Life-Changing Encounters 3
1 Kings 17:7-16
Message No. 0630 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
A driver dropped me in the airport on my way home on one of my trips some years ago, and I got in line to drop my bag and obtain a boarding pass so I could make my way to the boarding gate. A lady was ahead of me and after she was attended to, she stooped down, opened her bag and started looking for something. Now, I had no idea what she was searching for, but the fact that she was blocking the lane irritated everyone, especially the airline’s service crew, who asked her to leave the place and let me approach the service desk. To everyone around, she seemed like someone who not only lacked respect for time (time is of essence at airports), but who also lacked respect for anyone or anything.
Now, I was the person being directly affected as I had to wait there for her to leave, but I said nothing and didn’t behave as though I was offended. When she finally left, the service desk thanked me for my patience and for being a gentleman, and as a reward, upgraded me to business class. Now, the difference between economy class ticket (which I held) and business class ticket was in thousands of dollars, so you can imagine the joy in my heart to be in this elevated class on an intercontinental flight, all for nothing but for being humble.
My experience on this trip was unforgettable but imagine what a life-changing experience means to people who have had one. In the days of Elijah, a widow lived in Zarephath, a village approximately 85 miles from the Brook Cherith, where Elijah drank water for many days after pronouncing the cessation of rain in Israel, and about 138 kilometers from Jerusalem. When the brook from where he drank dried up owing to the drought, God told Elijah to go to Zarephath as He had directed a widow to feed him there. When Elijah got to the gate, he found the widow, gathering sticks, and asked her to bring him water to drink. As she was going, Elijah, knowing how ridiculous it might sound to the poor widow, asked her to bring her some bread also.
Because of the drought, it was bad enough to ask for water from someone, but even far worse to ask for food, so, one would have expected the widow to retort ‘What!’ This was a woman who was minding her own business until some foreigner came to ask for her very last meal. But, perhaps knowing that Elijah was a man of God (owing to how he dressed), she calmly explained that his request would not be possible since she was only gathering the last sticks so she could go home, cook the last meal for her son and herself and so they could eat for the last time, do their last devotion, sing ‘Lord I’m coming home,’ lie down and die.
Elijah understood the widow’s predicament and while insisting on his request, his next statement would change the life of this widow and her family forever. In 1 Kings 17:13-14, Elijah said:
…“Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
May I say to you who is reading this message that what you think is your last bite is actually the steppingstone to life and prosperity for you. The devil may have written you off, but you will spring back to life for everyone to see. But for this encounter with Elijah, it was the end of everything for this widow. Her husband was already dead, and now she was going to die and not only that, her only son was going to die too. This meant that her generation was erased completely. With this encounter, her life changed completely. Not only will she live, her son would live also and marry and give birth to children and the lineage will survive. Her entire (extended) family would have food to eat during this period and they would survive too.
For all who have hit their dead end, having no hope beyond what they could momentarily see or feel, I pray that the Almighty God will send you your own Elijah and that life will become exciting for you again. Don’t you ever give up because it is not over until it is over. Do not succumb to fear or anxiety, because our God is never late. At the last moment when you think the end has come, God will surprise you by making you see that only Him can pronounce the end. May our God change for you every circumstance that is making you feel sad today and as testified by David in Psalm 30:11-12 may He turn your mourning into dancing again, and may He remove your sackcloth and clothe you with gladness, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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