How can you secure your future when established businesses such as Hertz, J. Crew, and Neiman Marcus declared bankruptcy this year? We’ve watched local businesses close, people lose jobs or hours at work, and donations to churches and ministries plunge. On top of that, many people separated from friends, family, and fellow believers are suffering from lack of emotional support.
How do we survive this challenging time in history? An ancient and modern story reminded me of God’s faithfulness to those who follow His leading.
Then the Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.’
So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, ‘Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?’ As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”
But she said, ‘I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.’
But Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!’” (1 Kings 17:8-14 NLT).
The Lord told Elijah He’d instructed a widow to feed him. But, did you notice—the Lord hadn’t told the widow? Sometimes our assignments, and His provision, unfold only as we walk with Jesus.
God also meets our emotional and spiritual needs as we heed His voice. My friend Liz met a neighbor when she was out for a walk. As they approached each other, Liz noticed the large Doberman was not on a leash. “Sit,” the woman commanded. The dog obeyed.
They exchanged pleasantries and parted. But the Lord had more in mind. Liz felt the nudge to invite the woman over. Remembering the large dog, Liz mustered her courage and knocked on her neighbor’s door. The door flung open and the dog rushed out. It stopped at his mistress’s command.
The woman (minus the dog) came to Liz’s that evening. More conversations followed and they turned to spiritual matters. The woman showed spiritual hunger. She started memorizing scripture—and as of last report, she’s memorized 50 scriptures this summer!
When Liz courageously obeyed the the tug to reach out to the woman with the intimidating dog, she didn’t know what would happen. But her obedience nourished them both.
When Elijah summoned the nerve to ask the widow to feed him—before she fed her son and herself—she had no idea God had chosen her to sustain His prophet. God fed Elijah, the widow, and her son until the famine ended—on a handful of flour and oil—because they obeyed God’s leading.
These stories remind me to always listen to the Lord’s voice. God faithfully cares for those who courageously push through their fears to obey Him (Leviticus 26:3-5).These stories remind me to always #listen to the Lord’s voice. God faithfully cares for those who push through their fears to obey Him. #security Click To Tweet
There was always #enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah” (1 Kings 17:16). #Provision Click To Tweet
So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah” (1 Kings 17:15-16 NLT).
If you are feeling stressed over this time, we’re here to help.
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- This fall, I’ll be leading an eleven-week online study for women on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST. We’ll start on September 15 and will study Little Women, Big God. The women in Jesus’ genealogy faced crushing problems with little power, but they discovered a big God. Contact me to sign up or learn more. Let’s focus on our Big God together!
- Our daughter, Ginny Wilson, will be leading a ten-week study through Give Yourself a Break on Thursday evenings beginning September 17th, 2020. They will meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST. You can join locally or tune in through zoom. Contact us to sign up or learn more.
- We appreciate those who have remembered Lighthouse Ministries during this time. I recently learned about the CARES act which gives two ways for taxpayers to benefit in 2020:
For taxpayers who do not itemize, they can claim up to $300 with an “above-the-line” deduction directly off taxable income. This can be given at any time in 2020 and to any public nonprofit.
For taxpayers who itemize, they can now claim 100% of their AGI in charitable giving for 2020 instead of the normal 60%.