Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)
TITLE: Trust and Obey
By Lynda Lee Schab
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
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)