Wisdom from a Widow


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!

 

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Love of a Child


As a mother, I’ve learned what it is to love a child unconditionally and for your purpose in life to change and be centered around the needs of that little person. A mother’s love is something that comes naturally and cannot be purchased, produced or even replicated. The same is true of a father’s love, but I can’t attest to that personally seeing as how I am a mother and not a father. I’m a mother of two little boys and expecting a third. I’ve been pretty much consumed by all the needs that I face in order to be prepared for our little addition to the family. As most mothers, I’ve made registries and selected all of the items I will need in the coming months for the newborn. Some of the things I have already been collecting along the way, such as a crib, car seat, etc… As I am making these preparations, I can’t help but realize that just as I am preparing for the needs of my child, God has already made preparations for me. When I was saved and born into the family of God, I became His child and He my Father. As the Almighty Heavenly Father, who is all-knowing and all-powerful, He has so much more made all of my needs to be met and blessed me abundantly above measure.
Take for instance, the simple act of a mother fixing her baby a bottle, preparing to nurse the child or even changing it’s diaper. She does it multiple times daily and knows almost exactly when her child will be ready for the next feeding or diaper change. She has on hand the needed supplies, like bottles, burp cloths, diapers, wipes and creams. She also has them right where they can be easily used when needed. She makes sure the diapers are the right size, the nipples to the bottle are the right flow stage and that everything is just exactly right for her little bundle of joy. If we being capable of this as earthly, sinful flesh, then how much more is our Heavenly Father capable of?

 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11 KJV

I’ve also been pondering on how our relationship with Christ is a PERSONAL one. I know Him personally as my Saviour and I could try to explain to someone all day how amazing and wonderful He is to me, but unless they know Him personally too, they will never understand. They will never know His love. This is evidenced in our lives through children over and over. They say that babies can recognize their mother and father’s voices when they are first born because they’ve heard them while in the womb. This is so very true and I know that it goes even further than that because they can also recognize siblings. Children also know their mothers smell. Before their eyesight develops completely, they can sense that their mother is in the room because of her scent. I watched a video recently of a group of mothers who were all dressed in similar clothes, standing in a line while their children were brought in blindfolded. One by one, the children went down the line feeling the hands and faces of the women until they found the one whom they thought was their mother. Every single child stopped as soon as they touched their mother. Most hugged them before even taking the blindfold off. This experiment touched me in a way spiritually that opened my eyes to how familiar we should be with our own Heavenly Father. Have we spent enough time with Him that we know the very moment that He manifests Himself in our presence? Can we differentiate Him from another kind of spirit or emotion that may stir?
As His children, He knows our every need and desire. As a mother, we know when we hear our child cry exactly what they are needing. We usually know the needs before they cry. God does the same for us. He knows our every need, and sometimes He waits until we cry for it. Do we really beg God to spend time communing with us? Do we get in a position where we can fellowship with Him?
At times, I’ve been standing in a crowd when my toddler would grab onto the wrong persons leg and get embarrassed or scared when he realized it wasn’t me. He knows me and when he is in need of something, He comes to me. He gets hungry, He comes to Momma. He gets sleepy, He comes to Momma. He gets cold, He comes to Momma. He wants held, He comes to Momma. Every little need, He comes to Momma. He’s a Momma’s boy if you will. Both of my boys are. I beckon the question, are we our Heavenly Father’s children? Do we look to Him for every little need? Or do we try to figure it out on our own before turning to Him? Do we look to others for their advice or help instead of asking God right from the start?
As we raise our children, let’s look to God as they look to us. Use each moment, no matter how trying or difficult it may be, to learn how we can relate it to our relationship with God. Make it a PERSONAL relationship. You can’t just change out a baby and it’s mother for another and everything go smoothly. Sure, the mother could still meet the basic needs of the infant but there wouldn’t be that special bond between them. Only the child’s own mother can fill that void and meet all of its needs physically and emotionally. Babies sometimes cry while being held by others just because they are longing for the comfort that only comes from being in their mothers arms. Another woman can hold the child the exact same way, but the child knows that something is different and isn’t satisfied until it’s mother holds it. Let us be the same way in the arms of Christ. Let us not be satisfied or comforted by the things of this world or the devil himself sneaking in disguise. Let us long for our own personal Father to comfort and satisfy us daily.

Lonely, Longing and LOVED


Oft I’ve wondered why we go through so many dry times as Christians.  I’m not talking about the times when we have unconfessed sin in our lives, or are in a place distant from God because of our own wrongdoing or negligence.  I’m concerned with the times in our lives when we are doing everything right, obeying the Lord, studying His word and praying fervently.  The times when we are longing to hear from heaven but yet feel so lonely without His manifested presence everyday.   We know that God is omnipresent and would never leave us nor forsake us and that our salvation is eternal, but there’s a fellowship with Him in which we at times are just yearning for a cool breeze from heaven’s shore.  We can feel so alone, dry and thirsty during these times.  This scripture has been on my heart a lot lately, and I’ve been pondering on it for some time:

And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Luke 15 (KJV)

Such a common scripture that we all have heard many times and one that we can draw many lessons from.  No doubt we see the forgiveness of God and His desire for us to be with Him.  All hundred sheep belonged to the shepherd, just as we that are saved by God’s grace belong to the Lord.  I have been the lost sheep many times in my life when I have gotten out of God’s will and ended up in a mess that only God could get me out of.  He has restored me each time, praise God!  My thought today is with the ninety-nine obedient sheep.  They are exactly where the shepherd wants them, doing no wrong, yet they have to go without the shepherd for a period of time while he searches for the lost one.  We can spiritually be right in the center of God’s will, studying, praying and living for Him, but not feel His presence with us daily.  He is still there, omnipresent, but we can’t see or hear Him.  These sheep were left alone for a time and they could not see or hear their shepherd either.  They were no doubt lonely and longed for their shepherd to feed them and comfort them.  They probably were bleating away at the surrounding wilderness just crying for a sound from their shepherd.  We should likewise be praying and desiring God to manifest Himself in our lives daily.

I’ve heard that sheep are not very smart (and we aren’t either), but I’m sure that they are familiar with other members of their flock.  Some of the sheep were probably wondering what happened to the sheep that always ate beside them or walked closest to them as they grazed.  In our churches, “flocks”, we should likewise be aware of those around us.  We should concern ourselves with the well-being of our brothers and sisters.  I’m not justifying gossip or meddling in other people’s business, we have scripture that proves that is wrong.  We do not need to know the details of our sister’s situation, we can pray just the same because God knows the details.  Pray for one another!  It may be that the Lord has us personally in a spiritual wilderness but that He is much at work in someone else’s life, trying to get their attention and restore them to Himself.  Do you care enough for your sister’s that you would notice if one of them was “missing” in a service?  I pray that we all would have that burden for one another.

It is also worth mentioning that no doubt the shepherd would have made provision for the sheep while he was away.  He loved these sheep and would not have left them in an overly vulnerable place of imminent danger.  He may have found a natural shelter of sorts in the wilderness where they would be safest while he was away.  The shepherd would have most definitely known exactly where he left his sheep so that he could return to them once the lost sheep was found.  Our Saviour is always looking out for us as His children.  The Bible says that He will never leave us nor forsake us so we can be assured that He is always aware of our situation.  We are also promised that He will always provide our needs (not wants) so we always have the comfort of knowing that He will always allow provision for us just as the shepherd does his sheep.  Praise God!

When asking my wonderful pastor about this issue, he informed me that sometimes shepherds would notice when one of the obedient sheep was longing for his attention and he would rest his staff on their back as they grazed.  He would leave it there long enough that it would thrill the sheep’s heart that the shepherd was giving it the attention it so longed for.  How amazing this is for us as well when our Shepherd gives us personal attention and love that we have been yearning for.  If we had not been without it for this period of time, we wouldn’t rejoice when we finally received it.  Praise the Lord that he always thrills our hearts with His presence when we need it most!