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By Jeris E. Bragan 


Once there was a family who fell on hard times.  They were proud and independent people, so they refused to ask anybody for help.  Soon all their money was gone, and the cupboards were empty of food.


“God is our last help,” the father said.  “Let’s pray for food.”  They all knelt and poured out their heart to God.  No sooner had their prayers stopped when they heard a loud knock at the door.  Everybody smiled as the father opened the door; they knew somebody would be there with an armload of groceries.


But nobody was there.  Instead, a small box was sitting on the welcome mat.  Curious, the family gathered around as the father opened the box.  Their faces fell when they saw the contents: just a small rock.


“God is testing our faith,” the father explained.  “We’ll pray again tomorrow.”


They prayed more fervently the following night.  Their prayers for food were punctuated by the sound of growling stomachs.  Once again a loud knock greeted the end of the last prayers.  The mother rushed to the door, her face covered with a tight smile.  It vanished as she saw another, larger box on the mat.  Inside was a slightly larger rock.


“We ask the Lord for bread and He gives us a stone,” the father whispered bitterly.  But he didn’t give up his faith.  Each night the family prayed as before, and each night the last amen was answered by a knock on the door.  The boxes kept getting larger, but the contents were always the same: a progressively heavier rock.


Finally they prayed no more.  They gave up on God and waited for starvation to finish them off.  Fortunately, a neighbor came by just before they perished.  Hastily ambulances took each one off to the hospital, where they would be nursed back to health.


Back at the house a confused and astonished police officer wandered from room to room, looking at the yellow rocks scattered about the house.  “I don’t understand it,” he muttered shaking his head.  “These people were starving to death while stacked all over the house was a King’s ransom in pure gold!”

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