Read: 1 Kings 17:8-24
Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Get up, go to Zarephath that belongs to Sidon and stay there. Look, I have commanded a woman who is a widow to provide for you there.” So Elijah got up and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the city gate, there was a widow gathering wood. Elijah called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup and let me drink.” As she went to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I don’t have anything baked — only a handful of flour in the jar and a bit of oil in the jug. Just now, I am gathering a couple of sticks in order to go prepare it for myself and my son so we can eat it and die.” Then Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid; go and do as you have said. But first make me a small loaf from it and bring it out to me. Afterward, you may make some for yourself and your son, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘The flour jar will not become empty and the oil jug will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the surface of the land.’” So she proceeded to do according to the word of Elijah. Then the woman, Elijah, and her household ate for many days. The flour jar did not become empty, and the oil jug did not run dry, according to the word of the Lord he had spoken through Elijah. After this, the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. His illness got worse until he stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “Man of God, why are you here? Have you come to call attention to my iniquity so that my son is put to death?” But Elijah said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him from her arms, brought him up to the upstairs room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. Then he cried out to the Lord and said, “ Lord my God, have you also brought tragedy on the widow I am staying with by killing her son?” Then he stretched himself out over the boy three times. He cried out to the Lord and said, “ Lord my God, please let this boy’s life come into him again!” So the Lord listened to Elijah, and the boy’s life came into him again, and he lived. Then Elijah took the boy, brought him down from the upstairs room into the house, and gave him to his mother. Elijah said, “Look, your son is alive.” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know you are a man of God and the Lord ’s word from your mouth is true.”
Where in your life have you seen God provide when it seemed like there was no hope, like the way Elijah provided for the widow and her son? What areas of your life always seem to have “leftovers?”
Although it can be frustrating, God doesn’t work on our timetable. Oftentimes, God seems late. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 ESV)
God, as I look back at my life, I can see that you have always provided for me even if it wasn’t in the way I expected. Help me to remember that you are always faithful and that I can count on you to be with me through anything I go through.
Ask your parents if they would be willing to donate $20 to Compassion International, International Justice Mission, or another ministry that your church sponsors in place of one of their gifts to you this Christmas. This way, those who have nothing this season will be blessed.