Thanksgiving Memory

A daughter recounts a remarkable story from her father's point of view, with a miraculous conclusion.

BY: Vern Stanton


Continued from page 1

My rescuer? I was too exhausted even to look behind me. How could I ever find the strength to stand up and walk?

God helps those who help themselves, I reminded myself. You have to try.

I pressed myself up on my hands and knees, and a strange strength filled my muscles. I managed to stand and take a few shaky steps. I turned and scanned the barren terrain for my mysterious rescuer. I was totally alone. But something told me I could walk the two miles home in below-freezing weather, even in my wet clothes. After all, didn’t I have an angel looking out for me?


But that wasn’t the end of Dad’s story. The day after Thanksgiving, Dad and Jim, my husband, hiked down to the hole in the ice with some equipment to search for the snowmobile. “No need to trouble God with this,” Dad said. “We can handle it on our own.”

The hole had already frozen over, so Jim drilled through it. Dad lowered a long pole into several spots, expecting to hit the top of the machine. Nothing. “Just have to drill in different spots until we find it,” Jim said and set up the auger. They spent the afternoon searching, but came home empty-handed.

That night at dinner he asked us all to bow our heads over our turkey leftovers. “Lord, it looks like I can’t find the snowmobile on my own,” Dad said. “I’m trying to get used to asking for help.”

We were all taken aback, even the children. No one was used to hearing Dad admit defeat so easily. Little Doug, six, sat quietly for a moment, then lifted his head. “You’ll find the snowmobile tomorrow, Grandpa,” he announced.

“How do you know?” Jim asked with a laugh, skeptical after all those hours they’d spent hunting with no luck.

“I know because an angel told me so,” Doug said.

Early next morning Jim and Dad set out to find the sunken machine. “Let’s try farther downstream this time,” Jim said. They drilled hole after hole.

“Maybe that snowmobile’s gone for good,” Dad said as he pulled the pole out of the water once again. And yet he couldn’t dismiss his grandson’s prediction. He knew what an angel could do.

“I think . . .” Jim hesitated. “I think maybe I need to ask for God’s help.”

Dad’s eyebrows shot up. His son-in-law wanted to pray for help?

“I was sure we’d be able to find that snowmobile on our own,” he confessed. It might have been the cold, but Dad thought Jim’s cheeks looked a little pink. He didn’t find it any easier to admit needing help than Dad did.

Jim and Dad bowed their heads, and each said his own silent prayer. Then Jim looked up. “I know where to drill,” he said confidently. Dad followed him 20 yards downstream and let him drill where he wanted. Then Dad sank the pole into the water where it hit the snowmobile with a resounding thud. “I guess we can conclude that prayer makes all the difference,” Jim said.

Dad just nodded. He knew what prayer could do. But there were some lessons a man just had to learn for himself.

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