Do you like to receive packages in the mail? Most of us do. It is exciting to see what has come—maybe something you ordered, or a gift someone sent. If you weren’t expecting the package, it is all the more exciting! Especially if it is something you’ve needed or wanted for awhile. Do you know that our Heavenly Father likes to send surprises for His children?
God’s Surprise Package Company
A true story, taken from the book Green Leaf in Drought Time by Isobel Kuhn
One cold fall, in far away China, a little girl named Lilah Mathew lived with her daddy and mommy. She was a happy girl, just three years old, but she had one big problem. She didn’t have any boots or coat to wear for the winter. You see, the Mathew family had come to tell the people of China about Jesus, but the city leaders were not happy that they were there. Now they weren’t allowed to talk to anyone or leave their house, unless they were getting food from the market or water from the river. “Can I go with you?” Lilah asked, when Daddy bundled up to go outside.
“I’m sorry, Lilah, but it is snowing and you will get all wet and cold with only leather shoes to wear,” Daddy replied. “And your little red snowsuit is too small now.”
“If only I had something to make another snowsuit with,” Mommy said. “And all the children here wear wadded boots. I wish I could ask our neighbor how to make them!”
“And I wish we had money to buy Lilah warm things to wear,” said Daddy, “but the police will only let me have part of my paycheck. There is only enough money for fuel and food.”
“Don’t worry, dear,” Mommy said, giving him a kiss. “God has not let us starve yet!” When Daddy left the house, Mommy got down on her knees by the stove. “Lilah, let us pray and ask God to send us something warm for you to wear,” she said. So that is what they did. And how do you think God answered? With His surprise package company, of course!
It wasn’t long before their first package came. There was a knock at the door, and a little Russian child handed them a bundle of cloth and then hurried away. The cloth was dirty, but what was inside? Lilah jumped up and down when Mommy pulled out two wadded boots! “Now I can walk in the snow with Daddy!” she said excitedly, as she put them on her little feet. Mommy stuffed some old padding inside and they fit perfectly! “How wonderful that our Russian friends sent us this gift,” Mommy said. “I heard that their mama is sick right now, and just see how they have come to bless us! God must have told them that we needed boots for you.”
The next package arrived in the mail. “It is from Marvin Dunn, our missionary friend in Hong Kong,” Daddy said, as he looked at the writing. “That is very kind of him to think of us away on the other side of China!” He opened the box and pulled out wool underwear and socks, and a dark blue shirt.
Mommy grabbed the shirt and said, “There’s Lilah’s snowsuit!” It didn’t look like a snowsuit at first, but Lilah watched as Mommy tucked here and stitched there. “Let me try it on you,” Mommy said, and slipped it over her head. Now the shirt looked like a long coat that went all the way to Lilah’s boots.
“All I need to do is wad it with something warm and it will be perfect,” Mommy said. There was an old ragged blanket in the cupboard and Lilah watched as Mommy cut it open and pulled the stuffing out. She used the silky fabric from an old cushion cover to make the inside of the coat, and added the stuffing in between. “See, it is done!” Mommy said, and they tried it on again.
Everyone laughed. Little Lilah, snug in her new suit, now looked almost as round as she was tall! “Quite the football,” Daddy teased.
“Isn’t God so good to provide just what we need?” Mommy said. “I will add a bit of fabric to Lilah’s old mittens and she will be ready to go outside again!”
“You are quite the wonder,” Daddy told Mommy. “God has blessed me with a faithful and creative wife!” And so Mommy was part of God’s surprise package company, too.
The next morning Lilah and Daddy went outside together. Wet slushy snow covered the street as they tromped down to the river with Daddy’s big jugs and Lilah’s tiny pail. The Chinese people smiled and pointed as they passed, but Lilah didn’t mind. She was warm and snug in her new coat and boots. Her face felt the cold fresh air and she looked excitedly around at everything. It was so good to be outside again!
The Mathews family often received from God’s surprise package company that winter, and every time it reminded them of how much He cared for them. “Look how kind and thoughtful our friends have been!” they said when a box of treats or supplies came. “Isn’t God good?”
When God sent them a bunch of money right before Christmas, everyone was excited. “Can I have pears and candy?” Lilah asked.
“Yes,” said Mommy, “I am hungry for something sweet, too.”
“And plenty of eggs,” Daddy said. “I think I can eat five for breakfast!” So Daddy and Lilah went out shopping and brought home sacks of good things. And then Mommy got busy baking—fudge and cookies and all sorts of treats!
Lilah licked her lips as she watched Mommy fill a box with goodies. “Let’s send some to our friends who are alone this Christmas,” Mommy said. “God has blessed us with so much and it is a good time to pass it on!”
For you see, everyone with love in their hearts and who is willing to share can be part of God’s surprise company. Do you want to be a part of it, too?