There is a phrase that I heard a speaker use one time…can’t remember the speaker, can’t remember the setting, can’t even remember the context of the statement, but I very much do remember the statement. It is this: “God plan, done God’s way, with God’s provision.” I have carried that in my head for quite some time now. I may have even mentioned it before in this blog, I’m not sure.
But as I was reading today’s reading through again, that phrase came to mind once again. God has pronounced a famine through Elijah, and then he instructs Elijah to go to Cherith, a Wadi (a place in the wilderness, usually a valley, that has water in it at least part of the year) a to wait out the drought. During Elijah’s time there, God sends ravens to bring him food.
Eventually the wadi drys up, and God sends Elijah to Zarephath live with a woman and her son. But the woman has no provisions left to provide Elijah with hospitality; in fact, when she enters the scene she is readying the very last of their provisions for a final meal before the die of starvation. But God, working through Elijah, provides unlimited flour and oil to feed all three of them through the famine.
Next the unnamed widow’s son dies and she grows angry with Elijah, wondering about the point of it all. Elijah, praying over the boys body for a miracles, wonders aloud the same thing. “God, why did you kill this boy?” God hear’s Elijah’s prayer and returns life to the boy.
We all find ourselves in the place in life when we wonder what the point is, why tragedy happens, why goodness gets swallowed by evil and why God allows things to transpire in the way he does. But if we would just have faith in God’s plans and abilities, those questions become academic. God’s plan, done God’s way, with God’s provision.
We can be so worked up when God calls us to something that seems impossible (like living at a wadi and being fed by ravens during a famine) or when something God calls us to seems to be going awry (like a widow’s son dying). Yet if we actually have faith that God can and does understand what he is doing, then those things become more easily dealt with.
There is a lesson of faith in this reading today. Spend some time unpacking it.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Kings 20-21