Roses by Christmas

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Charisma Staff

“Frank, you don’t have to do this!” Harriett called out to
her husband.  It was early afternoon
of Christmas Eve in the 1920s, and the arctic winds were beginning to howl
across the Kansas plains. “A promise is a promise!” Frank called back to his
newlywed wife. “And God has promised me that I would have roses especially for
you by Christmas!”

The young couple had wed last summer under financial duress
and had gone without roses, Harriett’s favorite flowers, at their wedding. On
their wedding night Frank had vowed to his new bride that God would allow him
to make it up to her, with the gift of beautiful roses by Christmas.

So on what looked to be the worst weather day of the year,
with a major wind and snowstorm settling in, Frank was off like a mule, headed
toward town with the goal of finding flowers for his Harriett, to make good his
promise of roses by Christmas.

Four hours had now passed since Frank disappeared into the
winter storm on his way to town. Harriett wiped the frosted front window and
surveyed the empty lot in front of their farmhouse. From the sheets of white
frost moving sideways across their yard, it was all too obvious that blankets
of snow would soon cover the land and barns and all of life. Where was

To busy herself in an attempt to allay her worst fears that
her husband was trapped in a snowstorm, Harriett piled on her coat and stepped
onto the porch to gather stacks of wood for the cast-iron stove that would need
stoking throughout the night. Life was hard on the Kansas plains that
winter—and roses by Christmas, no matter
how great a promise her loving husband had made before God to her, seemed a bit

Suddenly through the glare of the white crystals of snow
emerged an image—of a perfect line of red roses. Was this a mirage? thought Harriett. This perfect line of roses was
slowly moving toward her—as if floating through the air. Then Harriett saw the
hands holding this image—those of her husband Frank.

In his hands was a neatly rolled swatch of the finest linen
cloth Harriett had ever seen! Etched across it were crimson roses fit for a

Frank’s eyes met hers with the pride of a proud papa who had
just presented the latest addition to the family. Before Harriett could scold
her husband for risking his life in the blizzard, she was met with the sound of
his loving voice—“Merry Christmas!”

How do I know the story of this farm
couple? These were my grandparents—a young husband who believed God had
promised he would have roses for his newlywed wife by Christmas, and roses she
got … in only a way that God could have miraculously orchestrated.

In the same way, God promised He
would send a Redeemer as His gift to us. Centuries came and went, but “when the
fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son” (Gal.
4:4, NKJV). His greatest gift of love was and is His own Son, and He came
just at the right time.

This Christmas reflect on His
unconditional love for all people and make it a point to be His ambassador in a
world that desperately needs to know His love through Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:20). Praise God in the highest and thank Him for
His indescribable gift because His promise of love to us came that one night
when heaven touched earth and the miracle of a babe born in a manger changed
things forever (see 2 Cor. 9:15).


This week even as the busyness accelerates, take time to
meditate on the profound meaning of His simple birth, and how God always keeps
His promises, no matter how long it’s been or how impossible it seems. Thank
Him that just as He kept His promise of salvation through His Son, Jesus, He
will make good on everything He’s promised you from His Word. Thank Him for the
gift of life and ask Him to help you make the most of each day.  Reflect on His awesome love and expect
Him to use you as His ambassador to those who have suffered losses and face an
uncertain future. Remember our president, our military, and all those serving
in authority over us. Continue to pray for Israel and the Middle East.  Gal. 4:4; 2 Cor. 5:20

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