Every Monday, a friend of mine has an early morning prayer call. On the most recent call, she reflected on Matthew 17:20. Jesus was talking to his disciples after they had failed at healing a demon-possessed boy. They wanted to know why they weren’t successful.
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
The widow at Zarephath had that kind of faith. After Elijah asked her to bring him water and bread, she explained her current situation to him. She only had a little flour and oil.
Then the prophet told her that the Lord – the God of Israel – would make sure she had enough flour and olive oil until the drought was over. She didn’t appear to hesitate. After preparing what was to be the last meal for her and her son, the widow gave Elijah, God’s spokesman, a bit of bread first.
Her faith in what God said would happen led her to be obedient. Oh, to have a tiny seed of faith like the widow! How many times has the Lord – Jehovah Jireh (my provider) – asked me to do great and small things and my faith was not big enough?
What I’ve always missed in this story is that Elijah didn’t ask for all the bread she was going to make, just a small loaf. A small portion of what she was making already.
Sometimes it feels like God is asking us to build a giant cathedral that would take centuries to complete and require skills we don’t possess. But, Elijah told the widow to do what she was going to do anyway, go home and bake the bread. She didn’t have to do anything physically extraordinary.
What it did require was that she set her mind on the bigness of God and not on the problem at hand.
If we would just be still for a while and use the sense God gave us, we might just realize he has already given us the tools we need to accomplish any task. He is merely requesting we decide to offer a portion to him first.
So, when the cancer comes back – again. When you’re not sure you’ll make it another day with your spouse. Or your child is not making God-honoring decisions. When those you love most are sick and uncertain or hurting and afraid. We must remember that God isn’t asking us to fix our problems ourselves. All we need to do is offer it to him, in faith, and trust that He will do the rest.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Hey there friend! Andrea McCaskey here. I believe everything happens for a reason, life is meant to be lived in relationship with others and there is beauty to be found everywhere if we look. I am a friend of God, wife of Jamal and mother of Brandon and Madison.
To read more of Andrea’s Breath on Paper bio, click here.