A sandbox and an apple tree
Those were the specific requirements a four-year-old announced his new home must have. The impending move was a difficult and confusing one for him. His parents had recently separated, and his mother had found it necessary to relocate with him and his little sister in a new city.
They had previously lived in a rural area where sandboxes and apple trees were not such a rare commodity. The mother's thoughts were full of heavy concerns; the circumstances were strained emotionally and financially. To add to the problems, they had to find a place to rent by the end of the next day.
In a motel room that evening, tired and discouraged, the mother turned to God for help; she recalled this saying of Christ Jesus' in the Bible: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." n1
n1 John 14:2.
Every act in the life of Christ Jesus, she was sure, illustrated his words.Every point he taught of his Father's love, he demonstrated in his healing ministry.
When the multitudes needed to be fed, they received loaves and fishes -- not just empty promises for some remote future life. Their human requirements were met.
To this newly single parent in distress, knowledge of God's all-loving presence was precious and comforting. But more than that, it turned her from self-pity, worry, and a dismal view of deeper spiritual conviction in the practicality of Biblical promises.
"Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to his spiritual creation," n2 writes Mary Baker Eddy. n3 And elsewhere she says , ". . . does not this heavenly Parent know and supply the differing needs of the individual mind even as the Scriptures declare He will?" n4
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 332.
n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n4 Message to the Mother Church for 1901,m p. 7.
That night, after tucking the children into bed, the young mother turned to her Bible and spent several hours with it, until she finally felt clam -- released, to a great degree, from a burdensome sense of personal responsibility for her children. She felt a strong conviction that each member of the family, including herself, was the beloved child of God, cared for under all circumstances.
The next day, through unusual circumstances, she was provided with an apartment listing. Investigating it, she discovered that the apartment met the need in every way, was well located, and fitted her budget.
However, the four-year-old was plainly not impressed with the prospect of moving there. The landlady, who had been showing them around, leaned down and asked him what he enjoyed doing.
"Playing with trucks," he answered glumly.
"Oh, then," she replied, pointing out the window to an area of the yard they hadn't noticed, "you'll like that sandbox under the apple tree over there!"
Never would the mother forget the wonderful grin that swept over the boy's face as he turned to her happily and said, "I guess this really ism our new house after all, Mom!"
A coincidence? Yes, in the highest sense. The coinciding of spiritual law with the human need. The mother certainly had not prayed for an apple tree or a sandbox, but she had realized deeply that God, the all-loving Father-mother, would provide her family unerringly with whatever they needed. She didn't have to figure out how that need would be cared for.
It was just a first step, which led to other progressive steps. That family was in for many surprises and wonderful, precious adventures in seeing firsthand how tenderly God cares for "the differing needs" of individuals and families. Before long, things markedly improved, and they were able to purchase their own home (which met their needs even better than the first), even though buying a home had seemed impossible to consider.
"With God all things are possible," n5 the Scriptures declare. That family had begun to find this out.
n5 Mark 10:27.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22