Don Cantelon grew up on the Canadian prairie amid the incredible poverty of the Great Depression. Nine years of drought, dust storms, and grasshopper plagues added to the misery. Don’s dad, a prairie preacher, continued as faithfully as he could, living on almost nothing; and inspired by his example, Don himself grew up to become a young pastor. But he, too, received little income from the impoverished congregations he served.
Don met a girl named Ardena who he quickly fell in love with—the two became engaged. He was embarrassed that his fiancée’s left hand was bare, but there was no way he could afford a ring on his church salary, so he waited for an outside speaking engagement to provide a little extra money. Finally, he was asked to speak at a youth convention in Alberta.
Arriving in Alberta, he counted ten cents in his pocket; and when he learned that his assigned accommodations were a long way from the meeting hall, he fretted about the bus fare. As Don ambled down the street, a prayer formed in his mind: “Lord, if I had just five dollars, I think I’d be all right until they give me my love offering at the end of the convention. You see, Lord, I need just enough money for bus fare, a little writing pad, and a cheap pen.” As Don continued walking, he stuck his hand in the breast pocket of his coat and pulled out a love letter from Ardena along with a paper giving information about his trip.
Stuck between the two was a five-dollar bill.
At the end of the meetings, Don was given a modest honorarium. After buying his train ticket and returning home, there was enough left for the tiniest of engagement rings. Don never knew how the money got into his pocket, but he said, “From that point in my life, I found it easier to believe that God would supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
He Is Our Provider
Never doubt that our God is our provider. You and I serve the same God who provided a lamb for Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah; sent manna from heaven and streams in the desert for the Children of Israel; commanded the ravens to feed the prophet Elijah by the Brook Cherith; filled the widow’s larder with oil and flour in 1 Kings 17; multiplied the loaves and fish for the throngs of Galilee; and put a coin in a fish’s mouth so Peter could pay his taxes. He works in ways we cannot see or comprehend at times to provide for our needs.
He is Our Protector
The same God who provides for us also protects us. The Twenty-Third Psalm assures us that if the Lord is our Shepherd, we’ll lack nothing; and we have nothing to fear. His rod and staff will comfort us, and He will be with us even in the valley of the shadow of death. How easy to fear when we hear a noise in the night or when we board an airplane. But the Lord says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God” (Isaiah 41:10).
The word “afraid” occurs 216 times in the Bible. The earliest biblical reference occurs immediately after Adam and Eve sinned. The first words out of Adam’s mouth were: I was afraid (Genesis 3:10). Most of the remaining 215 references are reassurances that by God’s grace and by Christ’s love we don’t have to remain in a state of fear: Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today…The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid…? Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You….You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day…. Do not be afraid; only believe…. (Exodus 14:13; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 56:3; Psalm 91:5; Luke 8:50).
Because He is our Provider and Protector, we can also say that He is our Peace. Because He cares for us., He blesses us with all we need to live in today’s world. So look upward today and see what God is doing for you, and thank Him for His provision, protection, and peace.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of
Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information on Turning Point, go to
 Don Cantelon, The Day I Burned the Hotel Down and Other True Stories (Abbotsford, BC: CeeTeC Publishing, 2002), chapter 18: “The Five Dollar Miracle.”
The story of Christ’s birth is the ultimate love story—a story that can be expressed in a single word: Immanuel. Dr. David Jeremiah considers the significance of that word, which means “God with us,” and why it makes Christmas worth celebrating every day of the year.