“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he set out and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks [for firewood]. He called out to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a jar, so that I may drink.” As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” But she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar. See, I am gathering a few sticks so that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it [as our last meal] and die.” Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. Just make me a little bread from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For this is what the LORD God of Israel says: ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jar of oil be empty until the day that the LORD sends rain [again] on the face of the earth.’ ” She went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, in accordance with the word of the LORD which He spoke through Elijah.” (1 Kings 17:9-16 AMP)
At one time or another we have all lived through a season where we thought “this is it.” Like the women in the passage above, we’ve all struggled with what I like to call “The lack mentality.” There is always something in our lives that we feel we barely have enough. We are just barely making ends meet. For most people like me, it just so happens to be with our finances. I have literally sat up contemplating on how I would or could get myself out of so much debt. My debt had become a serious problem. I felt like I was barely holding on, barely making it. What’s even worse is that there are always people who are in need who could use some of what I have left.
As I continued through the passage I find myself identifying with the women in here, it’s one thing to give out of abundance but to give from an area where I believe I am lacking is something totally different. I realized the reason I identified with her is because of the particular season I was in; I’d been struggling to get ahead. Everything felt as if I were constantly trying to catchup. At one point I’d began to feel an overwhelming sense of frustration and grief. I was on the verge of just exploding. Here I am trying my hardest to figure things out when God is nudging me to go out and share what little I have with someone else who has nothing. One would think my heart strings would tug but while I was throwing myself a pity party there was someone out there wishing they could have what “little” I had. I realized that it wasn’t about the little this women had; it was about her faith. In her season like many of us she didn’t believe she had much. What she had was very little, barely enough for her and her son. Like her many of us, we look at the tangible things we have and fail to see the blessing in them. We fail to believe that God can provide even though we read and hear it from others; we don’t completely believe that a God who created the heavens and earth will/can provide when we don’t understand the how behind it. Reading on the prophet Elijah we see he gives her a promise, that when she goes to make her meal she should feed him first, then herself and her son. He told her that the bowl of flour “shall not be exhausted nor shall the jar of oil be empty until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.” Just like this women we are given a promise from a God who said that He is our provider. A God who promises that He would never leave nor forsake us. We have a God who finishes what He start. But when we live with a lack mentality or mindset we sometimes allow ourselves to believe that what is in front of us is bigger than Him.
I see what I have, and I know this is all I have, and to cut into this would mean that there will be a day I may be in lack. I’m meeting a need for someone based on a promise to get more when I’m not even sure that’ll happen. Maybe I’ll have to beg and hope someone will give it to me. It’s scary believing for or hoping for things we don’t see. Not really understanding how. That’s what faith is, because in our own minds we create scenarios that only our human minds will allow us to understand. We forget that God is God. He can do all things, things we can’t even imagine or see. If He created man from dust what makes us think He can’t give to us in an area we are lacking.
Proverbs 3:6-7 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Lots of times we become so consumed with our own thoughts and all the what if’s we forget His promises. Our first thought are “what about me, if I do this then I won’t have that.” I believe in this particular situation this lady had to do a heart check. She had to trust that God would do exactly what He said. That He would take care of her, provide and protect her even when she didn’t understand how. We have to trust when He says he will neither leave nor forsake us. Because when we forget all the things that He has promised, if we forget who He is we begin to hold tight to things that aren’t meant to sustain us. This lady could have said no, and more than likely starved after that meal. But instead she chose to let go of the thing that she was lacking in and trust that her faith was enough to believe that God will, even when she couldn’t understand how He was going to do. This is why it’s so important to make sure that we aren’t so focused on the little and instead trust God to provide the much.
Contributed by – Tashanta Ford (Shani)
In the midst of my pain I found a God who fiercely sought after me. In 2017 I was in a broken place lost, living without purpose, and wanting to be found. Through the love of God I was able to find a peace that would change a rebel into a righteous women. I am from California, but currently living in Chicago, Illinois. Now walking a path to help change people perspectives on what it means to walk in Gods grace. I believe since I was able to find happiness, and true joy that everyone I encounter should and can find it too. Through The Sanctuary I have been able to grow in my walk while pursing the life that God has called me to.