“Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” 1 Kings 17:3-4 (NIV)
Being fed by ravens is a pretty crazy way for God to provide food for Elijah in the wilderness, and after the brook dried up, God told him to go to a widow who was about to see her last meal and ask for food. Even before Elijah’s big showdown with the prophets of Baal, God provided for him in the wilderness, and He met the widow’s needs in abundance because of her incredible sacrifice.
The support-raising journey can create a lot of worry for people—so much so, that many don’t obey God when He calls them on such an unconventional cultural path to do ministry. Many have a tendency to worry whether or not they’ll have enough money (often to keep their current lifestyle). People worry about asking others to support them financially. Still some worry if they’ll be able to get to their ministry in a timely fashion. This is often before the first step is even taken, and then it can snowball, if the journey gets tough.
Did you notice that the things we tend to worry about are mainly shaped by cultural expectations we place on ourselves and not from an eternal perspective? God called the prophet Elijah to go live in the wilderness beside a brook to be fed by birds. I’m pretty sure, even back then, that wasn’t a cultural norm. However, Elijah is a beautiful picture of God’s provision no matter how weird it may have been. Then, if the ravens didn’t top it, God used a widow on Elijah’s journey to show His care. This widow had nothing, yet gave her all.
Most wouldn’t bother her. It’s not culturally correct. However, if God hadn’t directed Elijah to the widow’s doorstep and if he hadn’t been bold enough to ask for food, both her and her son would’ve eaten their last meal and died. Does this not help you to see that God’s hand can be on others as well, and they need to be given that opportunity to be used by God through their sacrificial gifts?
Worries are grounded in the now—in appearances, in embarrassment, in security. We want to be comfortable, so we often worry those comforts will be taken from us. Elijah’s path doesn’t look easy to me. Technically, he could’ve “worried” about a lot of things, yet he trusted God. He didn’t care what others thought, about savings accounts, or where his next meal would come. God had that handled. Elijah kept an eternal perspective and was used by God in a powerful way. God is asking us to view our journeys the same way, because He has everything handled.
- What are you worried about? Offer these worries to God and watch how He provides.
- Be willing to abandon your comforts to God.