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"Sawdust, Mice and
God's Provision"

My mother, Lois Green, was a wonderful Christian woman who taught us, her children, to rely on God and live daily in His word. She used to tell her story about a time when she was at her wit's end, but I'll start the story from the beginning.

My dad was a wonderful Christian man, well respected for his Faith and example, but he was also a character, doing odd things that sometimes-left people befuddled. One of those things was what brought mom to her wit's end.

We had a huge, monstrous coal furnace in the basement with a stoker/auger to keep the coal moving into the furnace. My dad found out that he could get sawdust for free from a sawmill. 

He decided this would be much cheaper to heat with, so he built a large trailer with sides to haul the free sawdust to our house from the mill. He also dug a large hole next to a basement window close to the furnace. 

He shoveled the sawdust in through the window and then got a load of corncobs to put in the hole so that they could start the sawdust on fire.

We heated our large house with sawdust for three or four years. I'm not sure at which point mom reached her wit's end, but I assume it was in the middle or later years. 

The sawdust worked well to heat the house, but unfortunately, it created a different problem. As the sawdust and corncobs were shoveled into the basement, we were also shoveling in mice.

One morning mom came into the kitchen to make breakfast, and, as she described it, several mice were playing tag on her kitchen counters. 

Now my mother hated mice; it upset her greatly if she discovered even one mouse in the house, and to find so many cavorting on her counter was more than she could stand. That was when she begged God to give her a way of escape.

We have a wonderful God. He even cares about the little things. Having some mice in your house to most people would be a minor thing, unpleasant but minor.

God, being the wonderful, caring God that he is, answered her prayer. A stray cat showed up at our house that same day and moved in.

We had never had cats before and didn't know a lot about taking care of him, but Snoopy moved in and was a fantastic mouse catcher. God had sent us not only a solution to the mice problem, but he sent a cat that was fully housebroken.

When I saw the scripture 1 Corinthians 10:13, it reminded me of mom's story, so I decided to share it with you as an example of God's provision, even in the small matters. As for the corncobs---well, that's another story.

  •    "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV)

Barbara: United States

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Samuel L Mills
PO Box 4456
Maryville, TN 37802