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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)

TITLE: Trust and Obey
By Lynda Lee Schab


My selfishness almost prevented me from receiving a blessing; in hindsight, I am so glad I obeyed.

That morning I looked into my son's sunken eyes for what I thought would be the last time. I was hungry myself but that did not matter. What mattered was my son. I saw him clutching his bloated stomach when he did not know I was watching. I heard him moaning during the night when he thought I was asleep. The hunger was almost unbearable for me - how much more for my son! He never once asked me for food but I knew it was on his mind every minute of every hour. I think there is an undeniable sense when you are about to die. And we were both feeling it.

I went outside in the afternoon to gather some sticks. I would use some to cook our last meal and the rest I would use for warmth. At least my son and I could lay by a kindling fire and I could hold him in my arms as we took our last breath. It took all of my might to pick up those sticks but God is good and I drew from Him the strength I needed. Just as I was almost finished, a prophet, whose name was Elijah, called out to me.

"Would you please bring me a cup of water?"

Everything in me wanted to refuse. I was so tired and my bones were aching; the very last thing I wanted to do was go fetch that man some water. But I am a godly woman and it is my duty to serve the Lord's messengers and prophets that pass through town. As I was going to get the water, I could not believe it when he asked for some bread also. I am ashamed to admit now that I wanted to shout, "Can you not see I am a poor widow woman with nothing of my own?"

Instead I told him, "I swear by the Lord your God that I don't have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die."

"Don't be afraid," he said to me. "Go ahead and cook that last meal, but bake me a little loaf of bread first. Afterward there will still be enough food for you and your son."

At first I thought he was crazy. He asks for water, then bread, and finally tells me to bake him a loaf of bread first, before feeding my son! I wondered for a moment how this man of God could be so selfish! Surely God would want a little boy to eat before a grown man! My mind could not fathom how there could be any food left over for my son and me after the prophet had eaten his fill. But I put my own selfishness aside, did what I was told and baked the man a loaf of bread.

The Lord did provide that day and for many more days after that. Every time I reached my hand into the container of flour, I pulled out just enough for one more loaf of bread. And each time I was just as amazed as the time before.

I learned a lot from that experience. Now I do not question God. His ways will always be a mystery to me but I do not need to know His secrets. All I need to know is that God is good. God is faithful. God is a provider. And when we trust and obey, God blesses us. The most important lesson of all I learned is that God uses other people to touch our lives and make a difference. I think about what would have happened if Elijah had not shown up that day. Then I look at my son and shake that thought away.

I am just so thankful he did.

(Taken from 1 Kings 17. All quotes from the NLT)

Lynda Schab
Copyright 2004

Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Malley11/15/04
Great bible re-telling. Your words were compelling and gripping. Thanks for the message of trust. We are often delivered at the time of our last morsel of hope. It reminds me to keep fighting the good fight--the Lord is always with us at the end of the struggle.
Corinne Smelker 11/15/04
Well done Lynda
Having worked in some really poor parts of Africa, I can tell you how heart-wrenching it is to see hungry kids.

I have to say I have to sometimes check my own anger with my kids, when they have so much food in the house, and still complain because there's 'nothing to eat'! (In their minds, not enough candy choices!)

Well done.

Wonderful job of re-telling this story. You drew me in right from the start and kept my attention. Nice job.
Kathy Cartee11/15/04

The sign of a great teacher is the ability to take Bible and relate the principals to our every day life. You have done an excellent job.
Lucian Thompson11/15/04
Awesome Lynda, as always you bring bread to the table of FW. Wonderful depiction of the poor mother who obeyed God. I love the stories of the Bible written in the first person and you are the master, or is it masterette, of this type of writing.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/15/04
Excellent article, Lynda. Both humbling and moving, it builds to a beautifully executed ending in the last two paragraphs.
DeAnna Brooks11/15/04
Your first paragraph was riveting, Lynda. I could see that littleboy so clearly. And his mother.
Lisa Beaman11/15/04
Great job! This story is one of five that my women's Bible study group is looking at this week, so I was excited to read your perspective. Very well written!
John Hunt11/15/04
Another excellent article, very aptly relating Bible truths to the topic.
Nicely done.
Karri Compton11/15/04
Wow. That was so touching and well written! I loved not knowing who you were talking about at the beginning, then learning later. You have a great gift for writing! God bless you, Karri
Deborah Anderson11/15/04
I liked the way you did this from the perspective of the widow woman, Lynda, and with an element of surprise. God bless you.
Marcell Billinghurst11/16/04
An excellent perspective of a great Bible Story retold as from this woman's point of view. Very well done. You are a great story teller. God bless you.
Mitzi Busby11/16/04
I like the way you retold the story. As always, great work.
Barbara Ann Smith11/16/04
This is a well written story. The imagery brought each person to life and I could almost see the people. Good Job!
Trish Thompson11/16/04
I have read this story before, but you have made it come alive! I liked being drawn right into the story, and seeing anew the relevance it has to my life. Wonderfully done!
Debbie OConnor11/16/04
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I love this story and you retold it so well. The emotion and realistic embellishments were perfect. Great entry.
Phyllis Inniss11/17/04
Lynda, I enjoyed this retelling of the bible story. It really came alive. Blessings.
Sheila Lockhart11/17/04
Excellent compilation of this bible passage. I love the way that you brought it to modern day and made it appear as if the lady was telling the story personally.
Sheila Lockhart11/17/04
I can also see it in drama form!
Tesiri Moweta11/18/04
Thanks for bringing the bible to close home to us. When we see the bible that way,it brings the supernatural straight down to our doorsteps.
Keep winning and shining for Jesus.
Rita Garcia11/18/04
Lynda, You gave great spirit and life to a story from long ago. I really enjoyed it. Much love, Rita
Kenny Paul Clarkson11/18/04
Excellent way to handle this story; makes it come alive!
Linda Germain 11/19/04
Lynda, Even though I knew what was going to happen, you still pulled me in to the end. Wonderful telling of a story we need to hear over and over!Nicely done.
Verlie Ruhl11/20/04
I'm a fan of your writing, Lynda, and this was another great story. At first I thought you were writing about a third-world mother and child; I loved that "aha!" moment when the Bible story is recognizable. You did a wonderful job of taking us inside the widow's mind.