Christmas Eve 2009 for 12 year old Maurissa Taylor and her family was the most unusual one they had ever remembered. Just four months earlier her father had lost his job after 16 years of loyal service to the company. His loss of employment cost the Taylor family more than 60% of its income. Now the family was completely dependent on her mother’s Assistant Manager position at the Okmulgee Wal-Mart Department Store in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. With her parents and four siblings, the Taylor family piled into the car with presents and started on what should have been roughly an hour drive to her grandmother’s house in rural Shawnee.
By the time they reached Henryetta, it began to show. As the snow fell, blizzard conditions made it nearly impossible to see but a few feet in front of their vehicle. They were unprepared for this kind of winter weather—no blankets, no extra food, no flashlights or flares. Tension began to mount as the family passed car after car stalled along the highway, or accidents involving many cars. The exit ramps, often blocked by stalled vehicles, denied the family access to the towns where they might have been able to stop off at a hotel or motel room for the night. The few convenient stores along Interstate 40 were either closed for Christmas or the desired items sold out. To turn around and go back to Okmulgee would have been even more difficult to travel. After Maurissa’s parents discussed their options, they felt they had no choice but to keep on driving towards Shawnee with the hope that they make it. The entire family fell into complete silence.
The Maurissa’s 8 year old brother, Tim, began to sing “Silent Night. Holy Night. All is calm. All is bright…” It broken the tension and everyone joined in. For the next couple of hours, the Taylor family sang Christmas carols, inching along through the blizzard until they stopped into their grandmother’s country house.
When storms or difficult situations arise in your life, do everything can to remedy the problem and then raise your voice in songs of joy and praise to God. It may not immediately solve the problem or problems you are facing at that very moment but you may rest assure you will have hope for your future. And in due time God WILL, in fact, see you through whatever it is that troubles you here and now as well as in the future.
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