I’ve been thinking alot about the widow woman from Zarephath. I think we read Bible stories like these, realize what great message they represent and then we move on. We don’t stop and ponder on the many other things that God would have us learn from it, nor do we think about what it was like to actually be one of these characters. They were REAL people!!!
So, imagine with me:
Here you are, a single mother living in a land of famine. Your husband always provided for you but now he’s dead. You’re sorrowful because you didn’t ask for this hard life. You never dreamed as a little girl that one day you’d be living in a shack, literally scraping the bottom of the meal barrel just to make your last cake of bread to feed to your only child as their last meal before you both succomb to starvation. You’ve been pushing meals back yourself for awhile now, hoping that one day you’d be able to catch up. Maybe one day it will rain again and you can get something to grow. If you could only hold out until then. You’ve limited yourself to a few bites a day, just enough to not let your son know your starving while he scarfs down his dinner.
The weather is so dry! You’re insanely lonely. Sure, you have your son and you’re grateful you aren’t truly “alone”, but more often than not you wet your pillow at night just thinking about how sweet it would feel to have just one more kiss from your true love. You two were so in love and life was so much easier with your partner helping you each day. Never a dull moment passed, and you fell even deeper in love when you both became parents. You watched him become an awesome dad and then you knew, TRULY KNEW, that he was the love of your life.
But now, all you have left is a gaping wound of a heart. The little shack you call home was once filled with so much laughter and joy that you never gave a thought to the fact you were “poor”, because you were rich with love. You lost the love of your life too soon! And now you’re in danger of losing your son, or your own life, too.
The famine just keeps getting worse. Nothing grows. You have no money left and nothing else of any value that you could sell or trade for food. That’s why you’ve been starving yourself to keep your munchkin’s tummy full. How will you break the news to him? How will you explain that there’s nothing left? When his belly rumbles, what will you say?
Let’s break here—– y’all, I could just cry! 😭 This story breaks my heart and it hasn’t even started yet!
#1- I couldn’t imagine becoming a widow, it makes my stomach churn just trying to consider how it possibly could be. God definitely gives grace to those that face this tragedy!
#2- A famine!! A REAL, authentic famine! We don’t even know a smidgeon of what that would be like. Gee, if we can’t hit fast food once a week, then my kids think we are in a famine. No lie, there have been times that we’ve been broke and grumbled while we ate our beans, mac-n-cheese, and sandwiches. But….let’s face it: that’s definitely nowhere near a famine! We still had food in the cabinets and family with fully stocked kitchens nearby. This lady had NOTHING like that! She literally had a handful of meal & a teeny bit of oil left. That’s it! We’d be hitting the streets to beg nowadays before we got to this point. She couldn’t even “panhandle”! There was no one to bum anything from. Everyone was starving! Nobody had food!
What lesson can we learn from this ❓
Everything “bad” that happens isn’t necessarily a punishment, or because we are out of God’s will. Sometimes, it’s just our providence, our “lot” in life, if you will. This woman didn’t bring any of these circumstances upon herself. She was living her life, in God’s will. She married the “right” man that God had sent for her. They lived in the “right” place, bought the “right” house. God gave them a son, and they raised him “right”. Now, I’m not saying she’s perfect either. She’d sinned in her life, just like we ALL have. No one but Christ is perfect, and she was definitely not an exception. But….we can’t say that anything that happened to her was because of any sin she had committed.
How do we know any of this❓
Because in I Kings 17:8-12 the Bible tells us that the Lord told Elijah to get to Zarephath because God had “commanded a widow woman there to sustain” him.
So….God had put this woman there in Zarephath. God had allowed her to become a widow. God had provided for her & her son up until now so that she could be there to sustain Elijah. Now, I know God really does all the “sustaining”, but here He does it through this poor widow woman who has nothing. He’s placed her in this specific place. He gave her just enough meal & oil to last until Elijah made it to her. Think about that 🤔…… God’s plan for her life leads to her giving Elijah her “last meal”. God knew it would be all that she had left. He wants her to give it all to Him and He knows that she will.
So here’s our take away:
Our circumstances, however tragic they may seem, may just be providence. Let’s stop trying find “blame” or trying to explain away all the “bad” things that happen. If we know we are following God’s will and living by His word, then let’s just embrace the life He has chosen for us. His purpose for our life, our “reason” for living, may not be glamorous. It may be rough, poor, sad, or even “tragic” by worldly standards, but it doesn’t make us any less of a Christian. We can still be a spiritual “giant” no matter if we’re poor, uneducated, rich, alone, or well-loved.
Live your life-the one God gave you-and embrace the “bad” along with the good. Be willing to give God ALL that you have! If she is willing to trust God with her last meal, then surely we can trust Him too! Know that God hasn’t brought you here by chance. Your exactly where you are in life, because He put you there! He has a plan for you!