Some friends of ours were working as volunteers in a new ministry. They had four young children and were trusting God to meet their needs. We knew that many times they did not enjoy the American diet that most people take for granted. We did not know, however, that they had been living on pancakes for the last week. Nor did we know that they had just run out of syrup and butter! Mom and I were having prayer together one morning and we got the idea to buy some groceries and take them over.
We always enjoy shopping so we set off happily for the grocery store. We kept thinking about those four children and soon our baskets were overflowing with good food. “I’m about ready to check out,” Mom said.
“Good, so am I,” I responded, “But, first I want to get a bag of dog food because I know they have been feeding an old stray dog over by their house.” I went to the dog food department. I could see that I had enough money left to buy either the largest bag of the cheap stuff, or the medium bag of the good stuff.
“That old dog isn’t used to anything but scraps, so even the cheap stuff would seem good to him and then I could get twice as much,” I thought to myself. “On the other hand, I wouldn’t feed that cheap stuff to my dog.” I tossed the problem around in my mind. Mom came over, “Have you gotten the dog food?”
“I’m trying to decide whether to buy twice as much of the cheap stuff or the smaller bag of the good stuff,” I responded. “Well, I’m sure the dog will be thankful for whatever he gets, after all, it’s a gift from Jesus!” Mom encouraged.
Well, that did it! Jesus wouldn’t give anybody the cheap stuff! Happily, I grabbed the smaller bag and we checked out. When we arrived at their home, they all came out to help us carry in the groceries. They expressed their thankfulness to Jesus as they emptied the trunk of the car. As we shut the trunk, I said, “Oh, here’s one more bag in the back seat. It’s the dog food.”
“Dog food!” the mother exclaimed! “Children! Come quick! Here’s the dog food you prayed for at breakfast!” The children all came running over and were very excited as they pulled out the 20 lb bag of dog food. “Oh, boy!” they said, “We asked Jesus to give us some dog food because the dog wasn’t doing very well on pancakes! Praise the Lord! Jesus heard our prayer!”
I felt very small as I contemplated the greatness of people who prayed for good food for an old stray dog even while they were living on dry pancakes themselves.