In the winter of 1855, in the state of Iowa, the snow fell early in November to the depth of two feet. The storm was such that man nor beast could move against it. In a log cabin, six miles from her nearest relative, lived a woman with five children, ranging from one to eleven years.
The supply of food and fuel was but scant when the snow began falling; and day after day the small store melted away, until the fourth evening, when the last provisions were cooked for supper, and barely enough fuel remained to last one day more. That night, as washer custom, the little ones were called around her knee to hear the Scripture lesson read, before commending them to the Heavenly Father’s care. Then, bowing in prayer, she pleaded as only those in like condition can plead, that help from God might be sent.
While wrestling with God in prayer, the Spirit took the words of the Psalmist and impressed them on her heart: “I have been young, and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” And again, these words came as if spoken audibly: “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that wait on the Lord shall want no good thing.”
Faith took God at His word; and with an assurance that help would come, she prayed God who heareth prayer, and retired to rest without a care or fear for the morrow. When again the morning broke, that mother arose, kindled her fire and put on the kettle as she had done on other days before the food was all gone.
Just as the sun arose, a man in a sleigh drove up to the house, and hastening in inquired how they were getting along. Her heart at first was too full for utterance; but in a short time he was told something of their destitution, and of her cry to God for help.
He replied: “Last night about nine o’clock, wife and I were both impressed that you were in need. Spending almost a sleepless night, I hastened at early dawn, to come and inquire about the case.”
Then returning to his sleigh he took into the house breadstuff, meat and groceries, so that mother had abundance to prepare a breakfast for the little ones, who had eaten the last bread the night before. And as if to make the case above-mentioned a special providence, without a doubt remaining, the individual who was thus impressed and that at the very hour that mother was crying to God-was a stranger to the circumstances and surroundings of this family. Indeed, he had never been in that house before, nor had ever showed any interest in the person referred to; but he ever afterwards proved a friend indeed.
Now, after years have rolled around, and these children are all married and settled in homes of their own, that mother’s heart is still strengthened to bear hardships and trust in God, by the recollections of that hour, when faith in God was so tested, and yet was so triumphant.
Let skeptics ridicule the idea of a special providence, or lightly speak of prayer. One heart will ever believe God’s ear in mercy is open to the cry of the feeblest of His children, when in distress their cry goes up for help to Him.
-- E.M. Dodson, of Orworth, Kan., in Michigan Holiness Record
Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893