“Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” – Matthew 19:27-30
You have probably heard the story of Elijah and the widow found in 1 Kings 17:7-15. This is the story of two people who do not have enough. Elijah is a prophet that tells the king that God is going to cause a drought. The problem with a drought is that everyone suffers—even the prophet. Soon he himself is starving. God tells him to go to a certain spot where water is still running, but the drought continues, and Elijah has to look elsewhere for food and water. God tells Elijah to go to the town of Zarephath, where Elijah will be fed by a widow.
She is a widow, young enough to have a child at home. Like most widows, she is destitute, although she is fortunate enough to have a house. Because of the drought and the economy, she has almost run out of food. When Elijah arrives in town, the first person he sees is a poor woman gathering sticks. He must recognize this as a divine appointment. “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” he says. Then Elijah asks her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.” She still has a child to take care of. In those days there would not be much a woman in her situation could do. She is out of options just as Elijah is. She is going to continue doing what she can to the very end, but that end seems to have come for her and her child.“…I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.” (1 Kings 17:12). She felt she was at the end of her rope and the end of her life.
Elijah says to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”
We read this story knowing the end. However, this woman did not know who Elijah was. She had no reason to trust him. It is a risk. Her rational mind had to be telling her to say no. But she believes the promise and sure enough, there was enough to eat; neither the meal nor the oil ran out for many days until the drought ended.
Many of us face the limitations of leaning on our own abilities and the solutions of the world. Increasingly those things are more and more ineffective. It is time for us to realize that with God all things are possible. We simply must believe. And let me remind you what Jesus said we must believe. We must believe first of all that anything is possible with God.
God wants you to believe that all things are possible because he wants to meet your need. It does not end there. The world needs a people who know that anything is possible with God and will be the channel for the impossible possibilities of God to the world.
- What kind of faith is required for living with just enough for each day and no more?
- In what way do you find it easy or difficult to obey God when you don’t know what the outcome will be? What role does faith play?
- In what ways do you see God re-supplying your life?
- What step of faith do you need to take at this time in your life?