Joey’s Toy Stove

Joey sat studying the junk mail from the toy shop. She had seen something that ‘took her eye’ – a wooden stove with an oven and four hotplates. She dreamt of playing with her friends, and make-believe cooking, and the good times that they could have with that stove. If only she could have one.

Joey Smith was five years old and lived with her mum and dad, and her two sisters in their home in Sydney. It was hard times for the family, as her dad’s business had not been doing so well, and the family had little money to spend on anything that wasn’t necessary. Joey knew that, but Oh how she wanted that stove.

She knew her dad would give her the stove if he could, but she also knew that he would have to say ‘No’, if she asked him. Nevertheless, she came to her dad with the picture of the wooden stove and asked him if he could buy it for her. She was not a demanding girl, and her dad knew that her little heart had gone after this stove.

“Oh Daddy, I would really like to have this stove. Could you buy it for me?”, asked Joey.

It hurt her father as he replied, “I’m sorry Joey, but we can’t afford it at the moment. Why don’t you go and ask God about it?”

Joey didn’t complain. She took the picture of the wooden stove into her room and laid it out on her bed. “Heavenly Father,” she prayed, “I would really like this stove” (pointing to the picture in the junk mail). And so she continued, praying and asking God to give her that stove. She was quite specific in what she asked God. She wanted it to be made out of pine wood, and she wanted an oven underneath the hotplates with a door that opened downwards. She continued making her request known to God for about a week then a God-given assurance settled in her little heart. She knew that God had heard her prayer, and she knew that he was going to give her what she wanted. She crept into bed that night with joy in her heart and fell soundly asleep.

That night the telephone rang and Joey’s Dad answered it. It was Flora, a family friend, who had been helping out at the local school that day and had noticed a toy stove (made of pine wood), which they were tossing away.

“When I saw it I thought that Joey might like it,” said Flora, “So I brought it home. I could bring it around tomorrow if you want it?”

Joey’s Dad just laughed a joyful laugh. “Flora, did you know that Joey has been praying for a pine stove?”

“I had no idea,” said Flora (amazed at God’s kindness). “I just saw it there and thought of Joey. I will bring it tonight.” And that’s just what she did. Soon afterwards, Flora came to the door with a beautiful toy stove and set it down in the hallway.

With joy and thanksgiving in their hearts, Joey’s Mum and Dad went into her room. “Joey, wake up, wake up, there is something in the hallway we want you to see.” She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and stumbled out to the hallway. Her eyes opened wide with delight as she saw the stove, a gift from God! It was just what she had asked Him for – it was made of pine wood, with four hotplates, with an oven underneath fitted with a door that opened downwards, and they all gave thanks to their gracious God.

‘Thou hast given him his heart’s desire and has not withheld the request of his lips.’ (Psalm 21:2)