There is a woman in the Old Testament that I have always admired. She lived at a time when the heavens were sealed by the prophet Elijah. Her life was not one of luxury, simply living day to day. Her greatest blessing was her son and her faith in the God of Israel. She is simply referred to as the widow of Zarephath.
I am sure the day she met Elijah her heart was heavier than what she could bear. Her cupboards were almost completely empty, with no hope of relief on the horizon. She had just enough for her and her son to survive one more day. I wonder how often she had gone to the Lord in prayer, tears streaming down her face, pleading for deliverance…more for her beloved son than for herself. I wonder how she found the strength to take each step that led her to her destination that day.
And yet, when Elijah asked her to fetch him some water, she went. Then came the question that I am sure caused her heart to plummet into her stomach….”Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.” Her response speaks volumes of her heart:
“And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
I have often wondered why the Lord would require such faith from one who had offered so many prayers, sought His will and did her best to do it. She had only the words spoken from a stranger to give her any sort of hope or strength:
“And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day taht the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.”(1Kings 17)
She had nothing left in her soul, but the faith she had succored each day. With that faith, she did as he asked and was blessed just as was promised.
As I pondered the turn our life has taken at this time and the many questions that continue to be asked, my mind was directed to this story. Today, I feel as I have nothing left. I see into her heart a little clearer and will follow the example she set. The little faith I do my best to succor each day. I do my best to keep my heart soft through prayer and studying of the scriptures so that I may be ready when an answer comes.
I learned today that when we have nothing left, it is when the promises can be fulfilled. It is when our hearts only have Him to look to for deliverance, that He can come.
Just as this woman was blessed, I know we too shall find our barrel filled and our oil sustained. He has never left us. He has never failed us.