“And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty according to the Word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.” (1 Kings 17:15-16)
The widow had meager resources, and a heart trembling with fear.
But once she extended her hand to share what little she had left, her scarce supplies multiplied and overflowed. She gave sacrificially, simply as an act of obedience. That was all she was asked to do.
We might identify with that ancient woman when our own strength is depleted and scant reserves stare us down. The enormous tasks on the horizon might be coupled with a keen awareness that our storehouse has dwindled and our assets inadequate for our pending assignments. That fear-filled mother who endured a famine and certain death, points us in the proper direction.
Our God is the master of flour failure and dripping oil; he spreads his sufficiency like honey over our hungry souls. He tells us, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10). He means what he says.
He is the one who provides joy for us when circumstances have drained that cup dry and hope is in short supply. As we ask for his help, he carves out his peace in us. We can call out with the psalmist, “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul” (Psalm 86:3).
In the dreary places where it appears he might be indifferent, where our faith is meager and insufficient, he is fully there, fully aware. Since, as Hebrews tells us, “the universe was created by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:3) we can trust that even today his Word is our source of power.
The widow was asked to give out of the “handful” she possessed. Her willingness to believe “the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah” brought far more than she would have dreamed possible. During this unusual Thanksgiving season, may we imitate her example and share whatever we have, trust his Word to be true, and believe that what he has promised he will do.
Our handful in his hands. Only good can come from that.
Elizabeth Ann Mitchell
Photo Credit: Anthony Lee on Unsplash