Elijah’s hands were shaking as he left King Ahab.
God’s voice was clear. “Go to the Brook Cherith. You will drink the water from it. Ravens will bring you food.
Elijah went to a secluded place overlooking the Jordan Valley. The sun was near the western horizon.
Two ravens landed in the tree he sat under. They hopped to a branch near him. One dropped a slab of unleavened bread on the rock near him.
The other raven held a roasted chicken leg in its beak. Elijah lifted his hand. The bird dropped the meat in his palm.
The scene repeated each morning and every evening.
Elijah contemplated his message to the king of Israel. ‘No rain until I say it will rain.
That is what God told me to say. Right?’
The brook became smaller by the day because of the drought.
One morning the ravens didn’t show. The brook was dry.
Elijah sent up a prayer. “What now God?”
“Go to Zarephath in Sidon. A widow will care for you there.”
The trek seemed longer than normal. Thirst will do that to a person.
Finally the city was in sight. A woman was picking up sticks as he approached.
“Excuse me. Can I have some water?”
The woman stood, then nodded before she walked away.
Elijah’s stomach growled. “And could you bring me a piece of bread?”
The woman stopped. Her hands fell to her waist. Two sticks bounced on the dirt. “I…I don’t have any bread. Honestly. I’m picking up enough wood to bake the last bit of flour and oil I have for me and my son. Once that’s gone we’ll wait to die.”
Elijah swallowed the lump in his throat. “Bake me a cake from what you have first. My God will keep enough flour in the bin and oil in your jar until it rains again.”
The woman looked closely at Elijah. “You’re from Israel. I’ve heard of your God. I’ll be back.”
She brought Elijah some fresh bread. Then they went inside. She bake some bread for herself and her son.
This continued each day.
One day Elijah heard the woman scream downstairs.
He climbed down to see what was happening.
She was rocking back and forth on the floor. Her son didn’t move in her arms.
She stared into Elijah’s eyes. “Why have you come here man of God? Are my sins too great for me?”
Elijah walked across the room. “Give me your son.”
He took the lifeless body up to his room and laid the boy on his bed. Tears ran down his cheeks as he looked up.
He fell on top of the body. “Why, God?”
He stood and wiped more tears away.
He laid over the child again.
He stood and fought off the doubts and pain.
He laid on his bed again. The boy’s body was colder each time.
“Dear God, return his soul to him.”
He felt movement under him.
He jumped up.
The boy coughed, then cried.
Elijah laughed. He picked the boy up to comfort him.
He carried the lad downstairs and handed him back to the widow.
She stared in disbelief. Then she laughed. “Now I know without a doubt your God is real.”
Have you ever put yourself in Elijah’s sandals? Too often we’re too familiar with some Bible stories to fully appreciate them for what they are…accounts of real people in real time.
Elijah was just a man living life one day at a time.
Then God dispatches him to give a message to the wicked King Ahab.
Before anything can happen to him by edict of the king God tells him where to hide and provides for him with birds.
We’re not told how long the prophet was out there all alone. But, he was alone.
Solitude is one of God’s favorite conditions to place some folks in to get their attention.
It gives time to think about what’s important in life. ‘What shall I do next…and when?’
‘Is this God I can’t see really someone to be trusted?’
‘How long will this drought last anyway?’
We aren’t told what went through Elijah’s mind as the brook became a weak trickle.
The time of solitude did come to an end.
When did you last spend time just thinking about what’s really important in your life?
Widows didn’t have many options for income back then. Many don’t now.
Yet, God chose a woman with a son and just enough food for the two of them to send His man to.
I don’t think Elijah knew what God was up to when the words came out of his mouth.
Flour and oil don’t appear out of thin air…unless you have faith in God and God wills it.
I’m not about to tell you all you have to do is believe and it will happen to you too. God is too unpredictable for that.
That widow didn’t deserve to be provided for any more than any other widow. God showed her grace.
But, what about her son dying? Was God any less gracious then?
It didn’t appear that way to anyone in that house. Until God showed up again.
Miracles don’t happen every day. They didn’t then. They don’t now.
I’ve known people who’ve been given a way to keep the house they’re living in by some means they didn’t get until the day before they were going to lose that house. I’ve known others who lose it all in a fire.
God doesn’t answer to you. He didn’t answer to Elijah. He calls the shots in this world. Period.
All things do work together in God’s economy and His timing.
I don’t know why you’re going through your tough time.
But Elijah was being built into a man with a steel spine for a hard task ahead.
Trust God to know what He’s doing.
He has a plan.
He’s developing you, too.
Remain faithful and He’ll let you know what He has for you.
I’ll see you later. Wade