A Prayer For A Load Of Wood.
Here is an illustration of the way in which God sends relief in trouble.
The story is told by the Christian woman to whom it happened, in her own
"About the month of January, 1863, I was living in Connecticut, alone
with two little boys, one of them four years old, and the other about a
year and a half old. My husband was away in the service of his country.
When the coldest weather came, I was nearly out of wood. I went down
into the village, one day, to try and get some, but tried in vain; so
many men were away in the army that help was scarce. Very little wood
was brought into market, and those living on the main street, got all
that came, while those who lived outside the village could get none. I
tried to buy a quarter of a cord from two or three merchants, but could
not get any. One of them told me he could not get what he wanted for his
own family. Another said he wasn't willing to yoke up his team for so
small a quantity; but, as I only had a dollar and seventy-five cents, I
could not buy any more, and so I was obliged to go home without any. I
went back to my little ones, feeling very sad. But while I sat there,
almost ready to cry, the words of Abraham came into my mind, 'Jehovah-
Jireh, the Lord will provide.' Then I went up to my chamber. There I
knelt down and told God of my trouble, and asked him to help me and send
the relief that we needed. Then I went to the window and waited, looking
down the street, expecting to see the wood coming. After waiting a
while, without seeing any come, my faith began to fail. I said to
myself, 'The Lord did provide for Abraham, but He won't provide for me.'
Our last stick of wood was put in the stove. It was too cold to keep the
children in the house without fire. I got the children's clothes out,
and thought I would take them to the house of a kind neighbor, where I
knew they could stay till we got some wood. But, just as I was going out
with the children, in passing by the window, I saw the top of a great
load of wood coming up the road towards our little house. Can that be
for us? I asked myself. Presently I saw the wagon turn off the road and
come up towards our door. Then I was puzzled to know how to pay for it.
A dollar and seventy-five cents I knew would only go a little way
towards paying for all that wood. The oxen came slowly on, dragging the
load to our door. I asked the man if there wasn't same mistake about it.
'No, ma'am,' said he, 'there's no mistake.' 'I did not order it, and I
cannot pay for it,' was my reply. 'Never mind, ma'am,' said he, 'a
friend ordered it, and it is all paid for.' Then he unhitched the oxen
from the wagon, and gave them some hay to eat. When this was done, he
asked for a saw and ax, and never stopped till the whole load was cut
and split and piled away in the woodshed.
"This was more than I could stand. My feelings overcame me, and I sat
down and cried like a child. But these were not bitter tears of sorrow.
They were tears of joy and gladness, of gratitude and thankfulness. I
felt ashamed of myself for doubting God's word, and I prayed that I
might never do so again. What pleasure I had in using that wood! Every
stick of it, as I took it up, seemed to have a voice with which to say
'Jehovah-Jireh.' As Abraham stood on the top of Mount Moriah he could
say, 'The Lord _will_ provide.' But every day, as I went into our
woodshed, I could point to that blessed pile of wood sent from heaven,
and say, 'The Lord _does_ provide.'"
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