Helen Jackson, Trinity UMC, DeLand
January 4, 2017
This Week’s Storyteller is…
Helen Jackson, Trinity UMC, DeLand
My Christmas Miracle
As a teenager my Father had given me a pair of opal earrings and I had lost one after he died in 1984. While in Turkey with Mark in 2003, we went shopping on a rainy day and noticed lots of opals for sale. I had always wanted to replace the ones that I had lost. I found some I liked in the first shop, but kept on looking. We returned to the first shop much later and the owner then tried to persuade me to buy a matching opal ring as well. While I was making up my mind, Mark announced that he would buy me the earrings, but he definitely wasn’t going to buy me the ring! It was the first time he had bought me anything, and I just had a feeling it was a sign he was going to marry me.
December 4, 2016, found us docked in our big boat at Hontoon Island at 4:30 p.m. We called Hontoon Marina and found the deli closed at 6 p.m., so we decided to row over in my new small boat for salad and dessert to go with the meat we had brought to grill. As I was getting off the boat my sunglasses came loose from the chain they were on. While trying to help me, Mark grabbed my glasses, the chain pulled my ear and we both watched my gold opal earring disappearing into the murky depths of the St. John’s River.
I felt absolutely sick inside.
Mark said he would see how deep the river was using an oar, while I went inside to buy the salad and dessert. The water was three to four feet deep. We just had to look for the earring. I went back inside to see if the store sold nets. They had a child’s one for $7.99. As I was paying, I asked the cashier if she believed in the power of prayer, as I was buying the net to search for my gold earring at the bottom of the river. She assured me it was full of mud and no one ever found anything. She evidently didn’t have the faith for my mission.
We just had to try. We had read in Daily Light that morning, “My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete.” “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (John 16:23-24 and Matthew 21:22.) So we started. Mark took off his shirt and was leaning over the edge of the boat dragging up the net full of mud and mussels while I was half-lying, half-sitting on the dock hanging onto the boat. It was like panning for gold, quite literally. Two workers from Hontoon Marina came over. They offered a larger net, a magnet and a hose to wash through the mud.
They also told us stories of all the things that had been lost and never found, much larger things such as eyeglasses, cell phones, car keys, screw drivers. We just kept on. We prayed out loud. We quoted God’s word back to Him. We thanked Him in advance for a miracle. We reminded Him that we believed that nothing was impossible. Mark wanted to carry on using the small net. It was starting to get dark. He did say it was like looking for a needle in a haystack, as anyone who knows the St. John’s River will know. He thought the big net would stir up the mud more, so we didn’t use it.
It was getting darker. I just didn’t want to give up. I knew God could do anything. One more scrape through the mud and then we would stop as it was too dark. I tried not to think about the gators. Mark swished the net full of mud back and forth, back and forth, to wash out the mud. It still makes me cry to remember that moment of seeing the gold glistening in the mud. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. We rushed to tell the worker who had loaned us the other net and hose. The shop was now closed, so I asked him to tell the cashier. I just wanted to tell everyone. I’m telling you! NEVER EVER underestimate the power of prayer and how God cares about every little detail of your life. Praise Him!
Donald Marsh, First Brandon
This story was first published in April 2014.
The disciple shares his story of becoming part of a healing ministry. “We were convinced by the scriptures that we, as disciples of Christ, should be about healing, as well as spreading the gospel.”