Christmas was upon us. It was just three days away and unlike every other Christmas in my life, we would NOT have a tree. We would not have gifts.
I was in the living room looking around. What was I going to do to make some sort of celebration happen?
Praising God in all things, came to my mind once again. "I HAVE to trust God!" I thought to myself. "If this is a test from the Lord, I REFUSE to fail it!" I determined.
Without telling my wife, I began to be happy inside. I was going to thank God no matter what it took—and I mean thank Him for EVERYTHING! I would be joyful no matter what! I started saying quietly, "Thank You God that we have NO MONEY, NO GIFTS and NO CHRISTMAS TREE! I MEAN IT—THANK YOU!
The more I strategized to be happy, the happier I got. "Maybe I can make a pretend Christmas tree out of the lights in the garage," I thought. My eyes stopped at a hook that was screwed into the ceiling holding a lamp.
I could take that light down and use that hook to hang our Christmas lights—in the shape of a tree, I decided. It might even look prettier than a tree if I did it right. I was so jazzed with my idea. But before I could share it with Derene, the phone rang.
"Hello is this Steve Shultz?"
"Yes, that's me. What can I do for you?"
"I have a large check for you. It's for $2100." ($5500 in today's dollars).
"Wow, how come?" I asked.
"This is from the case you solved with the money going to those siblings!"
Instantly, I realized that the judge must have forced them to give me my fee!
I was without words! I quickly gave them my address and one day before Christmas, the check arrived and we went shopping. We went out and bought a HUGE Christmas tree which we immediately decorated. On Christmas morning, gifts surrounded the tree! It was an amazing Christmas!
Such gratitude filled my heart because I KNEW that God had prepared this situation for me to happen at the EXACT moment He foresaw that I would Praise Him and thank Him for EVERYTHING. I had nothing to gain by it except the warm feeling that I was obeying the Voice of God and the Word of God!