Ever gone through a foggy time that had nothing to do with the weather?
That’s the story of a widow and her son. I’m not sure what the climate was like in Zarephath that day, but it sounds like things were looking fogging for them.
The widow was preparing what she thought was the last meal she’d ever make for herself and her son. Can you imagine? There are many times cooking dinner is the last thing I want to do, but to know it was going to be the last time would actually be heartbreaking. So why was it their final meal? Well, everything in her region was dried up because there’d been no rain. Dry, parched land making water scarce and growing food impossible. She only had enough for one last meal. Then in the middle of that drought, a man comes along asking for water and food. Great! He didn’t know her desperate situation. All he knew was he was thirsty and hungry, and this was where God directed him to go and told him to do. So this man, Elijah, asked.
He asked this widow. The Bible doesn’t mention her name, but what she’s called reveals her situation. And her words reveal her faith. She tells Elijah that the god who directed him to her, lives. She believes in the living God! Unfortunately, she also thinks the humble meal she’s about to prepare will be their last. Her faith is tested because her circumstances look foggy.
But she decides to listen to what this man has to say. He tells her, “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.” Could there be hope? She’ll never know unless she takes that first step. So she prepared the meal for all of them. And it was true! The widow was miraculously able to provide for her family over and over. Like the unlimited soup and salad refills at Olive Garden, well, not exactly, but it was starting to look like blue skies and sunshine, until her son got sick. He was so ill he actually stopped breathing.
No matter the weather outside, the widow entered a thick fog of doubt and confusion like she’d never known. Then Elijah stepped in and once again offered hope. He said could help her son.
But could he really? She trusted him once, and she didn’t starve. Could she trust him again? Take that step into the unknown even when everything in life felt like it was falling apart? With nothing else to lose, she handed her son over to the man. He cried out to God, and asked that his life be returned to him. And miraculously, it was!
Now I’m not sharing this story from 1Kings 17 to say your situation will turn out just like this, but what if. . .you’ll never know until you take that first step.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2Corinthians 5:7
We live by faith. Even when we don’t feel like it. We live by faith. Even when everything looks like a mess and getting to a better place seems impossible. We live by faith. But how?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Trusting and learning that what we see is only a snap shot. The here and now. And sometimes the fog gets in the way. But God can see the whole picture of our lives and how everything fits together. We live by faith. Not by sight.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path” Psalm 119:105.
When we can’t see the way, when the fog is thick, God is right there in the midst of it. With us. Guiding us. Showing us the way. If we’ll learn not to trust how we feel, but to trust him. And take that first step into the light.