After months of sickness and unemployment Father was feeling very discouraged.
“I don't see any way through,” he said one day, “unless God helps us.”
“I hope He will---soon,' said Mother earnestly, knowing how very little food there was left.
“I never was in such a fix before,” Father went on. No money in the house, and through no fault of our own either. I wonder what is going to happen?”
“I can't tell,' said Mother. “It's the children I'm worried about. They'll all be in for supper in a minute or two, and there isn't a bite of bread for them.”
“Is the last loaf gone?” asked Father anxiously.
“It is,” replied Mother sadly, “the last loaf.”
“Then it is surely time for God to work,' said Father.
At this moment the back door was flung open with a bang. In rushed the three children, panting from their run up the long hill from the school,and, as usual, desperately hungry.
“What's for supper, Mamma?” asked the eldest.
Mother looked at Father. For a moment she didn't know just what to say.
“I'm afraid,” she said, “God hasn't sent it yet.”
The children's faces fell. Nothing to eat! That was awful.
They knew that Father was out of work and that hospital bills had taken all his savings, but somehow there had always been something for them to eat.
Mamma,” said the youngest earnestly, “if there isn't any food in the house, why don't we ask Jesus to send some? He surely won't let us starve, and I'm so hungry.”
“”It's the only thing we can do,” said Father. “Let's gather round the table and pray.”
So without another word they all knelt down---Father, Mother, and the three children---and pleaded with God to send them at least some bread to eat as He had promised in His Word.
Now it so happened that this very afternoon two ladies, who belonged to the same church as this family, were talking about them, wondering why they had not seen them of late.
“There must be something the matter,' said one, “or they would've been to the meeting yesterday. They never miss.”
“You're right,” said the other. “I think we should go to visit them and find out whether there is anything they need. The husband has been out of work for some time, I believe.”
“Yes,” said the first lady. “Let us go now.”
So the two ladies set out for a little cottage in the country where the poor family lived.
It was quite a distance to walk, part of the way being up a long, steep hill.
They had nearly reached the top of the hill when a baker's truck passed them, traveling very swiftly. As it went by, what do you suppose happened? Well, believe it or not, the door of the truck flew open and out fell a loaf of bread on the roadway. A moment later, the truck seemed to hit a stone or a rut in the road, for it shook violently, scattering loaves in all directions through the open door.
Quite unaware of what had happened, the driver of the truck continued his headlong course and in a few seconds was out of sight and far away.
Here was a problem for the two ladies. All over the road were beautiful, brown, crusty loaves of bread, good food that in a few minutes would be crushed and spoiled by other traffic passing by. It seemed too bad to leave them there, and as the truck driver did not return, they decided to pick them up.
It took them a little while to do it, but at last they stood there on the grass beside the road, each with a pile of loaves in her arms.
“What shall we do with them now?” asked one of the ladies, smiling, but a little worried.
“I don't know,” laughed the other. “If we knew who owned them we'd take them back to him, but we don't. The only thing I can think of is to take them with us and see what happens.”
“Well, let's do it, then,” said the other, “and quickly, for my arms are getting tired.”
So off they went, soon reaching the garden gate of the little cottage they had set out to find. Walking up the path, the loaves still piled high in their arms, they knocked the the door.
The door was opened by Mother, and the two ladies saw a sight that moved their hearts, for there were father and the three children still kneeling in prayer around the empty table.
A moment later all were on their feet, their eyes gleaming with surprise and excitement.
”Jesus has sent us bread!” cried the youngest. “I knew He would if we asked Him.”
“Yes,” said Father, “He surely has, and far more than we dared to ask for. It is bread from heaven indeed.”