Here is another illustration connected with a little boy. He was about eight years old. His parents were poor, but honest, industrious, pious people. They lived in a manufacturing town in the North of England.
One morning, this little boy was sent by his mother to the mill to buy some flour. His mother gave him five shilliugs, which she tied up, very carefully, in a corner of the bag which was to hold the flour. Then she kindly patted him on the shoulder, and told him to make haste, and come back as soon as he could. Then he hurried on and was soon making his way through the busy crowd, and along the dirty streets of that smokey town.
On arriving at the mill he found a number of people there waiting to be served. He took his place in the line to get his flour. He had to wait for half an hour before his turn came. Then he gave the man his bag, and told him that he wanted five shillings worth of flour, and that his mother had tied the money up in a corner of the bag.
The man opened the bag, turned it inside out, and shook it: but, alas! there was no money in it.
“There’s no money here,” said he, as he tossed the bag aside, and turned around to wait on another customer.
Poor little Johnny! How badly he felt, to think that he had lost his money, without knowing how!
What could he do? His mother wanted the flour; and he knew she had no more money to get it with. How could he venture to go home and tell his mother of his loss?
Greatly troubled, he withdrew a little from the crowd, to think what he should do. Then the thought came into his mind, “God can do everything. He can help me to find my money. I’ll pray to him.”
Then he walked quietly up and down in a corner of the mill, and liftiug up his heart to God in secret he offered, very earnestly, this simple prayer, “Heavenly Father, please help me find my money, for Jesus’ sake. Amen!”
Then, knowing that he must work as well as pray, he set off to look for his money. He went back the same way that he had come, looking carefully at every step, and offering, all the time, the earnest prayer that God would please help him find his money. The way he had come was over a bridge, which was the busiest part of that busy town. How little hope there was of his finding his money on the open street in broad daylight, where hundreds must have passed since he had dropped it! Still on he goes, with his head bent, watching narrowly every step, and still offering his prayer to God for help. He is almost over the bridge, looking narrowly first on this side, then on that, when, lo! there, on the black ground, he sees a bright shining shilling, and then another, and then another, till he has picked up all the five silver shillings he had lost.
Wasn’t he astonished though? And didn’t he jump for joy when he grasped the five shillings in his hand? There never was a happier little fellow than he was, when he took the flour home to his mother, and told her all that had happened to him.
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