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2018 Holiday Blog Tour Stop #10
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"Welcome to Mountain Brook Ink's 2018 Holiday Blog Tour! We're so excited you've decided to join us on this journey of family, friends, traditions, and memories over the next month. You as our reader have done so much to pour into our lives, and this season we want to give back to you with insights into our lives AND some giveaways. The more days you follow, share, comment, and engage with us, the more entries you'll have toward a Kindle Fire Grand Prize or one of three Amazon Gift Cards!”
The Best Christmas Gift Ever
Sometimes during our walk with Christ our faith is challenged. Can it sustain us when suffering? Where is God when we are hurting? Can prayer really help? Tough questions. This is the story of how, one Christmas, I found some answers.
It was late at night when I knelt down by my daughter’s bed. As I had done for the last several months, I cried out to God for healing. I commanded the enemy to leave her alone. I pleaded for God to protect her. I was facing the greatest challenge in any father’s life, and it was quickly becoming more than I could bear.
My young daughter, Annie, was suffering from a serious, life-threatening illness. She had been in and out of hospitals, but all the doctors could do was adjust her medication to try to control her disease. There was little hope of a cure.
Throughout her illness, I felt helpless. There seemed to be nothing I could do to make her better. I did not understand what she was going through or how to respond to her needs. I couldn’t sleep at night. I woke at two or three in the morning and simply could not get back to sleep. I began to get angry with God. I was frustrated by my sleepless nights. I searched for something positive that I could do.
Eventually, I decided to use this time to pray for Annie. I went up to her room and knelt over her bed. I put one hand on her and prayed for God to protect her. I had done this for months, but one night, something different happened. As I got up to leave, I heard a little voice say, “I love you, Daddy.” It melted my heart.
Neither of us mentioned that prayer time the next morning. I had no idea that this ritual of prayer would continue for four years. Every night I would slip into her room, and two or three times a week, as I left, I would hear, “I love you, Daddy.”
I am happy to report that twenty years later, Annie is completely healed and doing very well. She has two beautiful children and is walking with the Lord. There is a lot I will never forget about those four years but the most memorable is the first Christmas Eve after it was clear that she was healed. Late in the afternoon she came home holding something in a large sack behind her back. She had me sit down and told me she had a gift for me that she just found at the local Christian bookstore. She said she was so excited to give it to me that she didn’t want to take time to wrap it and wait until the next day for me to open it. “Please Daddy, can I give it to you now.”
Who am I to turn down an early Christmas present beside I was so curious about it was that had my daughter bouncing off the walls to give to me. “Sure.” I answered.
Her face burst out in the biggest smile I had ever seen as, from behind her back, she pulled out a painting. When I saw it I immediately started to cry.
It was a picture of a father knelling over his daughter’s bed praying with the faint outline of an angel behind him. The verse at the bottom was James 5:16 “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” That picture sits in my office today hanging on the wall behind me as I write this. It is the best Christmas present I have ever received.