"I have designated a widow there to provide for you." —1 Kings 17:9
God told Elijah that He had provided a benefactor to care for him. Was this benefactor a rich man touched by Elijah's life-changing prophecies or a wealthy relative with a large annuity in the bank? No, God told Elijah not to worry because He had designated a widow to provide for Him (1 Kgs 17:9). Moreover, this would not be a rich widow living comfortably from her husband's estate. Instead, she will be a poor widow with less than one day of provisions. Nonetheless, Elijah had seen God provide miraculously for him while a refugee in the wilderness, for there God arranged for ravens to bring him daily bread and meat (1 Kgs 17:6).
When Elijah arrived in drought-ridden Zarephath, he had to be hungry and thirsty after a long journey. Then he learned that this widow chosen by God was penniless, lacking enough to prepare even one meal. Despite this bleak circumstance, Elijah still acted in confident faith, not in bitter spite. He trusted God, and saw Him multiply her oil and flour (1 Kgs 17:15-16).
When tough times come, we Christians cannot lose the freshness of our faith. We must not go flat (Mt 5:13) just because circumstances don't break in our favor. We must act like Elijah and "trust in [God] at all times" (Ps 62:9). "Walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7).
Prayer: Father, "You put gladness into my heart, more than when grain and wine abound" (Ps 4:8). I prefer You to riches. Your love is better than life (Ps 63:4).
Promise: "Your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father." —Mt 5:16
Praise: Robert trusted in God's provision and refused a promotion that would have required him to spend much more time away from his family.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2012
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