It happened the Sunday before Christmas. Rebekah was still sleeping. As I was building a fire in our wood stove and placing a cedar log into the stove, I had what I call an “aha moment.”
An “aha moment” is when I catch God red-handed doing what I call “a miracle.” I really should not say, “I caught God red-handed.” I should say, “God alerted me to the fact that a miracle was in process.” My heavenly Father is in the miracle business, but I am not always aware of them unless the Holy Spirit flags them for me. Here is how the Holy Spirit let me know that the cedar log in my hand was God’s very special Christmas gift.
As I was placing the cedar log in the stove, I had a flashback. I saw a chipmunk bury the seed for the tree and then forget where he put it. Judging by the size of the tree, it might have happened two-hundred years ago or longer. The little rascal just forgot where he put the seed or a lot of snow might have covered it up. That too was God planning ahead. All the conditions for moisture and sunshine where perfect and a cedar tree began to grow. It grew into a mighty tree, nearly fifty feet tall and more than six feet in circumference at the base.
At a ripe old age the tree started to die. One day, last September, friend Greg went hunting for a trophy elk with his bow and arrow; but he did not bag one. But he bagged a cedar tree. He made a mental note of the dead tree, its size and location and said within himself, “Peter and Rebekah will need firewood this winter. I will go back and cut down the tree for them and surprise them with a load of firewood.” Two month later he went back and looked for the tree. He almost gave up but finally spotted it. He cut it down, split the wood and loaded it into his pickup with his wife Cynthia helping. He couldn’t get all the wood at one time. A week later he went back to get the rest – hoping the tree was still there. A few days after getting the second load, it snowed hard. It would have been impossible to go back after that.
Yes, it’s all about love and timing and obedience – obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit. God planned way ahead; even before Peter and Rebekah and Greg and Cynthia were born. Greg had to go hunting at just the right time and place to spot the tree. He had to hear the still small voice of God, “Here is the tree I have for Peter and Rebekah this winter. Harvest it and surprise them.” Folks, that cedar log in my hands was a better gift than anything anyone could have gotten us at Walmart. Folks, having that “aha moment” made God’s love come alive for me that Sunday morning. I keep having more “aha moments” as I pay attention to that still small voice.
In a flash I saw God’s love as I was placing the cedar log into the stove. The picture embedded itself into my spirit. I will be able to reach for this story any time. I just had to tell someone. It’s my way of thanking God and thanking Greg and Cynthia. Yes, God is good. Long before I was born He knew we needed firewood and when. He used the love of friends to cut down a cedar tree and bring us the wood. It was a labor of love. This memory will always warm my heart. May it also warm yours and inspire you to cut down a tree for someone who can’t go into the forest. And may you have your own “aha moments” as you journey through the rest of your life.