7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 1 Kings 17:7-10 a
As you may recall, in the earlier part of this chapter, Elijah was instructed to go to the brook of Cherith. There, the ravens brought him daily sustenance. In the wilderness. In the quiet. In the nowhere with no one. And Elijah’s trust was built daily. In a God who provides. In a God who is present. In a God who was not wasting this wilderness season.
Now, the next season of training has begun. And it happens again through Elijah’s obedience. The word of the Lord comes to him and is met with obedience which then produces fruit, not only in his life but also in the life of the widow of Zarephath. Previously, Elijah was dependent on God’s creation for his provision. Now he is sent into a situation where he will be dependent on another human being for his very life. All the while God is building upon the training he has begun in Elijah. The God of Israel is growing Elijah’s trust, faith, and character.
And it doesn’t come easy. But Elijah has experienced the favor, care, and presence of God in this season of training to the point that his trust of God Almighty is ever growing. Is yours?
To be able to hear the voice of God, and then choose to obey it no matter how unrealistic it may seem, takes true grit. It takes a felt trust in the person you are following. An acknowledgment that you are trusting the outcome to this Person and that you believe there will be fruit produced. Obedience may seem like discipline at times; though it may be difficult, remember the reward and the outcome: trust and good fruit. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Today, ponder these questions: What life circumstances might God be using as training in your life? How can you embrace this season as a training ground for your faith journey?
By Ellen Rosenberger