How generous are you? Think about it for a minute, this morning’s devotional will possibly challenge and stretch you a bit. Generosity and trust go hand in hand.
Some people are stingy and miserly because they are afraid they won’t have enough for themselves. Others react that way because they feel everything they have is a result of “their” own hard work and sweat and so they have no desire to share.
But a truly generous person realizes that everything they have is a blessing from the Lord and that they can trust God to provide ALL their needs. When the Lord instructs us to give He provides!
I was really challenged by the story of Elijah and the widow woman of Zarepath this morning. Oh, I’ve read it many times – many times but this morning I was challenged.
“There was no rain, so after a while the stream became dry. 8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go to Zarephath in Sidon and stay there. There is a widow there that I commanded to take care of you.”
10 So Elijah went to Zarephath. He went to the town gate and saw a woman there gathering wood for a fire. She was a widow. Elijah said to her, “Would you bring me a small cup of water to drink?” 11 As she was going to get the water, Elijah said, “Bring me a piece of bread too, please.”
12 The woman answered, “I promise you, before the Lord your God, that I have nothing but a handful of flour in a jar and a little bit of olive oil in a jug. I came here to gather a few pieces of wood for a fire to cook our last meal. My son and I will eat it and then die from hunger.”
13 Elijah said to the woman, “Don’t worry. Go home and cook your food as you said. But first make a small piece of bread from the flour that you have and bring it to me. Then cook some for yourself and your son. 14 The Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘That jar of flour will never be empty and the jug will always have oil in it. This will continue until the day the Lord sends rain to the land.’”
15 So the woman went home and did what Elijah told her to do. And Elijah, the woman, and her son had enough food for a long time. 16 The jar of flour and the jug of oil were never empty. This happened just as the Lord said through Elijah.”
I Kings 17:7-16 ERV
There had been a drought in the land. Food was scarce and people were starving. Elijah was a servant of God and He was used to listening for the Lord’s voice and obeying it. However, we have a widowed woman in a town who is down to her very last morsel of food and she probably isn’t accustomed to the Lord speaking to her too often. And she is presented with a life and death challenge.
This preacher walks into town and requests her last bit of food. “Don’t worry. Go home and cook your food as you said. But first make a small piece of bread from the flour that you have and bring it to me.” Really? That’s pretty bold!!
Don’t forget verse 9. God had already commanded the woman to take care of Elijah. Now she has a choice – obey God and feed the prophet or make her bread, feed her son and starve. I’m sure she struggled a bit in making her decision. Maybe her struggle came when the Lord first spoke to her or maybe it was when she was confronted by the prophet. A mother who has already seen her husband die and now she knows the life of her son is in danger – her instinct is to protect her child.
She chooses to obey God! Struggle over – victory comes.
What are you struggling with today? Has the Lord asked you to be a blessing to someone – maybe even a stranger? Be obedient, follow the Lord’s instruction, His provision is always enough!