by J.P. Ruiz
How a Christmas without hope turned into the best Christmas ever
It was the winter of 2009, and I had been out of work for almost a year. We were so behind on all our financial obligations it was a miracle we still had a roof over our heads and food in the refrigerator. I know the only way we had made it through this far was by the mighty hand of God moving in people's hearts. This was the first year I was totally disabled, and my wife spent most of her time driving me back and forth to the multiple doctor's appointments I had every week. She had to leave her job and stay home to care for me. Both our incomes had disappeared but God moved in the hearts of people. We had four children at home and we couldn't buy groceries, so Christmas gifts were not even in sight. We experienced the most heart moving Holiday Season ever.
My landlord informed me we could stay in the house and he was confident everything would work out. He added he did not want us to worry about the electric or water bill, it would be taken care of. I couldn't understand how this could be. He explained that I had become disabled fighting for our country, so he couldn't put us out of our home. My heart melted, this was God's hands at work.
One night my family and I were sitting in the living room of our home and my eight-year-old daughter said,"Dad I sure wish we had some ice cream". I stuck my hands in my pocket and counted forty-five cents total. A minute later we had a loud knock at the door. I hurried and opened the door only to find three boxes of groceries on my front porch and right on top was a big container of strawberry ice cream. Tears filled my eyes; my fridge had never been so full. The food kept coming; soon we began finding money in envelopes left in our vehicle; letters of encouragement with money in the mail with no return address.
Just before Christmas we received a call from the school informing us that someone had left some bags for us at the school. We picked up three bags of gifts, signed Love, Santa. Gifts were left on the porch of our home and on top of our vehicle while we were at church. We had so much food we had to give some away to other needy families. Christmas morning my children woke up early to open gifts and they received everything that was on their Christmas list. This brought me to remembrance about what Christmas was all about, it reminded me of what Jesus gave us. We celebrate this day because Jesus was born to be our Savior. Saving Christmas was so big to us but was so small to what Jesus gave us. He was born to die for our sins so we could have life, everlasting life. He died to save us from the wages of our sins. He gave us all, and He keeps giving even today. Our Christmas was the best ever and I expect this one to be greater, this year we get to be the hands and feet of Jesus and we get to play Santa, God Bless You and your family and I pray this Holiday Season will just as meaningful to you as ours was last year.