Obedience’s Miracle—The Widow of Zarephath (P1)

Part 1 of 3

God chose to take the life of the prophet Elijah and intertwine it with the life of one widow. Elijah served as God’s spokesperson, the man who stood in front of King Ahab and prophesied “…the next years are going to see a total drought—not a drop of dew or rain unless I say otherwise.”[1] Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife, tried to kill all of God’s prophets. At one point, Elijah thought he was the last living prophet.[2]

Our lives our intertwined for mutual provision and blessing.

Those who worshiped Baal believed he was the god who brought rains and bountiful harvest—so the words Elijah spoke for God were profanity against Jezebel’s god. After declaring no more rain, Elijah hid himself in the Kerith Ravine, east of Jordan where the Lord sustained him with water from a brook and food ravens brought to him.[3] When the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to Zarephath with instruction to look to a widow to sustain him.

The woman, only referred to as the “widow of Zarephath,” demonstrates a powerful faith through her obedience in 1 Kings. The city serves as part of her identification. We can assume she is the only widow in her city. Zarephath rest inside the region of Sidon, the native country of Queen Jezebel, the woman who married the wicked King Ahab and required her god, Baal to be worshiped instead of God Almighty.[4]  We might easily assume this widow is not of Hebrew lineage, but she clearly believed in the Hebrew’s God and trusted Him.

So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah (1 Kings 17:15-16 nkjv).

God’s purposes are so much higher and wider than what we imagine. God tells us to go here or there—to do this or that—and it’s easy to think it’s about us. Hopefully we can see it as God positioning us for blessing. While that is often a part of his plan, our eyes usually rest on ourselves, when in fact it has less to do with us and more to do with what he wants to do through our relationships with the people to whom he connects us for a bigger purpose. Our lives our intertwined for mutual provision and blessing.

Who has God sent into your life to help you? Are you looking for God to answer you through the divine connection of relationship He’s placed in your life? What relationships does He want you to cultivate?

[1] 1 Kings 17:1 MSG

[2] 1 Kings 18:22

[3] 1 Kings 17:5

[4] 1 King 21:25-26

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Moving the Mountain Inside of Us!

I have heard the messages most of my life of mountain-moving faith. You may be even more familiar than I am of Jesus’ words in Mark: I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ and does not doubt in his heart [in God’s unlimited power], but believes that what he says is going to take place, it will be done for him [in accordance with God’s will].[1]

So the other day, I’m thinking about Jesus’ words here. I’m thinking about the mountains that tested my faith and I saw thrown into the sea. Blaine and I experienced some big mountains in the first five years of our marriage. Only by faith in God and a lot of work, we overcame those relationship obstacles and built a strong marriage. I experienced many challenges with my first pregnancy including an inability to gain weight at first, anemia and preterm labor (which resulted in bedrest) and premature delivery. I delivered our second son full term with a very healthy pregnancy only to begin a fight for his life just five hours after I delivered him. Each time God proved faithful—and the mountain eventually went into the sea!

I’ve always thought about the external mountains—those external forces that reside outside of us. This time as I thought about this verse just this past week, a new question popped into my head. What about the mountains on the inside of us?

We all have stuff. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, but our experiences shape us, whether we want them to or not. Those deep hurts and pains can become emotional mountains in our minds. Oh, we try to hide the hurts, to press down the pain, to ignore the wounds and to replace the losses—but they remain. When we least expect it, they come forward, much like a volcanic mountain rises up over time with each small eruption.

So, what do we do? We look to Jesus’ words again and realize that even the mountain inside of you has to move when you speak to it and believe.

One thing I’ve learned is you don’t have to take the mountain alone. Not only do you have Jesus’ word, his promise, but you have all of heaven backing you up—cheering you on. You also have other believers who will stand with you, agree with you and encourage you.

What external mountains are you facing today!  Please share your comments. I’d love to hear from you.

[1] AMP

Thank You for the Journey Together

I had the honor and privilege of becoming a Grief Recovery Specialist. It has given me the specific things I needed to navigate the pain and loss in my own life and the  tools to assist others that the Lord brings across my path. I am so thankful to those who have opened their hearts and lives to me and given me such a wonderful opportunity of friendship and hope.

Below is a letter expressing my heartfelt thanks to those who have invited me to be a part of their journey.

Dearest Friend,
You have experienced an insurmountable amount of loss in your life—and yet, each day you find a way to rise above it and even encourage others.

I am so very proud of you.

  • You are real with your emotions. You don’t hide them, but instead give voice to what you feel with those you trust. Thank you for trusting me.
  • You are unwilling to isolate and grief alone. Instead, you encourage others to join you in your grief—even when they can’t possibly understand. I am grateful to you for sharing broken heart with me.
  • Forgive me when I say something I shouldn’t.
  • Thank you for allowing me to sit with you in silence—a silence that is neither awkward nor uncomfortable. You let me be me; and I let you be you.
  • You inspire me as I watch you navigate these difficult journeys. I love you and want to walk with you the rest of the way.

They are blessed who grieve, for God will comfort them.
Matthew 5:4 NCV