What a strange day! This morning I was sure my life was over, but now I have hope for myself and my son. Praise be to God, he has saved our lives.
You wouldn’t believe how bad it has been. There has been no rain in the whole land for over a year. The rivers and creeks have dried up and dust blows over everything day after day. People are desperate and in a terrible state. There is nowhere to hide, or to find grain. Since my husband died I have felt so alone and helpless. It was always hard to make ends meet, but lately there haven’t even been any ends to stretch. Even if I could sell my house, there would be no grain to buy.
This morning I knew that this was the end. I would use the little bit of flour and oil I had left to make a final cake for myself and my son. We would eat it and then die. How will it feel to die, I wondered? How long would it take? I hoped it would be quick.
Leaving my son in the house, I went out by the town gate to gather a few sticks to make my last fire so we could cook our final meal. A man approached me and I tried to run away.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Would you bring me a little water so I can have a drink?”
Water! Where did he think I would get water? There’s not much left in the jars inside the gates, and it’s really no good for drinking, but there is nothing else. As I turned to go and get some he called after me.
“And please, bring me a piece of bread.”
A piece of bread! Where would I get that? I told him my situation.
“I have only a little flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug,” I said. “I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son so that we can eat it – and then we will die.”
“Don’t be afraid,” he said again. “Go home and do as you have said. But first make me a small cake of bread and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself.”
I thought he hadn’t heard me say that I had only enough for one meal, but he went on.
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says,” he said. “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.”
Can you imagine! How could you use the flour and oil without it being used up? But he was clearly a man of God. I had to do what he said.
So I gathered up my sticks and went home and he followed me. As I mixed the last little bit of flour and oil together I wondered if this was the man God had told me would be coming and that I had to feed. I had wondered how that would happen. I made a little loaf and gave it to him and he ate it. Just as he said there was enough left to make a loaf for me and my son. I looked in the jar. There was still flour there and there was still oil left in the jug. It would be as he had told me.
His name was Elijah. I had heard of this great prophet, but never thought I would meet him, and here he was at my house. He would stay until the famine was over, he told me. I am glad I have that spare room.
This morning I thought my life was over, but now I know that God has spared my life. He has promised we will have food until the famine has ended. Praise be to God!
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