Then the Lord spoke his word to Elijah: “Get up, go to Zarephath (which belongs to Sidon), and stay there. I’ve commanded a widow there to feed you.”
He got up and went to Zarephath. As he came to the town’s entrance, a widow was gathering wood. He called to her, “Please bring me a drink of water.” As she was going to get it, he called to her again, “Please bring me a piece of bread too.”
She said, “I solemnly swear, as the Lord your God lives, I didn’t bake any bread. I have one handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I’m gathering wood. I’m going to prepare something for myself and my son so that we can eat it and then die.”
Then Elijah told her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home, and do as you’ve said. But first make a small loaf and bring it to me. Then prepare something for yourself and your son. This is what the Lord God of Israel says: Until the Lord sends rain on the land, the jar of flour will never be empty and the jug will always contain oil.”
She did what Elijah had told her. So she, Elijah, and her family had food for a long time. The jar of flour never became empty, and the jug always contained olive oil, as the Lord had promised through Elijah. 1 Kings 17:8-16 GW
I cannot read this story without wondering how she felt, the widow. The water was easy, she went directly to quench his thirst. But when he asked for a piece of bread too, that was just too much. Her response was a cry of desperation that God had heard long before she said those words to the prophet.
Why is it God always asks from us the things that are hard to give. Our last bit of coin, our last bit of food, a boys two piece fish dinner? Is it that He’s had a plan to provide all along?
We share a room in our home to supplement our income. It’s been a season of drought as no one has rented for some time. Things have been tight and the struggle is real. I’m sure everyone can relate. With the costs going up and the income staying the same, there have been things we’ve just done without so that we can pay our bills on time.
I recently lowered my rates just so I could get something to help and got a hit. A woman showed up with a friend who was from out of state and down for the week. I gladly showed her the room and how to unlock the electronic locks. She asked if she could take a shower and I told her where the towels were.
It was obvious from the black eye she sported that something had happened. When I saw her on Sunday morning, I asked if she was in trouble and needed to talk, I was always available, she didn’t need to be afraid, she was in a safe place. Monday morning, instead of staying in my office, I heard the Lord nudge me to the dining room table. 10 minutes later she came out of her room, I fixed her breakfast and led into a loving relationship with Jesus.
I shared what I had and the day after she left I got a booking at full price for 8 days. God always wants to bless us, but He expects us to give first where we can.