Dear friends of mine, who had previously enjoyed a prosperous lifestyle, savings, and a fine home, experienced job loss and successive calamities of workplace injustice, ensuing legal struggles, dwindling savings, loss of their house, care of an ailing parent, and great emotional stress. The threat of homelessness was real.
During an extended famine, God sent the prophet Elijah into enemy Gentile territory, to an impoverished widow at Zarephath. Weak from hunger and exhaustion, she was gathering enough fuel to cook one last meal for herself and her son. Unaware that he was a prophet, she was willing to fetch the stranger some water.
“As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.’ But she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.’ Then Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel, “The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.”‘” (1 Kings 17:11-14 NASB)
Elijah didn’t request the bread from need, but to test her faith. She was to put aside her fear and put her trust in God. Elijah knew that God would provide, but wanted the widow to see it too — the great promise of the provision of God for all their needs as long as the drought lasted.
God provided my friends with a small but affordable room with a good Christian family, a reliable car, enough employment income to keep going, and eventually legal settlements and bequests to start planning a new future.
Are you tired, too? Would you obey the Lord and trust Him, even if it meant that you do without? If you give God only the leftovers of your life, perhaps as a result, your life is lacking in many ways. If you give to God first, from that portion, your provision and faith will grow. God’s ability to meet our needs is limited only by our faith and obedience to Him.
“‘For I know the plans I have for You,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give You a future and a hope.'” (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB)
Prayer: May we, Lord, look to You daily for provision, trusting You for Your unseen hand in our lives, and trusting that from that seed of faith, our faith and provision will grow. Amen!
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission