Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)
Stanley Pompous was from a small town in West Virginia. His father and grandfather were coal miners who persuaded Stanley to pursue college to escape the dangers that were in the mining business. Stanley went on to excel in college and gained a successful career on Wall Street. He hob-knobbed with the rich and famous, and grew ashamed of his humble heritage. He disconnected from his roots and “enjoyed” his new associations, and “friends.” For years he reveled in his “success” and good fortunes.
Stanley had a client named Mr. Jeremiah, a Christian businessman, who owned a tree farm in the valley of Pharaoh Lane. Every year, Mr. Jeremiah gave Stanley a choice, free of charge, of any tree on the farm that Stanley could have for his personal Christmas tree display. Stanley always selected the tallest, most lush tree of the lot.
One night the Lord gave Mr. Jeremiah a dream about Stanley that revealed trouble that loomed for him. Mr. Jeremiah told Stanley about the dream, and urged him to seek God for salvation, and help for his upcoming struggles. Stanley thanked Mr. Jeremiah but blew off the advice.
In March, three years after Mr. Jeremiah’s dream, the bottom fell out of Stanley’s life. He lost his job, his house, his “friends,” and his confidence. His former landscaper, Joel, a Christian, had a small home with a tiny extra room. Joel invited Stanley to live there, rent free, with the condition that they regularly attend together his church “A New Beginning.” Stanley agreed. They attended together for months, and one Sunday, Stanley got right with God, and for the first time in his life, he had peace, and joy in abundance. He got involved in church projects, reconnected with his family, and sought counsel from Joel and other mature Christians.
Stanley applied for many jobs on Wall Street and other nearby areas. The Lord would not allow Stanley to obtain another job in his field of finance. No matter how Stanley pursued, the Lord did not budge on behalf of what Stanley desired. None of his job network connections could help because it was not the perfect will of God. Stanley began to pray for only God’s will to be done. Once Stanley surrendered to God, Joel told Stanley that the Lord had led him to train Stanley in the landscaping business. Stanley learned the trade and excelled in it – he came to enjoy that vocation more than his former one!
Near Christmas time, the church, “A New Beginning” needed a Christmas tree and needed the best deal. Stanley told them about Mr. Jeremiah, his former client. He took one of the members, Mr. Jonathan, to Mr. Jeremiah’s tree farm. Mr. Jeremiah was elated to see Stanley, and to find out that he had accepted Jesus as Saviour, and Lord.
Mr. Jeremiah escorted them around to select a tree for the church lobby Christmas display. They selected the tallest and most lush tree on the farm. They desired the best to grace the lobby of God’s house. Mr. Jonathan inquired about the price. To their surprise, Mr. Jeremiah presented the tree as a gift. Also, he told Stanley to select his personal tree as he had done for many years. This year Stanley selected the tree that was the least in size, and the leanest in foliage. Mr. Jeremiah remembered how in previous years, Stanley had selected the tallest, and most lush tree on the farm. He asked Stanley why, this year, he had selected the least tree. Stanley responded with God’s word, “Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Matthew 13:32 (original King James Version). Mr. Jeremiah understood.
When Stanley arrived in his tiny room in Joel’s home, he placed his tree atop a table, and decorated it with all red bulbs as a tribute to the red shed blood of Jesus Christ who had redeemed him from death, and gave him life abundantly!
The Lord led Joel and Stanley to become landscape business owners. They obeyed God, and named the business, “Eagle Wing Creations.” They relocated the operation to West Virginia – the roots of Stanley Pompous who obtained a new legal last name – “Humble.” GOD’S WORD: “Ah, Lord God!...there is nothing too hard for thee:..” (Jeremiah 32:17 – original King James Version).
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