I love to tell stories. I really love to tell stories about Jesus. So, I have a Jesus story to tell; my own personal Christmas miracle Jesus story.
As you know, I have recently applied to and been accepted at a seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. As Laura and I have prepared to move, it has been a bit worrisome how we were going to pay some bills, my tuition etc. Walking away from sixteen years of your career is a bit stressful. But, I know that the Spirit has led us to this and so we have been walking forward with Jesus in this adventure.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to Jesus about how exactly we were going to pay for all this. To be honest, I was having some doubts. You know how it is; the enemy creeps in and whispers lies in your heart: “Are you sure about this? You can’t do this. You’re going to be homeless and destitute. It’s safer here.” Those kinds of lies. So I told Jesus, “I don’t know how you’re going to do this but you have to do this because I simply cannot.”
I’m one of those weird people who assume that when I pray about something, Jesus will answer. I’m learning that the answer he gives might not always be what I want to hear. But, he will answer. So I talked to him about it, applied for financial aid and that was that.
Laura and I were visiting with my family in Alabama the week before Christmas. One morning I noticed that I had just missed a call from a number in North Carolina. When I checked my voicemail, I heard this (not the exact words but you get the point): “Mr. Garrison, this is Southeastern financial aid office. I was calling to tell you that we were going to offer you financial aid. However, this morning someone has donated $6,000 for your tuition. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me.” I just deleted the voicemail and kinda stared at my phone for a second. I mentioned the call to my wife and parents. My dad, the king of understatement, said “Well that’s good.”
Just a few minutes later, my parents shared their Christmas presents with Laura and I and my dad handed me a Christmas card. I opened it and inside it was a letter. The letter was from some people who know my family but shall remain nameless (at their request). In the letter, they detailed how the Father had impressed on them to provide us (Laura and I) some financial assistance. They said something along the lines of us stepping out in faith to follow His call on our lives and that God had told them to give us money to help. So, they are donating up to $18,000 to my tuition for seminary (up to $6000 a year).
I just sat there, holding the letter with what I’m sure was a dumbfounded look on my face. I looked at Laura and she was smiling at me. I looked at my dad. He smiled and said, “Wow. God is good.” King of understatements. I could feel the tears and a profound sense of relief wash over me. Then, in my heart, I could hear him. Laughing. I could see his face thrown back, roaring in sheer delight at my reaction, my surprise. Jesus was so happy for me, so pleased at this Christmas miracle he had just pulled off. I was just stunned. That’s a crap-load of money and, if things go right, could pay for my entire education. Later that night, as Laura and I prayed before bed, I wept tears of joy for his care for me.
Oh what a Saviour we serve! Jesus!! I will never stop telling this story! His provision is unbelievable! I don’t know what other cares we will have along the way but I know that he will provide what we need (notice I didn’t say what we want).
Celebrate with us our Christmas miracle friends! More importantly, celebrate Jesus!! He is all that matters!!