Reading: 1 Kings 17: 8-24
Elijah tells the widow that her flour will not run out and that her oil will not run dry until God brings rain and ends the long famine that had struck the land. His request for bread must have settled on her as a heavy weight when she first heard his request. The culture was one that placed hospitality very high. It was customary that even if your sworn enemy came knocking and asked for lodging for the night, then one would provide a place to stay.
All the widow had left was enough flour and oil to make one last meal for her son and herself. When she encountered Elijah she was gathering some sticks so she bake the last meal they would ever eat. The widow must have been at a very somber place in her heart and mind. It is at this point that Elijah asks for some bread. She has used up her every resource and is preparing to make one last meal and then to die with her son. It is now that Elijah comes along and asks if he can have some bread too.
Have you ever been where the woman is at? Totally spent and at the end of the rope? She is there. It is like going through a very hard loss of a dear loved one, finally heading home and feeling emotionally spent after the funeral, and a distant friend calls to tell you the news of their unexpected loss. It is like spending a hot July day working outside all day long at the Habitat house when a friend of a friend calls asking if you can help them move out of their apartment. Every fiber in your being wants to say ‘no’ but you feel compelled to talk a while or to go and help.
Elijah must sense the apprehension in the widow. So her says to her, “Don’t be afraid”. When the phone rings or the stranger appears at your door, asking when we feel totally depleted, hear His voice, saying “Do not be afraid. Trust me”. May we find the faith of the widow. May we too experience His amazing blessings when we choose to trust and to answer His call.