It is time again - time to celebrate the goodness of the Lord.
Every February we recount His amazing Hand in our life one day long ago.
This year we shared it with several new friends from church.
Twenty-six years ago as Michael was sitting in Matthew class in Bible College, I was on my way to work in a small Iowa town. We had been married one year. That first day of February was bitterly cold. The wind was blowing the snow all around making it a classic Iowa winter day. The wind-chill was -45 below zero.
My normal route to work was through back roads, many just gravel, between the barren harvested corn fields. Just a few miles from my destination our car decided it did not like the cold weather either. Profuse smoke/steam started pouring from the hood of the car. Knowing I couldn't stay in the car, I put on the second pair of gloves I found in the car and started walking towards a silo on a farm I saw in the distance.
Somehow I kept walking in the bitter wind, always keeping my eye on the silo through the swirling snow. I knew when I got to the farm house I would have to do anything I could to get warm - even break into the house. God obviously knew I had no experience of entering and breaking into homes so He lovingly had a better plan for me. As I neared the farm house I saw a woman coming out the back door yelling for me to come that way. (Thank you dear God!)
She carefully took me in the house and took off my shoes and gloves and put my hands in and feet in bowls of water. I was so desperately cold I could not even talk. She talked though.
I learned her name was Angela and that she was a nurse. (You are amazing, God!) She kept on talking.
I remember thinking, 'I just wish she would just stop talking so I could go to sleep'. Angela continued to ask many questions, but I could do little but cry. Finally, Angela looked in my purse for information and saw a picture of me and Michael. "Oh! I know you, she exclaimed. We visited your church a few weeks ago and sat behind you. I remember your husband's hair." We had not met that day in church, but Angela was not only a nurse, she was my sister in Christ. (How awesome is our God!)
God is absolute Sovereign. I suffered no frostbite or permanent ill that day, despite walking 8 tenths of a mile in the brutal cold.
Later Angela's husband came home and towed our car into his barn to thaw and try to repair it. We were without a car, so after handing us a dozen fresh chicken eggs, they sent us off with their van to use until we could get ours repaired. When I got home and opened the egg carton, there lay ten dollars on top of those beautiful eggs.
Michael was reading in Joshua 4 a few weeks later. In part, it says:
"And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan,
that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan,
out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones,
and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place,
where ye shall lodge this night. ...
And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan,
in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood:
and they are there unto this day. ...
And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying,
When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying,
What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying,
Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.
For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you,
until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea,
which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:
That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD,
that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever."
Our fellowship this year was very sweet.
While we visited, we played music,
and braided hair.
Our 'memorial' to the Lord is quite simple but full of gratitude for our Lord.
"O come, let us sing unto the Lord:
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,
and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods."