Strategic Planning

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I Kings 17:2-16, 

Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Leave this place and go east. Hide near Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan River. You can get your water from that stream, and I have commanded ravens to bring food to you there.” So Elijah did what the Lord told him to do. He went to live near Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan River.  Ravens brought Elijah food every morning and every evening, and he drank water from the stream. There was no rain, so after a while the stream became dry. Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go to Zarephath in Sidon and stay there. There is a widow there that I commanded to take care of you.”  So Elijah went to Zarephath. He went to the town gate and saw a woman there gathering wood for a fire. She was a widow. Elijah said to her, “Would you bring me a small cup of water to drink?” 11 As she was going to get the water, Elijah said, “Bring me a piece of bread too, please.” The woman answered, “I promise you, before the Lord your God, that I have nothing but a handful of flour in a jar and a little bit of olive oil in a jug. I came here to gather a few pieces of wood for a fire to cook our last meal. My son and I will eat it and then die from hunger.” Elijah said to the woman, “Don’t worry. Go home and cook your food as you said. But first make a small piece of bread from the flour that you have and bring it to me. Then cook some for yourself and your son. The Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘That jar of flour will never be empty and the jug will always have oil in it. This will continue until the day the Lord sends rain to the land.’”  So the woman went home and did what Elijah told her to do. And Elijah, the woman, and her son had enough food for a long time. The jar of flour and the jug of oil were never empty. This happened just as the Lord said through Elijah.

I love how God is such a great strategic planner. Not only did he care for Elijah, but in his divine strategy, he cared for the widow woman and her son as well. Sometimes when we’re going through something, it’s hard to see the end of it because we live in this realm called ‘time’. It’s our faith we must draw from to enable us to see the end of what we’re in the middle of. Regardless of the obstacle, God knows the way around it.

Hebrews 11:1-2 MSG says, “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”

I imagine this woman gathering sticks, praying for a miracle, asking God to save her and her son. Perhaps she was hoping to win the lotto or for some rich handsome man to offer to marry her. She surely didn’t expect for a man to ask her for her remaining supply! Can you imagine? You see, she saw her remaining oil and flour differently than God did. He saw it as an offering to the prophet and a seed toward a far greater supply, one that would sustain them all through the drought.  She didn’t expect the way her answer came.  

Father, we need to view our seed differently. It’s not about what we have but our obedience with it. Whether it’s little or much, in your hands, it becomes sufficient, not just for us, but for others as well. You have a greater purpose for our lives than what we see in our own future and I know you’re preparing us for that now. We surrender to your will, not ours. We open our ears to your voice and our hearts to your will in Jesus’ name. Amen

 

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