Mrs. Leh was burning up with fever. She tossed restlessly on an old pallet on the dirt floor in a dark corner of the Chinese hut she called home.
The day was sultry. Not a breath stirred the mulberry trees along the canal or relieved the fetid air of the sick room. The flies buzzed noisily. The month was August. The sundial showed the shadow far past noon , but the world still simmered in heat.
The missionary doctor on his daily rounds of mercy, appeared in the open doorway of the dingy hut. The patient's face brightened, and she stretched her thin, yellow hands toward him as he knelt beside her in kindly solicitude and breathed a word of earnest prayer to the Great Healer.
While the doctor ministered to her professionally, he noticed that her eyes were fixed on his face with intense eagerness, then she opened her lips and spoke. "Tell me, Doctor, does God want His children to have what is good for them?"
The doctor beamed. "Oh yes, Mrs. Leh. He is a loving Father, and will not withhold any good thing from those who ask in faith."
Then her face grew more eager and her hot fingers clutched him. "Doctor would not ice be good for me?"
The good physician afterward admitted that he was conscious of a mental recoil as the question smote hard upon his reasoning faculties and saw the inevitable trend of her logic, but he stood to his guns bravely.
"Yes, my good woman, ice would be very good for you, but you know that it is hundreds of miles to the nearest ice factory. We must try to not want the impossible."
Such a reply might have quieted you and me, but not this simple Chinese woman. She had a great need and a simple faith. What did she care for nature's laws? So she insisted, "But is not God all-powerful?"
The doctor shifted uneasily as he felt himself being driven on to what he considered dangerous ground; but there was only one reply to make and he made it with a steady voice and with trembling heart. "Yes, nothing is too great for Him."
The woman's fingers tightened and the glassy eyes searched his face for final satisfaction. "Then, Doctor, will you go home, gather the missionaries together and have them beseech God to send me ice to cool my burning fever?"
The missionary man of science said he felt himself being hurled, with tremendous force, up against the promises of God, by this simple woman of great faith, who, but yesterday was a heathen. Believe in prayer? Of course he did, otherwise he would not be a missionary. But to ask the great Creator of the universe to send ice out of a blazing August sky, to please a querulous fever patient seemed little short of presumption. And yet, as God's representative, he could not desert the woman in her extremity. He would do anything to help her.
Then the truth broke upon him. How much more would his Heavenly Father hear the prayer of His trusting child, who was turning from heathen darkness. Yes, he would go home, humble his intellectual pride and pray for the impossible.
The doctor's wife, noting his rather downcast face as he entered the mission compound, ran to meet him. She was told of the desperate challenge to his faith and the disastrous results that might follow should the prayer not be answered.
To his surprise, his wife responded joyfully, "How lovely! I have just been longing for a real adventure in faith and here it is! Of course we are not going to be disappointed. I will send out the prayer call at once."
These friends, comrades in an alien land, had stood together many times in spiritual emergencies. As the messenger ran from door to door, they dropped their ordinary work and hurried to the doctor's house. There they took counsel together. They reviewed God's promise. They prayed as only they who have gone to the ends of the earth at His command can pray. They pleaded that His name might be glorified among the heathen, and that the faith of this suffering woman might be honored. A great burden of intercession fell upon them and they forgot time and place until they were suddenly aroused by terrific claps of thunder - as though the heavens would split.
As they rose from their knees a heavy rain was pouring and a tempestuous wind was blowing. The confusion of the storm was presently augmented by a sharp bombardment - as though millions of pebbles were being dashed against the windows. When the doctor cautiously opened the door, great hailstones rolled across the floor and were banked in glittering heaps of coolness on the sills and about the steps.
"The ice! The ice! I knew it would come," and the doctor's wife clasped her hands together in solemn ecstasy.
The doctor hurried into the hall for his hat and umbrella. Then put his head back through the doorway long enough to say, "Please return thanks." He ran out into the flooded streets making his way along the wet cobblestones to the home of his patient.
The storm had almost spent itself leaving a delightful freshness in the air. The wind was still struggling through the bamboo branches and the mulberry trees had been riddled by the hail. Bits of green leaves mingled with ice lay along the ground where lately there had been only brown.
As the doctor entered the humble doorway, the setting sun broke through a cloud and threw a ray of light across the face of Mrs. Leh, which was transfigured by an expression of radiant serenity, as though the Master had been there Himself, with His healing touch.
Her hands were full of melting hail, placed there by her awed and wondering friends who were standing in groups talking about the 'Jesus doctrine.' At sight of the physician she broke forth joyously, "See, Doctor, God has sent me ice from heaven, now I shall be well. Tell my friends about the Jesus doctrine, for they also believe!"
In relating the true story, the doctor said, "That poor, ignorant woman really believed that the great God, in answer to our prayers and because of her dire need, had opened the windows of heaven and rained down ice, just for her. Well I thought so too. Don't you?"
- Evangelical Christian
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh:
is there any thing too hard for me?"