In His Word 11-22-10

Just when you think you will not make it, God comes through. There was a woman who had a son. She was so weary of working to make ends meet that she didn’t think she could do it any more. Then one day a man of God stopped at her home and asked her to make him some food. She looked at the man as if he was crazy. She barely had enough for herself and son. It was not even enough if one, to be completely honest, and yet this man of God asked her for food. What could she do? He was a man of God!

Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”
So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’” So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.
1 Kings 17: 8-15
Sometimes God wants us to step out in faith and do something that we do not think is possible. We look at the reality of it and think as this lady did: “What is he thinking? I can barely take care of my family and he wants me to do what? ”

Maybe you have wondered what God is doing in your life this week. Why did he allow you to get so low on fuel, food or strength? When is the overload at work going to stop? Or, when will the job come through for your son? You have prayed and then God drops another person’s need onto your lap. You stop and wonder how this can be. You start asking God, "Why?"

Back in my single days, I had a few times when I would run out of oil in my heater. I had no where to go and scrape up enough to buy even half a tank of oil. Back then, forty dollars was a lot of money for a single woman working at a preschool for next to minimum wage. That was two weeks of groceries!

One such week, it snowed. I had no money to buy oil, so on week days I stayed at work as long as possible. On the weekend I bundled up and headed out the door to visit friends who had a heater. One morning I stepped out of the house bundled and ready to walk through the snow when I heard out of no where, “Teresa Anderson! Do you need a wood stove?” I looked around and there was no one to be seen. So, I looked up. “Yes! I do!” I shouted to God.

It turned out that God had spoken to a handy man that happened to know me. He was replacing someone’s wood stove with a new, bigger one and instead of just dumping the small one he thought to ask me. Needless to say, I got warmed fast once I had it!

I had not told anyone but God that I had no money for heating oil. It had to be His doing that brought me the stove. Just when I thought I would have to do something drastic, God came through.

The widow in today’s reading was desperate and ready to give up. She was ready to allow herself and her son to die of starvation before God sent Elijah to feed her. And God did it by making her first feed Elijah, giving all she had. How awesome is that? God wants us to give up so that He can do something with us.

Sometimes we need to get to the point that we lose all of our pride and ask for help. In that humility of mind and heart, God can work in us and change us and bless us. How many times does our pride keep us from being fed? We think that if we ask for help, or even ask someone to pray for our need, that we are showing that we are weak in our own faith. We think we should be good enough, or full of enough faith, or stronger in our walk with the Lord. We are afraid to let it be known that we have needs.

We also don't realize that God wants to use us to bless others, too. When we ask people to pray for us, we are allowing them to bless us, and giving them a blessing as well. When you help someone out you get a blessing, even if it’s just that good feeling you get knowing you helped someone. So why do we rob people of this blessing? Because we think we need to hide our weakness.

The widow did not go around telling everyone she was hungry. She just took care of her son and did what she could. But God knew and sent her help just before she became desperate. She told the man of God that she did not have enough. Her admission of need was the beginning of her blessing.

Is it time to let go of your pride and let God and his people know you need help? Or, are you willing to suffer a little longer in your need? Do you want to wallow a bit more in your self pity? I, for one, want to give it all to Jesus. No more wallowing. No more hiding my needs. I want to let it be known and trust that it is God who will provide for me.

It is good that God will bring us to the place where we realize that we need his help. I do think, though, that it would be better if we just trusted Him always, knowing he is with us and will provide what we need. Don’t you?

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to look to you in our need and in our abundance. Help us not to be afraid to ask for help, but to know that we can trust You to provide for our every need. Let us be thankful in all things, as the Word says. In Jesus' name, amen.

Suggested reading: 1 Kings 17:1-24; Psalm 119:1-48; Psalm 119:33-72; Psalm 119:73-152; and Psalm 119:153-176.