Psalm 138:3- "When I called you answered me." Ray and his family were spending their first Christmas in India. He and his wife Lorna were thinking of their friends and relatives back in New Zealand. "We asked the Lord specially to help us give our family a good Christmas celebration. We even asked Him for a certain amount of money, to buy a few goodies and presents for them. Day after day we watched the mail, expecting that money to come, and just a few days before Christmas it arrived. Even while we were thanking Him, another letter came from a man in South India, whom I had led to the Lord in a Crusade just a short time before. He had a large family, and he was asking me to help him provide for his children over Christmas. The money he was asking for was exactly the amount that I was asking God for-but for us! I really struggled with that, but I knew I must give it to him, and that after all, he was only a new Christian and I had been a Christian for years, and knew I could trust God. So, I yielded, sent him the money and waited!
We continued to pray, but nothing came. On Christmas Day we sat together in the front room, without any presents, or special foods and decorations.
Later in the morning, the parcel postman arrived on his bike, to say that there were some parcels for us at the Post Office. I took a taxi to the Post Office, and found there were fifteen large parcels for us, piled in the middle of the floor. They had been sent long ago, but somehow had been delayed in the mail.
We could not afford to pay the duty on them, but the postmaster said that as Christmas was the birthday of our Jesus, we could have them without duty. So we took them home, and our children had one of the most wonderful Christmases they had ever had. There were even some Christmas presents in the parcels.
You answered when I called."
This is such a wonderful faith stretching story in more ways than one. Think about how the Lord allowed another brother in Jesus to have a similar or same need at the same time- in order to encourage a more self-sacrificial choice to be made- by giving the happy gift to another instead of keeping it!
Think about how the Lord, then allowed what seemed like the death of their prayer request when they had no gifts (visible gifts that is, we must remember that not all gifts in life are visible) as they sat in the living room on Christmas morning.
Think about the presentation of the packages at the post office. The pile on the floor actually makes me visualize the Lord's dump truck unloading a large quantity of his blessings!
Think about the timing of those parcels. We frequently get upset, angry or perturbed by late things or mistakes. But here it seems entirely possible that the Lord used people's mistakes and his divine planning to hold up the deliveries until the perfect time to meet the needs of this family- to make their celebration special, enjoyable and to help their faith in Him in the invisible realm grow!