made me feel God’s love for me in a very personal way. I felt that my Heavenly Father heard me and answered the cry of my heart.
Because He loves me.
Was it a coincidence that the tree fell off the truck at that time? No other car could have passed by it without effort because the tree was smack in the middle of the narrow, winding road. It meant that the tree fell off and we were the first car to go by.
Maybe it was chance.
Yet it answered my prayer to the God of the universe who is my Heavenly Father.
Gifts often demonstrate love. Christmas is the time we celebrate God’s gift of his Son, Jesus.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Every year when I put up our tree, I remember the best tree we ever had. More importantly I am reminded of my Heavenly Father who knows my heart and loves me.
Sometime I will tell you about the wreaths that fell off a truck.
PS – a great story to read to your children is – The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Huston. It is a lovely story with a meaningful message.