Tag Archives: provider

The New Heroes

In a conference class yesterday the story is told of a young couple, who at the age of 18 decide to marry. Not long afterwards it’s discovered that they’re expecting their first child. And then he loses his job; he can’t make his car payment so he loses their car. He struggles to get a job because transportation is now an issue. But they fight back. They buckle down and make it through. He gets another job and they barely make ends meet, but they make it. It’s the modern day hero. No superman cape flying in the wind. No rescuing the damsel in distress. Just the reality of living and trying to keep food on the table.

And such was the case in the story of the widow of Zarephath in 1st Kings 17:11-16

And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.

She’d all but given up on life and then a man of God stops by and things change. She didn’t win the lottery, she’s not now dining on steak and potatoes; just the meal and oil. Elijah didn’t come with a cape and whisk her off her feet, he came with provision of the Word of God and survival followed.

My new heroes.

I look around my church and I see them. Snotty nosed babies, Momma’s with disheveled clothes from her baby’s constant tugging. A daddy, slightly slumped in his seat, eyes glazed over from too few hours of sleep, and the strain of “just surviving” written all over his face. There’s not a prophet on their porch with an endless supply of meal and oil. Just the mail man with a late payment notice on their car loan. And as the collection plate is passed down the row, the closer it gets the greater the temptation to just leave their tithe out, because a few more groceries would be nice this week, and it’s not much anyway. Surely their tithe won’t break the church bank. But he drops it in, and believes… God’s got this.

They’re my new heroes.

It’s the grandmother who thought she was done raising children, but life began anew. And so did the expenses. It’s the widow who eats peanut butter and toast all week, so she can save for a ham on Sunday to share with her family. It’s the widower who has no financial issues, because there’s no one to buy for. What I’ve come to realize is that it’s not always a prophet that God sends to stretch the meal and oil. I’m not rich, Elijah wasn’t either. He had faith, the widow had faith and together God made heroes… Survivors. Look for them along your path today, they’re plentiful! Perhaps you can help them multiply the meal and oil.

Problems with Purpose

I don’t know why it is that every time God pours His blessings out on me I’m surprised. But I just stand in awe!!! I never understood why it was that God would open doors for someone like me to share and encourage others, but He did. I feel like braggin’ on my God this morning. I feel like praising His name and weeping tears of great joy. I feel like there is someone out there reading this blog today that needs to hear about Jehovah God, our Provider, Who is never late but is often right down to the wire on time! I cannot tell you the times that I have shown up for the day dressed in drab, prepared for the funeral and God said put on your coat of many colors girl, I had purpose in your problems!!!

I began to think about those that God brought out of a trial only to make them greater than they could have ever imagined. I want to name a few and remind you of their journey to triumph that began with trouble.

Genesis 21:10, Genesis 22:2

Abraham had already had to send his son Ishmael away, he loved Sarah and Isaac, but the pain he must have felt as he watched Hagar and Ishmael walk away into the wilderness would have overshadowed any joy in that moment.  And then came new news, “You must sacrifice your only son Isaac.” How will he tell Sarah, how we he look into the face of his only child as he binds him and lays him on the wood? Isaac knew the ritual, what fear must have gone through his young mind and heartbreak that his father would allow it; and then… the bleating of a lamb in the thickets… Can you feel the pressure as it lifts from Abraham’s heart. “Jehovah!” Whew! No funeral here!

Genesis 50:20

As a young man Joseph feels God on his life, he’s dreamed dreams and perhaps he told them with a little more pride than he should have, but he knew in his heart they were of God. He’d grown up experiencing the favor of his earthly father and the jealousy of his siblings but never in a million years did he dream his brothers would betray him and hurt their farther in such a manner. But they did. Held captive by Pharaoh, imprisoned for crimes he did not commit and still in the pit of his soul he knew God had a plan, but it sure was rough hanging onto that hope in the damp darkness of the night. But favor came again. And he rose up into power and position and with godly wisdom saved his people from certain famine and death. It had to have been bitter sweet when he stood before his brothers and said, “You meant it for evil but God used it for his glory.” The heartache washed away with the tears as he finally understood God’s plan. No funerals here!!

John 11:43

Lazarus’s sisters sobbed with heartbreak at the death of their brother. They’d cried out to the Lord to save him, they’d believed in faith that He would. Healing never came but the funeral day did. As Jesus arrived they may have felt both joy and sorrow; failing to understand how their faith had not been enough. Seeing Christ weep would again bring a flood of emotion in the sisters, “But He’s God; if God cries it can’t be good!” And then He speaks “Lazarus, come forth.” No funeral here either!!!

God’s purpose in problems was sometimes a nail biting, pit in your stomach, ready to throw up experience. But when the plan is finally unveiled there are tears of joy and jubilation. Your problems have purpose. Keep holding on and waiting for Christ to come on the scene and say “Dry your eyes child… and watch!” I can say that from the other side of many journeys in the faith. Hold on!!!!