When it Doesn't Make Sense
In I Kings, Chapter 17 we find the story of Elijah the Tishbite and the Widow. There had been an extreme drought and famine in the land, as the Lord had withheld “dew or rain” for years. Elijah had himself been fed by ravens and his water source was from a brook. The brook eventually dried up and the word of the Lord came to Elijah and told him to travel to Zaraphath of Sidon where he would find a widow that would give him food. When he arrived, he asked the woman to bring him water and bread. That might sound reasonable in most circumstances, but in this case the woman the Lord sent him to find was also in a peculiar situation herself. Upon Elijah’s request, she told him that not only did she not have bread, she “only had a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug”. She advised him that her current plan was to gather some wood, and make a meal for herself and her son, “that we may eat and die”. The famine was extreme and had obviously effected them deeply. Elijah wasn't set back by this information, but replied, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake 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”. I can only imagine as she turned towards her house to attempt this feat with a lack of resources, that his request made absolutely no sense. To put it in perspective, it would be like entering the home of a destitute individual today and asking them to whip us up a cheeseburger, chocolate shake and some french fries when they only have beans in their cupboard! But she did as he said, and not only was she able to make Elijah a small cake, but she was able to feed all three of them everyday. It took a great deal of faith for both Elijah and the Widow, in a situation where it made no sense whatsoever. The Lord provided with more than they needed and in the end, this simple act of faith produced a miracle. Historically, God has asked people to do things that really didn't make sense to them at the time. Hebrews 11 is full of those who chose to follow the Lord, and like them, we too are called to have an immovable faith, even when we don't understand what he is doing. Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” declares the Lord “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” As God’s people we must always remember that He works in a ways that we wont always understand. But He is a God of promise, even when it doesn't make sense!