Oil, Flour and a Pair of Shoes

1 Kings 17:8-24

1 Kings 17: “8Then the word of the Lord came to him (Elijah), saying,9“Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”10So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.”11As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”12But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

Have you ever felt like the widow? You’ve given all you can give and yet someone else asks you for more. Haven’t you done enough with what you’ve been given?

1 Kings 17: “13Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son.14For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.”15She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days.16The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.”

I am truly blessed! I have a wonderful family, good friends (you are among them), plenty to eat, and a roof over my head. My jar of flour and my jug of oil won’t be running out soon.

Someone stole my shoes two weeks ago! Well, it was actually Christopher, a homeless man walking down our alley. Diana and I were doing some landscaping and he asked if he could work for some money. We worked with him together a bit and I was thinking I’ll give him some socks and maybe some clothes as that is what he was going to use the money for, he said. I had gone out front to do a few things and Diana found Christopher looking into our freezer and we both decided Christopher had done enough work. As he left I sat down to take off my klompies (my garden shoes) to put on my regular shoes… and guess what? They were gone, someone had stolen my shoes!

Elijah asked the widow for what she thought was the last food she and her son would ever have to eat, but in return they received a wonderful gift from GOD.

No, I’m not GOD and Christopher isn’t Elijah, but given the opportunity again I will gladly host a homeless person in need and I pray they ask me for what they truly want and that I am able to provide it.

I would have gladly given Christopher my shoes and thrown in some clothes, extra food, even a bag to put them in for you never know when you might run into Elijah or the widow. They, like you and me, are both wonderful, loving, precious children of GOD!

Precious Father, Loving GOD, Holy Spirit, Help me to see how truly blessed I am, how full my cup of oil and jar of flour truly are. And Lord, in this world of violence and hate and greed help me to realize that everything I have is a gift from you and that I am not giving anything away that I didn’t first get from you! Amen!

Jim Dietvorst

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