…When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.” She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. 2 Kings 17:10-16.
Maybe it’s just me but lately there seems to be an increase in the number of persons and organizations requesting help of some sort. Many of the cries for help go unanswered as people try to sort out their own affairs. The state of the economy has caused many to hold back on helping others, as they to hang on to the little they have – saving it for the rainy day.
The widow of Zarephath had prepared herself for the inevitable. It had been a long time since the rains had come and her food supply was at the barest of minimum. She knew what she had couldn’t last much longer, so she faced her reality with honesty when the prophet asked her for something to eat: “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” It seemed she had lost all hope and had prepared herself to eat and die. She had no idea God was about to show up and show her how to eat and live. The story goes on to show how her obedience brought deliverance only to her household. She trusted the prophet – “She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.”
What is the level of your flour and oil these days? Are you seeing the bottom of your jar? Do you have just enough for you and your family? Do you find that your budget falls short more often than not? Have you been watching that bank account dip lower and lower? Are you waiting for rain, or are you saving for a rainy day? May I encourage you to allow Him to supernaturally replenish what you have? The widow responded to Elijah’s need even from her place of need. Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses. Proverbs 28:27
Note the widow’s honesty. Note also her obedience and what happened as a result of her obedience. Deliverance came. By her own confession, she had expected to die … the little she had wouldn’t have lasted much longer anyway. The lesson here may be practical for some and symbolic for others but the bottom line is that God will show up. Sometimes He doesn’t show up until you are ready to give it all up and trust Him, but if He has His eyes on the tiniest of sparrows, you can be certain that He has not forgotten you!
Your reality may say one thing but the “earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”. He still works miracles. Don’t toss the jar until He says it’s empty.
Inventory / Introspection: Am I up to the challenge of allowing Him to transform the little that I have into something that will last longer (and benefit others), even though I can already see the bottom of the jar?
Father, You are Jehovah Jireh – the Lord our Provider. You know the length and depth of all I am and all I have. I have been careful with what You have blessed me with but I don’t want to rely on my own strength. You know when my resources will come to an end and You know who around me needs to benefit from what I have. There are days when I feel like the end is about to overtake me, but You come through at the last minute. I choose to believe that You will work all things out for my good.
There are many voices calling out for help. Some come from a place of genuine need, others have motives that are not honourable. I have never doubted You and You have never disappointed me. Teach me to listen to You as I respond to the needs around me. Check my motives and weigh my thoughts. May any help I give come from my desire to do Your will, and not from a desire to receive.
I choose to rely only on Your guidance and direction.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.