For at least two months before this past Christmas, my husband Kevin and I had busily prepared for our traditional holiday trip to see kids, grandkids and Kevin’s brother and his family. We loved the trip, from Vermont to Virginia, to New Jersey and back again, and packed in a lot each year into one long-driving, action packed week. The plan this time: leave two day before Christmas Eve, arrive in the hotel in a part of Virginia near D.C, by that night, stay three days and visit three daughters, their five little kids and husbands, then leave for N.J. on the day after Christmas. We would visit the relatives there for two days, and then come home on the weekend. Of course, for us this was all lifted to God in prayer. For some time, God had been proving to us that when we desired to go somewhere, He would provide all we needed from His riches in Glory. Several times trips had come up, some visits and some necessary, and He always gave us what we needed to go and return. We packed confidently for this trip, excited and expectant.
There was one apparent snag in the full prep for the Christmas journey – the amount we needed, at least $500.00, did not seem to be coming forth. We usually had to rely upon God to bring money for any real trip, but this was getting strange. Kevin had earned much more than we needed to go, but he works on commission and it just kept delaying. But we took a deep breath, packed the gifts, got the suitcases ready and prayed a lot. Provision after provision was not coming. Even the nice check my Mother usually gave us for Christmas was not even sent out from her in California until after it would be needed.
I relisted our needs to God again, more to have a faith activity to do than to remind Him, but in order to go we needed the funds, good weather to travel in the whole time, and health of the while family. Plus, we had to have enough to pay the AAA bill to renew our membership, because I did not want to travel 1,200 miles without it. Christmas was rushing up to us, and we had health, and a good weather report ahead, but absolutely no enough funds to go. I know I popped around in my emotions between knowing God might not want us to go for His own reasons, being sad to miss family at this season, worried about the money coming in at all, and standing on the promise of travel provision. We warned the kids that the trip was looking iffy.
Then it was the night before we were to leave. On Friday evenings we have a small fellowship group at our house, and we decided to have the group. I left the suitcases packed and the packages in containers, because I heard a small voice in my spirit tell me not to unpack. Of course, I reasoned. Then I would have a mess before the meeting. Getting out a plate of Christmas cookies, we met our friends and settled in for a lovely home-church meeting. There was just one couple besides us that night, but we were so happy to see them. We chatted and shared a bit and they asked us if we were leaving in the morning. “It doesn’t look like it,” we admitted. We told them the money had not come in, but that it was okay. “Well, God told us to give this to you,” they said, handing us a large check and an envelope full of cash.
Shock, joy, surprise, enthusiastic praise and extreme gratitude cannot describe that evening. God had provided just like He promised, after stretching our faith in His promise to the last hour, with no hint that He would do it this way. Wow. I still am amazed. Early in the morning I popped up to get the few details around our trip collected at home, then we dashed out, packed up tight, paid the AAA bill in the car, deposited the check, and drove and drove until we got to the destination of Fairfax, Virginia that evening. The snow in the morning had been iffy, but we were safe, and all the other needs we had while in our families homes were more than met. We got an extra day in Virginia as a treat, to avoid nasty weather hitting New Jersey, but all was well when we went, and we got home before a storm was to come to Vermont. With lots of blessings given to us, great memories, pictures, gifts and money left over, we arrived home with a great lesson in trust to remember. And the money we thought we were going to use to provide for our own trip with was deposited right after we got home, of course. Wow God.