The Lord Will Provide

The Lord Will Provide

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

The Lord Will Provide

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

Jer. 29:12

I was too proud to ask for a handout. Our cupboards contained only some miscellaneous grains and our fridge had little more than condiments, so naturally our three small children were getting bored with the meals I fixed. But our paucity was wearing on me, causing my temper to be short—and their complaints only frustrated me all the more.

We weren’t entirely destitute; we had a home and my husband had a decent job. But we had more expenses than we had income, and in an attempt to keep our promises to our creditors and to keep me home as the primary caregiver to our children, our grocery bill repeatedly ended up last on the priority list.

Finally, I realized that I needed to take the opportunity to teach my children something about faith. I asked them to join me for a prayer, telling them that we should ask Heavenly Father to provide. If they wanted better food, they needed to stop asking me for it and put up their petition to the Lord Himself.

We knelt down in the entryway of our home next to the kitchen. My oldest was probably about five years old, and each of the children seemed eager to give it a try. I tried not to doubt; in fact, I found myself relying on their purely innocent faith, hoping the Lord would answer their prayers in spite of my own negativity. How would He answer them? I had no idea.

We took turns, each of us expressing the desire of our hearts. I spoke first, demonstrating the proper pattern of prayer. “Heavenly Father, thank thee for all that thou hast blessed us with. We come before thee now to ask thee to please bless us to have better food . . .” I explained why we needed it, and that we were simply trying to do the right thing in keeping our bills paid and keeping me home. Then I closed my petition, “in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.”

After we were done, I reminded them to believe and to trust God. Inside I pleaded with Him that He would answer their prayers—not so much for the food we needed, but for the testimony that He lives and that He is there for us, something that would serve them throughout their lives.

How grateful—and amazed—we were when a few hours later our good bishop showed up at our doorstep with bags of groceries that he had personally brought from the Bishop’s Storehouse. He had asked me days earlier if we needed it, and I had told him no. Nevertheless, there he stood. And, tearfully, we accepted. My children will always remember that experience, and how timely his arrival was.

We no longer want for groceries. I have since discovered how dependable the blessings of the Lord can be when we live in harmony with His laws. Heavenly Father has since helped us find the way to keep our bills paid and keep me home with the six children we now have. For as we know, “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7).

Through that experience I learned that pride can sometimes get in the way of our needs being met. The good news is that even when it does, the Lord knows just how to turn the situation into something that can bless the lives and strengthen the faith of everyone involved. It strengthened not only me, but my children and the bishop himself, as he realized how perfectly he had been an instrument in God’s hands. It was his privilege and our blessing that he was the messenger sent to answer our prayers that day.

Leslie Householder

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