(1 Kings 17: 10-15) When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what 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.’” 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
Choosing to obey when it’s difficult is putting your faith into action. I’ve always wondered why the widow in this account chose to believe what Elijah was telling her… promises that must have seemed lofty and somewhat sketchy at best. But she did it. I wonder, did she give up the last of her food because of the strength of her faith, or was it more of a gamble at seeing if this God would be true to His promises? Maybe she said to herself, “It’s our last meal anyway. We are going to starve either way, so I may as well feed this fellow too.” However, it is also possible that something within her organically and innately just believed.
In our own lives, our faith often mirrors this widow…on both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes our faith is strong and we jump right off of the cliff, KNOWING that we’ll be cushioned and held. Yet at other times, it really is just a gamble. We want to believe, but circumstance has brought us to a place of insecurity and doubt…yet off we go, over the edge, because we have nothing left to lose.
Whether you act out of excitement or because of desperation, it’s all faith. The faith is there, because movement and action…obedience…they require faith. So don’t worry that when you jumped you were desperate or afraid, questioning even. YOU JUMPED. That’s what matters. Moving forward in obedience…that’s faith. When you’re still just standing there on the edge, questioning…pondering…trying to figure it all out…deciding…that’s when you should be worried about the measure of your faith. Big faith isn’t always believing for the miraculous. Sometimes big faith is making the sacrifices that are necessary. Big faith is active. So even when it hurts, move. Even when you’re afraid, just jump. Step over the edge and revel in the freedom that comes when you just obey.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I recognize that weakness comes from being sedentary. Give me faith to continue on, no matter the sacrifice, regardless of how I feel. My strength comes from You alone, and I am made stronger in my faith by moving forward at all times. I trust You, Lord, in all things. Amen.