I heard a phrase a long time ago that God brings back to mind often: “When you don’t know what to do, you worship.”
This is the essence of Elijah’s next adventure with God. Elijah called for no rain which produces a draught. God provided for him in the middle of the draught through a remote brook and food from ravens every day. But the brook dried up. So God moved Elijah along on THEIR adventure together. He told Elijah to go to a widow’s home. But when he got there, the woman was preparing her last meal. She and her son only had enough food for one last meal then they would die from starvation because of the draught.
(Talk about economic distress? God has been rescuing people long before today’s health care mess….)
But Elijah called to the woman and told her to bake a cake for him first and to trust God because God was going to give her oil and flour every day until the draught ended.
Have you been there? Totally on empty and someone asks you for a ride? Or trying to scrape things out of the cabinet and someone says they are coming over for dinner? Maybe you are freaking out on how to pay one bill, and you get three more in the mail. Or maybe it’s not money related, but you are already dirt tired, and someone calls in crisis.
For me, God takes me to the very end of my resources, knowledge and strength and says, “Now Jana, let’s begin.” Begin? I feel more like the widow who is ready to lay down and die for lack of expectation that things will change. But oh the beauty of God! It is at the end of me, you, us, that He begins.
The widow had to believe that God was going to show up tomorrow when the cupboards were bare today. Don’t miss the day to day provision of the Lord in the story of Elijah. He depended and trusted and thanked God each day for the raven’s meals. Then he and the widow thanked God each day for the flour and oil. Belief in the little so you can learn to believe in the greater.
Jesus said in Luke 16 that “whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” This applies to money, faith, healing, the spirit, all of the God life. Are you trusting in the little for when you need to trust much?
After some time, the widow’s son died. More than daily bread now, they needed resurrection power. And Elijah and the widow saw God’s power poured out as God raised the son back to life. They went from little to much. Belief in the little, trusted with little so they could learn to believe in the greater, trusted with much.
My last thought for today is this: Are you more like the widow? Or Elijah? Where are you starting from — ready to quit or steadfast expectation?
The good news is, they both grew to believe God in all His goodness. They both learned to worship first before they received. They praised God regardless of the circumstances and saw Him move in their midst.
“Oh, worship the King, all glorious above.
Oh, gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.”