Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Need A Miracle?

She was a lady who was in dire straits.  She needed a miracle and she needed it quick.  This was a matter of life and death.  If she does not get her miracle, death is certain.  She, along with her son, will die.  Other than her desperate need for heavenly intervention, we do not know a great deal about this woman.  As a matter of fact, we do not even know her name.  She is known only as the widow from Zarephath.

This woman is just an ordinary woman with a massive need.  There has been a drought in the land resulting in famine.  Her current condition is such that she has enough food for one more meal.  Her plan is to fix this final meal for her son and herself.  After which they will simply wait for the inevitable - death by starvation.

While her story, found in I Kings 17, does not go into much detail regarding her relationship with God, we are told that God commanded her to provide for Elijah the prophet of God (v. 9).  Now, I'm not sure how all of this played out exactly, but I've got to believe that this woman is praying and hoping that God will perform a miracle for her and her son.  However, the answer she gets from heaven is not the miracle she is expecting.  Rather than God sending someone to her front door with bags of groceries, a hungry man shows up. She's hoping for provision but instead she's got another mouth to feed.

I'm not sure about you, but if I'm in this widow's shoes, I might be just a little miffed at this point.  Her need is real.  It's as real as Elijah's.  She needs somebody to provide for her just as bad as Elijah needs somebody to provide for him.  Yet, in the middle of her need, God has instructed her to meet somebody else's need.  She seems to be struggling a bit with God on this matter.  From the text, we see that prior to God sending Elijah to her, God has already commanded her to provide for him.  That's important to note because when Elijah arrives, she's had a few days to ponder this request of the Lord.  Their initial conversation seems to indicate she has a bit of an attitude concerning the idea of providing him with food.  

So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”  (I Kings 17:10-12 NKJV)

I'm thinking her response sounds much like mine would have been.  "I've been praying for a miracle of provision and instead of a miracle, you show up asking me for provision! I thought you were a mighty man of God!  Is it just me, or is this backwards???  Shouldn't you, as a might man of God, be supernaturally providing for me?"  

One of the biggest issues when it comes to our needs is that we often can't see past them.  We become oblivious to the world around us.  We become self absorbed.  Our needs become paramount, while the needs of others become trivial. While we want the world to know how desperate our needs are, we do not really care to know about the plight of others.   

Much of our prayer life is little more than a one-sided conversation.  A monologue if you will.  While we are quick to present God with our petitions, we aren't always willing to hear what His are for the day. We are great talkers, but not so great at listening.  God was well aware of this widow's need and was willing to perform a miracle on her behalf.  The process was not a practical one though. And therein lies the problem.

God doesn't always do things the way we want Him to do them.  Much of the time our miracle lies on the the other side of obedience.  Naaman the leper wasn't healed until he dipped in the Jordan 7 times.  Healing didn't come after the 3rd dip, or the 5th dip.  It came after the 7th dip.  The Red Sea did not split open until Moses stretched his hands out over it.  The flood didn't come until Noah built the ark.  The walls of Jericho did not fall until Joshua and the people marched around the city and shouted.  Peter did not walk on water until he stepped out of the boat.  Lazarus was not raised from the dead until they rolled the stone away.  There was no resurrection until Jesus was "obedient" to death on a cross.  

This widow's miracle was dependent on her obedience.  Obedience that made no sense.  Obedience to something that would stretch her.  She and her son would be provided for supernaturally only when she was willing to provide for someone else.  When assured by the prophet that God would provide for her, she stepped out and obeyed.  She took of the little she had and gave to Elijah as the Lord had instructed her to.  As a result, a miracle came to her house.  For the entire duration of the drought/famine, her household had plenty of food. Not only would her obedience provide a miracle of provision for her and her son, but Elijah would be provided for as well as he stayed there for an extended period of time.  

Perhaps you are in need of a miracle.  Perhaps you have prayed and prayed and prayed and it seems like God is not listening.  Perhaps the reason your miracle isn't coming is because you aren't listening to Him.  I want to challenge you to take some time and listen to what God is saying.  When you hear from Him, then determine to obey.  Who knows, maybe your miracle is waiting on your obedience.   

For more on how God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary, watch "Out of the Ordinary - Part Three" below:

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If you live in or near Montgomery, TX, we would love to have you join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30. Westlake Fellowship is located at 19786 Suite 120, Hwy 105 in Montgomery. (beside Magnolia Diner)


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