I find the story of a widow from the village of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17 very touching. Being a widow in Bible times was difficult, it meant that, not only did a lady not have a husband, but also there was nobody to take care of her. We know from this particular story that this widow had a son, but we’re not told whether he was in a position to care for his mother.
This story unfolds with the Lord telling Elijah to go the village of Zarephath, where a widow would feed him. Having found the woman, Elijah asked her to give him some water, and, seeing that she was willing to do that, he also asked her to bring him some bread to eat. I believe that by asking the widow to do that, he touched the most painful area of her life at that moment. The lady was willing to help, but didn’t have any resources to do so. Her life circumstances were so tight that she told the prophet she and her son were about to die. The only thing they had left was a handful flour in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug.
Having heard the story of the widow, Elijah continued telling her to make a little bread for him first, and promised that the Lord, the God of Israel, would provide for them. The Bible tells us that the widow did what the prophet told her, and, as a result of that, her family continued to eat for a long time.
I believe that God is able to meet us in difficult circumstances, He’s able to show us the way forward, where we can’t see one. He’s able to provide when we’ve exhausted all our options and resources. This widow, who only had one last meal, and saw her future without hope, was still able to obey the request of a prophet and create room for God to move in her life. Because of her willingness to do that, God met with them in a miraculous way. Her family never lacked food, not only up to the time the Lord sent the rain, but till the crops grew enough for them to feed themselves.
I want to encourage you today to expect the Lord to move in your tight circumstances or in the difficulties you’re facing. He’s able to do ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine’ (Ephesians 3:20). ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD’ (Isaiah 55:8).
Let’s not limit the Lord in how He can move in our lives. The widow we just read about didn’t limit the Lord by asking either for rain, or for the crops to grow, but followed the lead of the Lord. He met her needs in a way she was least expecting. Let’s allow the Lord surprise us. It’s something He does so well!
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that Your ways are higher than my ways. I thank You for the plans You have for me, that are for good, and not for evil, plans to give me hope and a future. Lord, I invite You to move in my circumstances, and I give You permission to bring Your change in my life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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