So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 1 Kings 17:12-13
Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be enough to go around. Not enough time or enough energy or enough of you. It’s like a family sitting down to eat around a table that lacks sufficient food to satisfy all of those hungry stomachs! The first one to get to the main course may find plenty, but the last to serve will probably come up empty-handed.
Life can be like that. You only have so many hours in a day and so much of yourself you can give to each day. What you choose to put first in your life will determine the course of your life. Perhaps it seems as if you have no choice. After all, if you do not put the things of this world as your top priority, how will you ever get ahead? How will you even survive?
Elijah was given a very unique assignment by God. He was sent to confront the evil King Ahab and pronounce a drought upon the land. Of course, as is always the case with the Lord, there is more to the situation than meets the eye! Ahab officially sanctioned and supported the worship of false gods and it seemed as if the people of Israel had forsaken God altogether. It was so bad that Elijah felt as if he was the only one left who still worshipped and served the God of Israel.
Elijah had been supernaturally provided for during this drought and when he was sent by the Lord to this widow, it was not to take her last morsel of food and see her and her son starve to death. It was rather to teach her (and all of us) a lesson. God told Elijah that He had commanded a widow in Zarephath to provide for his needs, only He had not let her know about it yet! When he arrives and encounters the widow, as far as she can see, she is about to prepare her last meal for herself and her son. She literally has nothing else in this world to sustain her.
Then Elijah tells her two astonishing things. The first sounds very familiar because we hear it from Jesus quite often: “do not fear”. That is easier said than done. If you have no food and no visible means of getting any, or if you are in the middle of a storm with no visible chance of surviving it. Still, the Lord drops in your heart those three words. The drought did not catch the Lord by surprise, nor do any other storms of life catch Him off guard. He already has you covered. But that brings us to the second thing Elijah said to the widow, “make me a small piece of bread first”. That is the key to all of life. Put God first.
There doesn’t seem to be enough of you to go around. You can easily be consumed by the busy-ness of life; pursuing all of the things it takes just to survive, much less thrive. Then the Lord comes along and whispers those words to you, “Do not fear My child, put your life in My hands and there will be no lack or loss. All will be well.” Like the widow of long ago, you learn the lesson that holds the key to every situation you face in life; put God first!
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