It was almost Christmas, but it wasn’t snowing. It was raining, and that was a problem. How was Ellen White to follow God’s instructions if the rain didn’t turn to snow?
James and Ellen White were in Illinois when Ellen had a vision. She saw some of the friends she used to work with. They had moved to Iowa and were now more interested in earning money doing other things than in working for God. But God wanted Mrs. White to go to her friends to deliver a message.
In those days the only way to travel during winter was by sleigh, and a sleigh needs snow. They would need a miracle to allow them to get to Waukon, Iowa. Then it happened: snow began to fall! Soon they were on their way, but they had no idea they would soon need another miracle.
To get into Iowa, they had to cross the Mississippi River, but there was no bridge. The river had frozen over, but with all the rain, the ice had become soft and was covered by about 12 inches of water and melted snow.
When they got to the riverbank, they were told that another sleigh had already broken through the ice and the driver had nearly drowned.
“I wouldn’t try it for all the money in the world,” said a man on the riverbank.
They sat in their sleigh looking at the slushy mix on the river. Finally someone asked, “Is it on to Iowa, or back to Illinois? We have come to the Red Sea. Shall we cross?”
Ellen White didn’t hesitate. She knew that if God asks you to do something, He will also open the way for you to do it. “Go forward,” she said, “trusting in Israel’s God!” Cautiously, they drove onto the ice. Everyone in that sleigh was praying.
The ice held!
As they reached the bank, a cheer went up from the crowd that had gathered on the shore to watch. The Whites reached Waukon on Christmas Eve and held meetings on Christmas Day. Their friends heard God’s message that had been the reason for the White’s dangerous journey, and decided to recommit themselves to working for Him. That change of heart was the most wonderful miracle that Christmas.
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