A Christmas Miracle Rescued from the Ashes

November 29th, 2012

The McAllister family was facing a bleak holiday season. The husband and father of the family had died suddenly just a little less than a year ago, and things had been going downhill ever since.

The family lived on a farm. There was no money to hire help, and with just the mother and her four young children to do the work, the farm had gradually deteriorated. They sold the few cattle they had, but now that money was gone. The grocery store on the other side of the island suspended their credit.

The farm had been up for sale for more than six months, but no one came to inquire. The kids replaced the “for sale” signs whenever they were destroyed by the wind and the rain, but to no avail.

The the two younger children were asking about the tree and writing on their slates the presents they would like for Christmas. The father had been a thrifty person, and the holidays had never been bountiful for the family. But the children had always been kept happy with the littlest presents and some special treats like puddings and baked ham. This year they would have to go without.

The older children brought a small tree from the hillside and began decorating it with leftover tinsel and bows made from old ribbons they had found in their mother’s sewing kit. Mrs. McAllister did not have the heart to dissuade them, even though she knew there would be no Christmas in the house that year.

A couple of days before Christmas as she lay in bed thinking of her options, she decided there was only one place she could go for help. She got out of bed, walked over to the mantle, lit a candle as if to show the way, knelt beside the bed and began to pray. After her prayer she felt relieved of a great burden, and she climbed back into bed and went fast asleep.

She was awakened by the sound of rain falling on the roof, and then she smelled smoke. At first she thought the house was on fire. She frantically searched for the source of the smoke. Upon arriving at the kitchen window she saw the smoke was coming from a compost heap that her husband had suggested she keep in one side of the chicken coop. The rainwater running off the roof of the coop had quenched the fire and was now washing away the ashes.

Within the hour the rain had stopped, the sun came out, and she knew a more beautiful morning could not have been witnessed by anyone before. As she made her way out the back door to inspect the damage she noticed a red container in the debris of the burnt compost heap. It was a five-gallon metal soda-cracker can, not so common anymore. It was still warm, but she was able retrieve it.

There was a sound of metal on metal as she carried the container into the kitchen to get a knife to pry it open. Upon opening the can she beheld the most beautiful sight her eyes had ever seen. The can was full of coins and bills. Her husband had used it to store his life’s savings.

Her heart leaped for joy, and she thanked her husband for being thrifty and praised God for sending the fire to clear the compost heap and the rain to douse the flames in time to save the contents of the can.

There was more than $25,000 in that can – enough to pay the grocer and to hire help to rebuild the farm. But first she would take the children shopping for Christmas. She had asked God for a happy Christmas, and He had given her a miracle and a new life as well.

Merry Christmas all!

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