Have you ever had to wait for something you wanted very much? Have you prayed and felt God did not hear your prayers?
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given . . .” Isaiah 9:6
A silver bell atop the door of the quaint toyshop rang as my father pushed it open. The wintry wind blowing outside had chilled my small seven-year-old body through my thin coat. Shivering, I released my arms from around my father’s neck as he bent over for me to slide down from his back. It was December 23, 1948.
I held tightly to his hand as he asked the store clerk for Mrs. Richardson’s packages. I secretly knew they would hold surprises and gifts for my baby brothers and I. The smells of pine, cinnamon, and candy, the sounds of the musical bell and laughter of the customers surrounded me. Delightful visions of shelves filled with toys, drums, teddy bears and dolls thrilled my young heart as I peeked from behind my father’s coat while waiting for our purchase to be wrapped.
Suddenly I saw her. High on a shelf, dressed in red satin, curls beneath her laced trimmed bonnet, was the most beautiful doll in the world! My breath caught in my throat. I tugged at Daddy’s hand as we started to leave and pointed to the doll.
“Can I please have her for Christmas,” I asked in a whisper. He stopped, looked at the doll, then down at me. His tall frame lowered on one knee; he looked into my eyes and spoke gently.
“Honey, not this Christmas.”
Fighting a feeling I did not understand, tears welled in my eyes and I heard him say, “Sometimes we cannot have what we want when we want it. Sometimes we have to wait until the time is right.”
Christmas morning dawned and there was a small baby doll and tea set under the tree. Oh, how I loved them, but there was no elegant lady in a red satin dress. As each Christmas came I secretly looked for her. There were other gifts to be had, but she was never to be found. Then came the year the adults said I was too old for dolls. Again, I felt the tears that burned my eyes but did not flow and a feeling I did not understand.
Funny how those childhood dreams stay with us. Once again on December 23rd, many years later in another time and place I entered a shop on a cold wintry afternoon to the sounds of silver bells and smells of Christmas.
While waiting for my packages to be wrapped, I saw a doll on the shelf. A sales lady rushed over upon seeing this 40’ish woman, tears flowing, staring at a doll in a red satin dress. How foolish I felt; until she placed the doll in my arms.
“She is musical, just turn the key under her skirt,” she smiled.
I turned the key and heard the sounds of “Silver Bells.”
“She is only one hundred dollars,” said the lady.
Laughing, I handed the doll back to her, shaking my head. Not this time, I thought. Money was so very tight this year, and besides I am a grown woman with four children. That was just a childhood dream, wasn’t it? That evening I shared the story of the doll with my husband who exclaimed he never knew about the child that lived inside his wife!
Christmas morning was cold and clear. Our home was snug, warm, filled with love and laughter. Gifts, though none lavish, were passed out and received with words of excitement and thank you. I collapsed on the sofa, hot mug of coffee in hand, surveying mounds of paper and ribbons. I looked over at my mom, so glad she was with us, and able to enjoy her grandchildren. I silently thanked God for this moment.
“There is one more gift to be opened.” my husband exclaimed as he reached behind the Christmas tree to find a beautifully wrapped box. I held my breath as I opened it. There she was; the doll in the red dress. This time I understood as the tears finally streamed. I could hear my father saying,
Now each Christmas the lovely doll has her special place under the tree. I am reminded of moments in childhood that are lessons in life. Learning as an adult my heavenly Father sometimes answers that the time is not right, that I must wait, until…
Once, long ago the world had long awaited a Savior. One starry night that gift was placed in a manager for you and I. For indeed, the time was right.
Have you accepted the Savior into your life? If so type “yes” in the comments so we can pray for you by name. If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior will you be so bold to say “no” so we can pray for you too?