In his December newsletter, pastor Stan Toler tells this story about a memorable Christmas for his family: “I’ll never forget ‘that’ Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve, the Toler family had gone to bed without a meal because there wasn’t any food in the house. Dad had taken my brother Terry and me to a place on Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, where government food and commodities were to be handed out.

“Standing in the long line on a blustery day, Dad suddenly took us by the hand and stepped out of line. “Boys, we’re not going to do this,” he said, looking into our surprised faces. We both knew that without that government food, we would be going to bed without a meal and would be facing a pretty bleak Christmas Day. My dad said with a firm voice, “God will provide.” We followed him back to the car. The words “God will provide…” echoed in our minds. Two hungry boys didn’t quite get the theology of all that.

“The next morning, there was a knock at the door. Dad opened it to familiar faces. Some dear folks from our home church were standing on the front porch. In their arms were shopping bags filled with food. “Merry Christmas,” they said as they sat the bags on the porch. After the hugs and words of thanks, we picked up their gifts with indescribable joy and headed for the kitchen. As Mom began to put the food away, my brothers and I could see tears of joy welling up in her eyes. Dad had that “I told you so” smile on his face. Terry, Mark and I understood it now. God had provided.

“I pray that the message of the Savior will burn in your heart with renewed strength and resolve. God has provided. You and I faced a lonely and hungry night away from hope, but God delivered a priority package to a manger cave. The Christ who was born to us, and who died for us, now stands alongside us.”

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