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The Widow at Zaraphath – Encoragement for Missionaries

October 27, 2010

Then the word of the LORD came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there.  Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”  So he arose and went to Zarephath.  And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks.  And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.”  And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”  And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug.  And now 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 first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for your self and your son.  For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’”

I’m struck by how fearful I am of the state of the economy.  Not because I’m worried about my 401(k) or non-existent housing investments, but because I’m in the middle of a journey with which we’re all familiar – the journey of raising full financial support.  Over the last two weeks I’ve had no fewer than five support appointments that ended in “We’d love to pray for you, but we just can’t support you financially right now, because, you know, the economy and all.”  And they’re right, the economy is crazy right now.  Friends in retirement are now thinking about trying to find jobs, others lost hundreds of thousands of dollars and are still reeling from it.  My mom has been out of work for over two years after her employer – a major property development firm in Irvine, CA – essentially collapsed.  If I’m honest, I’m more than concerned; I’m scared (and maybe a little bit ticked I didn’t just take the plunge and join Reign three years ago!).

But here’s the thing – Elijah got his cake.  Not only did he get it, but the poor widow who gave it to him was blessed beyond measure for her act of obedience.  (Note that I didn’t call it an act of faith – she had accepted the fact she was going to die.  People were dying all around her in the midst of great famine.  But she obeyed. ) God will provide.  Many people with whom we meet are going to be obedient to God’s prompting.  Some will be at the end of themselves and resolved to “just scrape by,” but we don’t need to worry about it.  I don’t need to worry about it.

I know there a bunch of us that just started this journey, and perhaps some of you are struggling just as I am.  But let this be a word of encouragement to you.  Remember, Elijah had to get up and make the journey to Zarephath.  Let’s get up and make the journey to the coffee shop or restaurant, to the desk or the phone.  God will see our work, and we’ll get our cake.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Beth permalink
    October 27, 2010 1:09 pm

    thanks for the great reminder today, Clayton.
    I love you,

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