In the 17th Chapter of 1 Kings we meet our prophet Elijah for the first time. Did I mention that I'm really enjoying blogging through the old testament because I'm getting refamiliarized with some of the kings, etc.? I haven't been through these chapters in awhile. Oops. Sorry for the digression.
In 1 Kings 17, we see Elijah as he was told by God to tell bad 'ol Ahab that there was going to be a 3 year drought. After this, God tells Elijah to leave town and hide in Cherith by the brook there for water and promises to have the ravens bring food to Elijah. (v 2-4). Wouldn't you be rolling your eyes if you were Elijah at the thought of ravens bringing you food? Interesting thought. Finally the brook dried up and God told Elijah to move again, this time to Zarepheth, where a widow (a poor one with only enough food for her own family's last meal, it turns out) would sustain him. (v 8-9) Elijah must have been a faithful follower of God because he obeys God's every word. The widow had nothing to give, but Elijah assured her that God would provide enough for her, her son & Elijah for as long as was necessary. (v 14). God came through.
I'm not sure how long Elijah stayed with the widow, but he did stay long enough for her son to die and for God to raise the boy from the dead through Elijah. What is interesting about this miracle is that before the boy was given new life, both the widow and Elijah questioned God's plan. The widow wondered if Elijah hadn't come to slay her son (v 18) and Elijah asked God if He had "brought evil upon the widow...by slaying her son." (v 20). It was part of God's plan though, wasn't it? God sustained Elijah through the ravens and Elijah's coming to the widow's house sustained her and her son because Elijah brought God's life to her household both by the extra food God had promised to her and by bringing her son back to life. Hence my post title: "Who's sustaining who?".
There are lots of lessons to be learned from this chapter to apply to our lives today:
1) We can always trust in God's plan. God has things under control, even though we think He doesn't sometimes. Can you see how God is providing for you today?
2) Even the best of us sometimes don't "get" what God is doing. Have you given God enough time to work out His "crazy" plan in your life?
3) Sometimes things have to get bad before we see the good. The widow saw the glory of God through the life being restored in her son. Don't you think her faith was revitalized? Don't give up just because there appears to be a bump in the road.
Lord, give us Your healing touch today in whatever area of our lives needs peace, comfort or strength. You can do all things, even resurrect the "dead". Please show us how to truly live in this world that is not our home, trusting Your timing and your tactics. Amen.