1 Kings 17:7-16
Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. 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.
God had stopped the rain, so there was a drought in the land. God provided for the prophet Elijah. First he instructed ravens bring him food and Elijah drank water from a brook. When the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to a widow in Zarephath.
What struck me as odd about this story was God’s choice of who was going to provide for Elijah’s needs.
A poor widow???
She would not have been my choice. A widow would not have even been on my list of possibilities…but then again, neither would ravens.
But as I am often reminded, God’s ways are not our ways.
We cannot put God in a box.
As a Godly friend once said, “Man’s logic gets in God’s way.”
God didn’t pick someone rich who had easy access to food and water. He didn’t send Elijah to a restaurant with a buffet. Instead God chose someone to provide for Elijah who had very little to offer. I mean, she was literally down to her last meal. Let’s just get down to the brass tacks: she had already suffered great loss. She had lost her husband. She’s a single mom, trying her best to make ends meet. How much more could this poor woman be expected to give?
She goes out in her yard to gather sticks to get a fire going to prepare for the last meal, and BAM, the prophet Elijah shows up on her doorstep, asking for the very thing her family needs the most–food and water.
But she gave it to him.
She gave when she felt like she had nothing left to give. She gave when she thought all hope was gone. She gave the very thing she thought she needed most.
And when she gave it away, God gave back to her.
What a story of faith!
God could have chosen anybody from Zarephath, but as He looked throughout that town, he saw a desperate woman in need. He also saw a heart, a heart that needed Him. Out of all the people God could have chosen, He chose a widow.
God always makes the right choice.
Often times God wants to meet our needs, but He tests us first. He might just be asking us to give the very thing we don’t think we can.
What is the Lord asking you to give? Your time? Energy? Finances? Hobbies? Ministry? Job? Marriage? Children?
Do you trust Him enough to give it to Him?
Then give it to Him.
Whatever you need more of–plant it–give it away.
He will take that small portion you have to offer and use it for His glory.
Then sit back in faith and watch what our great God will do. He will bring a harvest beyond what you could ever ask or imagine.
See, God doesn’t really NEED our things, our time, efforts, abilities, or money. They are already His any way.
What He’s really after is our hearts. It always comes back to the heart. The heart is always the heart of the matter.
And He wants our trust to be in Him, only Him.
So today if you feel like you are at the end of your rope, God might just show up on the doorstep of your heart and ask you to surrender it to Him.
Don’t hold back. Give it to Him.
Give Him that broken marriage. Give Him that hectic job. Give Him that child you have been worrying about for years. Give him that last drop of time and energy you feel like you don’t have. Give Him your health. Give Him that money you have been depending on as a nest egg. Whatever He is pricking your heart to surrender, go ahead–give it to Him.
See what He really wants is for you to give Him your heart. He wants your dependence to be on Him. He wants you to trust Him and put your faith in Him.
Because when we have Him, we have everything we need. The jar of His provision will never run out. The jug of His presence will never run dry.
I believe the neatest part of the miracle God did in Zarephath, was not that the jar of flour never ran out, or that the jug of oil didn’t run dry. Although, that was pretty awesome!
The coolest part of that miracle was the faith God built in the heart of a desperate woman who was at her wit’s end. God gave her far more than oil and flour. He gave her Himself.
And He wants to do the same for you.