The Widow: A Test of Faith
The mother joining us today lost both her husband and her son. Yet, in the midst of that tragedy and a serious drought, God called her to a greater faith through His messager, Elijah.
You demonstrated an ear to God's heart when you provided food for Elijah.
More like fear and resistance.
Why do you say that?
Well, God commanded me to provide food for Elijah when he passed through Zarephath, but when he asked, I balked. I said, "Surely as the LORD your God lives, 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." You see, I was at the point of exhaustion and despair. I certainly didn't know what God and Elijah were up to. In some ways, it seemed an ironic intrusion on me and my son.
Did Elijah go away?
No. He nailed me from the get-go. He said, "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." Then he told me an amazing, almost unbelievable thing. He said, "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."
Sounds a bit selfish on Elijah's part.
It might look that way on the surface, but I now know God was testing my faith.
I did as Elijah said. And true to God's word, I never ran out of oil or flour. She shook her head. Amazing!
I'll say. As I understand it, your son later died. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.
Don't misunderstand, it was difficult. But I want everyone to know that the situation turned out for the better--I gained a deeper faith in God. You see, I didn't understand why God would allow my son to grow sicker by the day. I turned on Elijah, saying, "What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?" I thought I was being cruelly punished for some wrong I'd done. That couldn't have been further from the truth.
I think many feel that way when something bad happens. But this story has a happy ending, doesn't it?
Oh yes. Elijah didn't rebuke me. He simply said, "Give me your son." Then he took him upstairs to his room and laid him on the bed. He cried out to God then stretched himself on my son three times and prayed, "O LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!"
Some would call that crazy.
She shrugs. Maybe so, but all I can say is the LORD heard Elijah's cry, and my son's life returned to him. He lived! Elijah brought the boy back to me. I knew beyone a doubt that he was a man of God and that the LORD's word was faithful and true.
God is indeed a God of mercy and compassion to hear and answer in this way. What lessons did you learn from this experience?
She releases a heavy sigh. That God is true to His word. That God cares about a mother's heart. He wants us all to trust Him with the dearest people in our lives: our children. And He wants us to draw close to Him and cherish relationship with Him above all else. He must be number one, over everything and everyone.
Tough lessons to learn.
Which is why He must allow events to fall in place that will test us and stretch us.
Thanks for sharing with my readers today!
For more of the widow's story, read 1 Kings, chapter 17.