old womanIn 1 Kings 17 we read the story of the Widow at Zarephath who despite having only enough flour and oil to make one last meal of bread for her and her son, follows the instructions of God, through the prophet Elijah, and first makes some bread for Elijah.  This is a pretty big deal I reckon.  Imagine being in that situation, knowing you were giving your last bit of food away, food that would feed your family, to a stranger who said that God would provide for her if she did this.


Now this is either a brave act of faith or a act of desperation.  Who knows what went running through her mind.  It could have been, I have no food anyway, so I might as well risk losing my last meal in the hope of having plentiful meals?  Or I believe God does and can and will provide?


Anyway, I was struck by this story as I was reading 1 Kings recently 0because whatever the case, her faith is impressive.  We have a faithful God who provides all that we need, yet I and many others don’t live like that.  I’m left with the hopeless reality that were I in her situation I’d eat the bread and tell Elijah to go away.  I’d be thinking this one last meal might be all I need to get me through another day where I might be able to find something else to eat.  I’m struck as I read this passage about how self reliant I am.  Not just in my view on who it is that provides for my meals, but on who it is that gives me wisdom to teach (my education), the ability to lead people (my natural talents), and the roof over my head (monetary rewards from my work).


What a mindset shift I need indeed.  For it is not my wisdom, or my education, or my natural abilities, or my money, or my food at all.  No it is all God’s, given to me as undeserved blessing.  How I need to refocus.  For without God I am nothing, and it is by His grace alone that I can do or achieve anything.  The story of the Widow of Zarephath reminds me that I need to constantly start my day remembering that God is in control.  That he provides everything I need for every situation.  I want to try and live much more by faith in the God who reveals himself to us through the Bible and less by faith in my own self reliance.  Maybe one day I can truly say that I would do something totally irrational (to my mind) for the sake of stepping out in faith to more radically and faithfully serve our God.  May I have faith like the Widow of Zarephath.