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A Jar of Mayonnaise

Like many people, I grew up in a poor family. My mom was a single mother to us four kids and did her best to provide and take care of our needs, but often times we went without because we just didn’t have the money. This isn’t a new story for many, and it seems like we’ve all been in similar situations before. But what we did have was a mother with a lot of faith in a very big God.

From an early age, I can remember seeing  my mom on her knees (or on her feet), waving her hands, or sometimes in a raised voice, praying for many things. She taught us as young children to bring our every need to God and to trust that He would provide. I remember the day that message finally sank in.

I was about 5, maybe 6 years-old at the time. Mom had been praying and crying all day. My sister and I kept wondering what was wrong, and what was so important that mom would still be praying! Finally, after what felt like forever, mom came to us and said, “Girls, we need to pray. We don’t have any food left in the house except this one can of tuna fish. We don’t have any money left and I have no way to buy any food right now. We need to ask Jesus for help.”

So right there in our kitchen, on the old brown and orange carpet we knelt down and began to pray. I’ll never forget her prayer. “Dear Jesus, we love you so much. You know our needs Father, and right now, we really need some food. See, all we have left is this can of tuna fish, and if I just had a little bit of mayonnaise, I could make the kids something to eat. Lord, please help me feed my kids.”

The day went on and we ended up having the can of tuna for dinner that night, by itself! No mayonnaise, no bread, no side dish, just dry tuna. We went to bed with hungry bellies and prayers.

The next morning, the cupboards were still empty. But once again, we were on our knees in prayer. “Jesus, please help, we are so hungry!”

I’m not sure about the exact timing, but shortly after prayer, our doorbell rang. There was a sweet lady from our new church standing in the doorway. We had only met her a couple of times, and she seemed to be very shy. She looked at my mom, then the rest of us, and in a nervous, shaky voice said, “I was cleaning out my pantry and I’m not sure why, but I felt like I should bring you some food. Do you happen to need any?” My mom answered quickly, “Yes! We were just praying about that!” This sweet lady then brought in a box from her car and began to unload food in our kitchen. She looked at my mom and said, “Hold on, I forgot something!” and ran back out to her car. She came back into the house with a shy look on her face and said, “I feel silly, but I felt like I should give you this, too.” And what do you know? It was a gallon size jug of mayonnaise.

I knew then that this was a God I could rely on. God is so good, isn’t He? Not only does He love us, but He provides for our for our every need. Even if that need is just a little bit of mayonnaise.

Written by Jana Boatright

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About Jana Boatright

Jana Boatright

writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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