On the way home from getting our tree one Christmastime we stopped for lunch at Cracker Barrel. It was a cold day and we had been out looking for the tree so I paused to warm myself by the open fire.
There was an older man standing there. We exchanged smiles. I said; “Let’s just move in here. What do you think?”
He laughed and agreed it would be a good idea.
When he talked I could tell he had the warm, slow way of talking of Kentucky mountain people. I said; “Where were you born?”
He said; “Well, I’m from Pikeville, Kentucky.”
“I could hear that in your voice,” I said.
After telling him that I married a Kentucky girl I asked; “Well what brings you here from the beautiful mountains of Eastern Kentucky?”
He quietly said; “Well, my son died and today was his funeral.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I said.
We stood together in the heavy silence for a moment and then I said;
“Do you know the Lord?”
He warmly answered, “I sure do. At times like this I don’t know what I would do without Him.”
The Christ of Christmas came into a broken world full of people struggling against the hardships of life. He never promised that we would avoid heartache, but He promised to be with us and he promised that one day we could be with Him.
That confidence in the promises of God strengthens us to endure with faithfulness whatever God called us to face.
December 1, 2017