(7-9) Eventually the
brook dried up because of the drought.
Then God spoke to him (Elijah):
"Get up and go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I've instructed a woman who lives there, a
widow, to feed you"
(10-11) So he got up
and went to Zarephath. As he came to the
entrance of the village, he met a woman, a widow, fathering firewood. He asked her, "Please, would you bring me
a little water in a jug? I need a
drink." As she went to get it, he
called out, "And while you're at it, would you bring me something to
(12) She said,
"I swear, as surely as your God lives, I don't have so much as a
biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a
jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough
firewood to make a last meal for my son and me.
After we eat it, we'll die."
(13-14) Elijah said
to her, "Don't worry about a thing.
Go ahead and do what you've said.
But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what's
left for you and your son. This is the
word of the God of Israel: "The jar of flour will not run out and the
bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends
(15-16) And she went
right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked.
And it turned out as he said--daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn't run out and the bottle
of oil will not become empty: God's
promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!
THINK: Read the passage slowly again. This time notice the repetitive phrases and
words that seem to shimmer. Are there
any in this passage that you sense God saying directly to you?
How do you resemble Elijah, the loner who was perhaps content by the solitary
brook but now has to venture into Palestinian territory and ask a widow for her
How do you identify with the widow and feel that Elijah is asking too
much? How difficult is it for you to
give up the last handful of flour? How
difficult is it for you to give up the last handful of flour? Hold out your hand in front of you. Open and close it. Imagine that the amount of flour your hand
could hold is all that stands between you and death.
How do you think the widow felt every time she put her hand in the jar and
there was another handful of flour?
is one of those devotionals that I sit in front of and stare at for hours, walk
away from, ponder, come back, and still, do not want to tackle. Have you ever read something that you needed
to interact with, felt it calling to you, urging you to learn the lesson it is
trying to deliver, but you just don't want to?
Lessons like this make me want to just take the day off, skip this
devotional, and move on. Why would I
decide to blog my way through a devotional that would most definitely challenge
me to up my game? And in front of
people, too. So far, dear readers, none
of my followers are people that I encounter every day, but I know my friends
and family read them. And by putting
down what I feel this lesson is trying to teach me, I am putting myself in the
position of being challenged about putting feet to my faith. And wouldn't you know….I've never been one
who agreed with the sentiment:
"Those who can't do, teach."
I can't just "teach" this lesson. I have to do it too. And after all this, I can't not share what's
been shown to me through this passage.
for #1 - there have been many times in my life when I have been quite content
to sit by the brook, literally and figuratively. But, one cannot merely sit and while one's
life away. Eventually God asks for
movement. Indeed, he requires it. In the case of Elijah, eventually the brook
dried up because of the drought. Guess
it was time to move. In my case, he
allowed my husband to go to jail.
for #2 - When I read the passage, one of my first thoughts is always: how
presumptuous. I know the passage says
that God has instructed the woman, so she must be prepared. But how she was prepared we are not
told. We don't know what God told
her. All we know is that Elijah is
asking her to feed him out of what is supposed to be her last meal. I imagine that the whole time she is
preparing the meal for Elijah, she is probably praying, hoping that she is not
sentencing herself and her son to death for feeding a stranger, holding out
hope that this God of Elijah's is going to make good on his promise.
for #3 - If this were me, I would be holding my breath every time I put my hand
in the jar, and breathing a sigh of relief every time I found there was more
flour there, enough flour there for today.
PRAY: Ask God what might be your jar of flour
today--something that needs filling up.
It's okay to tell God he's asking too much. At first, the widow did just that. Trusting God is a process.
Heavenly Father, you know the jars of flour you need to be filling for me, in
my life right now, as do I. Every time
you ask me to have a little more faith, to trust you just a little bit more, I
wonder if this time is going to be the time you let me fall. Well, you've not let me fall yet. But, often I wonder if you might be asking
too much. Some days are easier than
others. I like those days. But some days, trusting you is hard and I
don't want to have to trust you with any more.
Please be with me on those days.
Help me to be an example to my children who are watching every step I
make. Help me to show them that, no
matter how hard today is, you hold all our tomorrows in your hands. You have already prepared those days for us
and, today, you are preparing us for them.
The strength we gain from remaining steadfast today, will help us to
remain steadfast tomorrow. And the
little bit further that you push us tomorrow will make us stronger for the day
after that, until, before we know it, we have managed to walk through whatever
it is you have lead us to, and had strength enough for the journey. Thank you for the easy days, too. The days when we can sit and rest and not
work on strength-training. Rest is
refreshing and we need it; so thank you for the days that are not hard. Thank you for remembering that we are just
dust, and for occasionally requiring just a little less of us than you do on
LIVE: Consider how it would feel to trust God this
much. How would your life be different
if you trusted God with just a little more every single morning, as the widow
have to be honest. RIGHT NOW, I do not
want to think about what my life would look like if I had to trust God with
just a little more every single morning.
Perhaps because, most days, I feel like I'm living this. I've had to have more faith this past 18
months than ever in my life. It's scary
and exhilarating - like a roller coaster with its slow ups and fast downs,
twists and turns that flip you upside down, this way and that, only it doesn't
end in 30 seconds. So, for now, my faith
is mostly wrapped up in the fact that I've not gotten off the roller coaster
yet, in choosing to ride it all the way to the end, regardless of when or where