When was the last time you felt like you were running on empty? When you felt like your physical, emotional, or spiritual resources were running out? Well, the next time you get to that place of imagined emptiness, I hope you’ll remember this word of encouragement!
[Elijah] went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
“As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread — only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it — and die.”
Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.'”
She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. (1 Kings 17:10-16)
The widow of Zarephath expressed great faith in Elijah’s God. In the midst of a three-year drought and resulting famine, with only enough flour and oil for one final meal for her and her son, she first made the meal for Elijah. Elijah presented this widow with a test of faith and she passed with flying colors!
I wonder if the same could be said about you and me.
In this remarkable passage, we see the promise of an endless supply of God’s endless love. Every day the woman went to the jar of flour and the jug of oil and found enough in both to meet the needs of herself, her son, and the prophet Elijah. Let me ask you a question right now. What “jar of flour” or “jug of oil” do you fear will run out on you? The Bible teaches us to look past our daily need and to fix our eyes on the only One who has promised to meet it daily.
My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
To be sure, each day brings with it the trials, troubles, temptations, and tribulations we have been promised. But along with these difficulties comes our divine portion promised from on high. The widow was sustained for three years in a land that saw no rain. God has promised to meet you in your place of need, moment by moment. The key is to look past the challenges of the circumstances we face and see our God who is ruling over all of it.
Will we trust our God even when we cannot trace Him, as the widow did?
Before travelling to Zarephath, God used ravens to bring Elijah his daily bread. And our God will do the same for you today through countless “raven resources” that He will send your way. Remember, the resources of your Redeemer will never run out. As it is promised, “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness (2 Corinthians 9:10).
And if you find yourself one day feeling like you have reached rock bottom, let me remind that this is a very good place to be, for you will then be standing on THE Rock—your Redeemer, who has promised to meet all of your needs and said that He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
Now those are promises you can take to the bank—the believer’s bank—and know that there are resources enough to sustain you.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!