Friday, April 12, 2013

Knock Knock...Who's There? Elijah...

Love, betrayal, mystery, murder, war, famine, drought, miracles, adventure, intrigue, faith - only a few of the words we could use to describe the Old Testament of the Bible.  The stories hidden within the pages of this centuries old book are filled with lessons that reach across the millennia.  Men and women who lived, loved, believed and died leaving a trail of stories to be told.  There is no better "storybook" !

One such story which is finding a very prominent place in my faith walk right now is 1 Kings 17. Elijah a prophet, has just declared a drought.  God leads him away from his hometown, seemingly to "hide" (verse 3) and he is fed by ravens near a brook where he is also able to have a water supply.  He has his needs met by Almighty God for a season.  When the brook dries up, He is instructed by God to go to a widow in Sidon who will provide food for him.

When he arrives and asks the widow for food and water, he discovers she is nearing the end of her "supply".  She only has enough flour for one more meal.  He tells her to not be afraid.  He instructs her to continue her hospitality anyway.  Make him a loaf, bring it to him first.  Then, she may make something for herself and her son. He proclaims "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says to you...the jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land."  Our weary widow does as she is told and there is food every day for Elijah, for herself and her family.

Let me see...

No bread, a handful of flour in a jar, a little olive oil, a few sticks for fuel.....obedience + generosity = abundant fact, ALL WE NEED.

Are there times when God asks us to do something and we hesitate because of our limited resources?  I think more often than we realize.  What if there are miracles He wants to do on our behalf?  What if He has an "appointed time or season" He wants to provide daily in a way that is truly miraculous....where He shows up in the flour and the oil...and it doesn't run dry.  What if...there is someone He wants us to bless, reach out to, impact in a way that only our generosity will speak to....and He tells us to grab that last handful of flour, that last drop of oil, and take care of them first.  

If you read further in Chapter 17, you next see the widow's son becomes ill and dies.  Oh great, he is fed miraculously for weeks only to turn around and die from something else.  This widow panics and blames Elijah.  He takes the boy and cries out to God....God hears him and returns the boy's life.  The son is returned to his mother.  The last verse of the chapter says "THEN the woman says to Elijah, 'NOW, I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is truth.'"   Hmmm...I would think she had THAT thought during the weeks of the flour and oil not running out.  But we in our human nature, sometimes miss the miracles of the day.   But again, here comes our FAITHFUL GOD and He shows up in the middle of our humanity, our daily grind, our panic and worries; just when we think all is about to run out...GOD brings resurrection.  He brings Himself and His presence.

My faith walk right now is requiring a deeper level of TRUST.  Scraping that flour barrel, shaking that bottle of oil.....on the word of the Lord to trust Him in every step of my journey.

Obedience + Generosity = Abundant Provision of all I NEED

This goes beyond oil and flour and financial need....our energy, our time, our resources, our health, our faith.....what barrel or jar do you feel you are running low on...about to run out?  But you know you have to keep going.... Is there an area of generosity deep within us we can tap into?  Is God's whisper of trust and obedience requiring steps that will open the door to the provision of what you feel you are lacking right now.  I think there is a miracle....a never running out.....a resurrection awaiting us as we tap into His perspective on the intertwining of obedience and generosity.  

What will we do when an Elijah comes to visit...or some opportunity presents itself but we feel we are lacking in some area?  I want to open the door for a miracle.  From my heart to yours....I hope you see that miracle when you open that door.


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