By John Mardirosian
In I Kings 17 we read the story of the widow of Zarephath. Elijah is the prophet of Israel in exile for the prophecy he gave stating that God was going to judge Israel with a severe and lengthy drought. Initially God sustained Elijah through ravens bringing him food as he hid by the brook Cherith. After the brook dried up, God told him to get up and go to Zarephath where he would find a widow to sustain him. Upon arriving, he sees a widow and asks her to bring him some bread. She informs him that she has just a little meal and small amount of oil. Her intention is to prepare a small final meal for herself and her son and then to die. Elijah understands her plight, but asks her to first prepare the bread for him and then for herself and her son. He says that God will supply her with meal and oil until the famine ends.
Widows were often very poor as they would likely be the recipients of difficult unforeseen circumstances. But that is just the person God chose to sustain the life of his Prophet. In the story, it took faith on the part of the widow for God to be able to set in motion an amazing miracle. The heart of giving is placing God and his plan for our money ahead of our own plans. If we take this step of faith, then God’s plan for taking care of our needs is set in motion. Often, we put more faith in our small amount of money than in God’s limitless resources. If we do this, we are robbing ourselves of amazing blessings.