Did God Provide This Meal?

posted in: Illustrations | 0

old 1800s kitchen dining room tableThis is a story about a little boy whose name was Bonnell. He was a very bright little fellow, about eight years old. His father was not a Christian, and they never had a blessing asked at their meals.

“Pa,” said the little fellow, one day, “Ma says that God made you. Did he, pa?”

“Yes, he made me.”

“Well, pa, are you glad he made you?”

“Why Bonnell, of course I am; what strange questions you do ask!”

The little fellow was evidently thinking about something which he could not exactly make out.

Not long after this, he went on a visit to his Uncle Sam’s. This uncle was an earnest Christian. He always asked a blessing at their meals, and had family prayers, and the reading of the scriptures every day. This led Bonnell to think very seriously about these things, and to wonder why his father didn’t do as his uncle did.

The first time they were all sitting round the table at breakfast, after his return home, he asked “Pa, what does Uncle Sam ask a blessing at table for?”

“I reckon it’s because he wants to.”

“He says he wants to thank God for his dinner, but I told him you worked for your dinner and made it. God does not give it to you, does he, pa?”

“Well, yes; I suppose he gives me mine too.”

Bonnell looked in astonishment, and then he went vigorously to work with his knife and fork. Presently he looked up again and asked “Pa, does God want Uncle Sam to thank him?”

“Yes, child; I suppose he does.”

Then the little fellow was silent again.

After awhile he said, “Pa, I’m mighty glad that God is not like you, for if He was we should never get anything more to eat, and then we’d starve.”

“Why, Bonnell, what do you mean?”

“I was just thinking that you would not let sister have that apple the other day because she wouldn’t say please, and if God was that sort of way he never would give us anything more because we don’t thank him, as Uncle Sam does, and say please.”

“Be quiet, Bonnell; you don’t know what you are talking about.”

Bonnell was quiet. The rest of that meal was eaten in silence. Bonnell’s father went to his office, to attend to the business of the day. But he could not forget what his little boy had said. It led him to see that he was not doing right, in acting as he did, in not thanking God for His many mercies. And to the surprise of his family, when they sat down to tea that night, the father said “please”. He thanked God for their food, and asked His blessing upon it. And the change did not end there. Bonnell’s father never rested till he became a Christian and joined the church. And here we see what a blessing that little boy’s desire to remember his Creator brought upon that family.

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