A God who counts



"The hairs of your head are all numbered." -- Luke 12:7

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?" -- Matt. 10:29

These scripture passages passed through my mind as I watched the sparrows on the lawn; and later on, when I unfastened the long plaits of a friend's hair.

"Just think of it," I said, as she shook out the long, wavy masses over her shoulders, "God counts all these!" Yes, and God is very accurate, too, when it comes to counting money. And then memory brought the following incident to mind:

The continental post had just come in and Edward and Emily Newton were poring over the contents of their many letters, for Mr. Newton was an active, aggressive worker among the Italian and French-speaking people. Presently Mrs. Newton let a letter fall from her hands, exclaiming:

"Edward! whatever shall we do? The rents of two halls are due, and Lorenzo's salary must be paid without delay, and we want [lack] a clear fifty pounds."

"What shall we do, my dear?" said Mr. Newton, looking up from his letters with shining eyes, for they told of progress in the work and of souls saved. "We must do what we always have done, go to our Father and Divine Banker. The silver and gold are His. He has never failed us yet."

"But, Edward, the money ought to go at once, today; and we have not a penny of it."

"Well," he answered, calmly, "if it must go today, He will send it today," and then he added slowly, "'He that spared not His own Son . . . how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.' Come, dear, let us go to our room, and we will ask our Father to send it without delay. And, of course, we shall get the right amount, for you must remember that God knows how to count."

They were guests in a little country house, and I also was in the house at the same time.

Having reached their long, low bedroom, the two windows of which looked out upon the lawn, they closed the door and went into the presence chamber of their Father-Banker to plead for just fifty pounds!

Across the passage was another room and at the same hour was kneeling a little old lady -- their hostess. A quaint, little old lady she was, who wore short petticoats, and caps like those of a Quakeress, with the soft, white hair drawn down on each side of her beautiful old face. She was always simply, not to say poorly, dressed. "The less for self, the more for God," was her life-long motto. Economy was the rule in every detail of her household. Her daughters were known laughingly to rebel at some of what they thought to be her "tiresome economies."

Today she was praying, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? Give some help to those dear servants of Thine now under my roof? Yes, Lord! And how much shall I give? Fifty pounds? Yes, Lord."

"Yes: the God who counts dictated the exact sum that the two across the landing were asking for at that very moment!

And so her ever-ready check book was taken out, and a check was written for fifty pounds.

And soon the dainty little figure was out on the landing listening to sounds from below. Oh, that was a man's voice, and in prayer, too! And she stood outside their door and, at the first pause, knocked for admittance.

Emily Newton opened the door. "Come in, dear friend, come in!"

"Not just now, my dear; I only came to give you this; it is from the Lord for your work," and gently waving off thanks, she determinedly shut the door, and tripped back to her own room, happy and smiling.

Newton opened the envelope -- and out fell the check for fifty pounds!

"Oh, Edward, here is the exact sum we have been asking for!" cried Emily. "How wonderful!"

"Very gracious, dearest; but not so very wonderful, since He is wonderful. You must not forget that God can count."


From: THE POWER OF PREVAILING PRAYER Compiled by Albert Sims, Fifth Edition, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, No Date.