It’s dreadful to live this way! I do wonder why God doesn't answer your prayers and send you some work, father."

"Are you hungry, mother? I'm sure I thought we had a very good breakfast. And what a nice, pleasant house this is that we live in!" "But we've nothing for dinner!"

"But it isn't dinner time." 

"Well, I must confess I like to know what we are to have just a little while before dinner time."

"God has said our bread and water shall be sure, but he has not promised that we shall know beforehand where it's coming from."

"Father," said little Maggie, "do you s'pose God knows what time we have dinner?"

"Yes, dear, I suppose he knows exactly that. I've done my best to get work, and I'll go out now and look around, and you go to school and don't be the least mite afraid, Maggie. There'll be some dinner."

"But we're out of soap and starch and  --," said the mother.. 

I'm sure I had soap when I washed my hands this morning."

"Yes, a little bit. But it's not enough to do the washing."

"But the washing won't come till next Monday. As for the starch, it isn't one of the necessaries of life."

"If I had some potatoes I could make some," said Mrs. Wilson, musingly.

"Well, I'm going out now to try to find some work. You just cast your care on the Lord, mother, and go about your housework just as if you knew what was coming next, and don't go and take the burden right up again. That's the trouble with you. You can't trust the Lord to take as good care of it as you think you would, and so you take it up again, and go round groaning under the burden."

"Well, I do wonder he lets such troubles come. Here you've been out of work these three months, with only an occasional day's work, and you've been a faithful, conscientious Christian ever since I knew you."

"I've been an unfaithful, unprofitable servant, and that's true, mother, whatever you may think of me," replied Mr. Wilson humbly. "God is trying our faith now. After he's provided for us so long, what will he think of us if we distrust him now just because want seems to be near, before ever it has touched us?"

Mr. Wilson went away to seek work, and spent the forenoon seeking vainly. 

God saw that here was a diamond worth polishing. He subjected his servant's faith to a strain, but it bore the test. I will not say that no questioning or painful thoughts disturbed the man as he walked homeward at noon. Four eager, hungry little children, just home from school, to find the table unspread and no dinner ready for them; an aged and infirm parent, from whom he had concealed as far as possible all his difficulties and perplexities, lest he should feel himself a burden in his old age, awakened to the realization that there was not enough for him and them, these were not pleasant pictures to contemplate, and all through the long, weary forenoon Satan had been holding them up to his view, and it was only by clinging to the Lord, as drowning men cling to the rope that is thrown to them, that he was kept from utter despondency.

"Thou knowest, O Lord, that I've done my best to support my family. My abilities are small, but I've done my best. 

Now, Lord, I'm waiting to see thy salvation. Appear for me! Let me not be put to shame.

"'Increase my faith, increase my hope, or soon my strength will fall.'"

So he prayed in his own simple fashion, as he walked along. It was true, as he had said. His abilities were not great. Some frivolous young people at the prayer-meeting smiled at the phraseology of his prayers. But there were educated men and earnest women who were helped and strengthened by those very prayers. Religion had raised a man above mediocrity to whom Nature had been niggardly. Without it he would have been a cipher in the community or worse than a cipher.

He drew near to his own door with something of shrinking and dread. But the children rushed out to meet him with joyous shouts.

"Come right in, father; quick! We've got a splendid dinner all ready. We've been waiting for you, and we're fearful hungry."

The tired steps quickened, and the strongly drawn lines in the weary face softened to a look of cheerful questioning, such as was oftenest seen there. He came in and stood beside his wife, who was leaning over the stove dipping soup out of the big dinner-pot with a ladle.

"How is this, mother?" said he.

"Why, father! Mr. Giddings has been over from Bristol. He came just after you went out. And he says a mistake was made in your account last August, which he has just found out by accident; he owed you three dollars more," and he paid it to me. So I--"

"I don't think it was by accident, though," said Mr. Wilson, interrupting her.

"Well, I thought as we had nothing for dinner I'd better buy some."

"Do you think it was accident that sent us that money today, mother?" persisted the thankful man.

"No, I don't think so," said his wife humbly. "I think it was Providence. 

And I'm thankful, I'm sure. I did try to trust; but I'll try harder next time. You haven't heard the whole, though. Mr. Giddings wants you next Monday for all the week, and he thinks for all summer."

The grace at table was a long one, full of thanks and praise, but not even the youngest child was impatient at its length. 

Christian Weekly.