Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:8 NIV).
Years ago, before my daughters grew up and left home, I recall rushing home from work to pick them up. Fridays were our family night out for a meal. It was modest but a special treat for us. Often, I would save up and sacrifice to make Friday meals possible. During these memorable times, we’d walk through the mall, admiring the delicious fare displayed as we entered the food court. We passed the tempting tantalizing smells of many cuisines, but we would still head to the taco stand. Then we sat down, bowed our heads, and thanked God for their three-taco special. We ate because we were hungry, but we also treasured our time together, God's provision, and making memories.
Despite not having an abundance, our family had everything we needed, such as meals. We didn’t starve or face an empty pantry, and we praised God that our resources were never depleted. And although the fear of starving is an ongoing issue for many people, we experience anxiety for various reasons. Otherwise, God wouldn’t have told us not to be afraid. Our relationship with the Lord is letting go of our worries and depending upon Him, and hungering for Him to provide our needs. Fear of the future robs us of peace, and God wants us to turn the situation over to Him. It's as if He perpetually poses the question to us, "what do you really hunger for?"
Elijah foretold a famine when he declared that there would be no rain.
He hiked through the woods and encamped near a brook with water to drink, where birds delivered bread and meat for nourishment. Although the food wasn’t what he usually ate, God provided for Elijah. When the creek was dry, God told him to walk to Zarephath.
In 1st Kings 17:10, Elijah saw a woman gathering sticks and asked her, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a little piece of bread.”
When I picture this scene, I imagine the woman puckering her brow and frowning while holding the twigs and replying in verse 12, “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread–only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
In return, Elijah said,
“Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son” (1st Kings 17:13 NIV).
He didn’t tell her where to find food. Instead, he instructed her not to fear tomorrow. He explained that if she cooked and shared her food with him, God would supernaturally provide for her family.
This story reminds us of the scripture that tells us:
In vain, you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for he grants sleep to those he loves (Psalms 127:2 NIV).
God blessed them, not with abundance, but with enough to sustain them. They ate, went to bed, and woke up to more flour for bread. Still, she didn’t realize God was providing for them.
Later, the boy died. Elijah lifted the child and walked to the upper room. I could envision Elijah perplexed and wondering why God would’ve allowed that. Yet, he remained faithful and lay prostrate on the boy.
“Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” he cried.
God healed him. Then Elijah lifted the boy and brought him to his mother as he bent over. “Look, your son is alive!”
The woman told Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from our mouth is the truth” (1 King 17:24).
God used the scarcity of food and the child’s death to show the miraculous provision and healing from the Lord available for those who depend upon Him. He consistently demonstrates that He will never leave or forsake us. He provides. Whether it’s a taco dinner, a cake of flour, or supernatural healing, God is the one who supplies all our needs.
Prayer: Thank you for your promise to provide for me and the occasions you met those needs. Sometimes I see my circumstances, and it isn’t easy resting on you. Lord, help me stand on your Word and trust in your promises to come to fruition. Amen.
When has God given you rest, and answered your prayers regarding a need that would typically cause fear?