A Story for children
By Hope Lyman
(when she was 13 years-old)

They were all alone. Tall, blond-haired Jay Parton and his short, brown-haired sister Martha. Jay, 17, was working as a ranch hand to support himself and his 11 year-old sister. Both parents were dead, and their older sister Susan had married and moved out of town before the death of their parents, so she knew nothing about it. So it was, that on this cold, snowy, winter morning Martha stood at the window in the front of the house, and watched Jay disappear in the snow. They shared a small “house” which was more of a shack. Jay made just enough money to pay for the house rent, and buy the bare necessities such as coal, bread, and meat. At the end of the year he received a small bonus, half of which he saved, and the other half was used to buy a small treat, such as milk or tea, potatoes or apples, butter for their bread, or gravy. Once in a great while he brought home flour, butter, sugar and apples, and Martha made an apple pie.
This morning, Martha was excited. They had finally saved enough money to buy a laying hen. It was a week before Jay’s bonus, but by skimping on coal, they had enough money to buy a hen.
Martha spent all morning and afternoon cleaning the house, pausing around noon just long enough to eat a piece of bread. She scrubbed the stove, the floor, the table and 2 chairs, even the small amount of dishes they owned. She did not know why, but it did keep her busy until Jay got home, and kept her warm without having to use more coal. About 2:00 there was a knock on the door. Slowly, wondering who it could be, she opened the door. Mrs. Simmons, the seamstress of the town, stood there shivering. Martha opened the door wider to let her in, then walked over and built a small fire, talking meanwhile. “Hello, Mrs. Simmons, how are you today? Did you need anything?” The tall, thin woman sat down on a chair Martha pulled forward for her. “No, child, nothing is wrong. There is something you could help me with, though. I have had a sudden rush of business , and if you will help me by sewing on buttons and other little things, I will pay you up to fifty cents a day, depending on how much you got done. Would you like to do that, or are you too busy to help at all?” Martha spoke quickly. “Oh, no ma’am, I am not busy at all during the days. In fact, I get bored quite often. I would be more than happy to do that for you, but are you sure you want to pay me anything?” Mrs. Simmons stood up. “Yes, I am going to pay you. It will be a big help. Well, that gets a load off my mind. I will bring a load of shirts Monday for you start on. Thank you very much.” She said good-bye and walked out, leaving Martha overjoyed. “Oh, just think of it! Fifty cents a day, why that will more than pay for our coal!” Martha spoke to herself quite frequently, as no one else was ever around to talk to. She finished her work that day, happy in the thought that she could help Jay, and also thanking the Lord for providing the work for her. Both she and Jay were christians, and every morning they picked out a Bible verse to memorize. In the evenings both would quote it, seeing who had remembered it best. They also had devotions every morning and evening together. Martha thought about it as she busied herself getting the table ready and toasting the bread. It was 4:00, almost time for her brother to be home. That morning their verse had been Genesis 28:15, “And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.”
Certainly this was written to Jacob, yet both Martha and her brother were christians, and God had and would take care of them. A lot of other verses in the Bible said so, and wasn’t this a real sign of it? Hadn’t she just asked the Lord that morning to provide some way for her to earn money to help Jay? Again, she knelt down and thanked the Lord for His loving care. After she stood up she had just enough time to place the toast and 2 glasses of water on the table before Jay came in, carrying their new hen in a box. He put the box down, washed his hands and then sat down at the table. After they prayed, Martha told him what had happened. She saw his face light up, and when she finished he looked totally amazed. “Well, Martha, I have news for you too. The foreman on the ranch walked out today, without a word of warning. And, since I have worked there longer than any of the others, I am now the official foreman of Ross Ranch. I am now getting paid double what I was-that means five hundred dollars a year! We must certainly thank the Lord for His care this evening.”

Cast all thy burdens upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
Psalm 55:22

Casting all your care upon Him: for He careth for you.”
1 Peter 5:7


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