1 Kings 17:7-16
The stream in the place where Elijah lay hidden dried up, for the country had no rain. And then the word of the Lord came to Elijah, ‘Up and go to Zarephath, a Sidonian town, and stay there. I have ordered a widow there to give you food.’ So he went off to Sidon. And when he reached the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks; addressing her he said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a vessel for me to drink.’ She was setting off to bring it when he called after her. ‘Please’ he said ‘bring me a scrap of bread in your hand.’ ‘As the Lord your God lives,’ she replied ‘I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a jar and a little oil in a jug; I am just gathering a stick or two to go and prepare this for myself and my son to eat, and then we shall die.’ But Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, go and do as you have said; but first make a little scone of it for me and bring it to me, and then make some for yourself and for your son. For thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel:
“Jar of meal shall not be spent,
jug of oil shall not be emptied,
before the day when the Lord sends
rain on the face of the earth.”’
The woman went and did as Elijah told her and they ate the food, she, himself and her son. The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied, just as the Lord had foretold through Elijah.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.
‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.’
“The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry…”
I have been struggling emotionally for a couple of months before my decision to resign, because aside from the increase in portfolios due to inadequate assignment of duties, I was also struggling with the negativity of my office environment. I felt that I was going through a mid-life crisis, and every other aspect of life seemed to be going awry as well. I had to take a step back from friends, family, ministry and even God. I knew this was what happened when I went with my plan, and not God’s plan, and I had to face the consequences of doing so. I knew I had to do something, but I was so tired that I could not bring myself to do anything. Thankfully, God made a plan for me to avail myself to serve in a retreat and post-retreat, I had a trip to Rome which I had booked 8 months earlier.
During the retreat, I had three affirmations that it was time to move on from my current workplace, and although I did not know where to go, God gave me three words — I will provide. Unfortunately, being human and specifically, being me, I ended up wavering and questioning this decision. However, something happened while I was in Rome that made me realize no amount of money could make me stay, and I would resign upon my return. Three days before I was due to land in Singapore, I received a notification for a job interview the day I returned to Singapore, and I was offered the job three days later. When I returned to work, I kept my promise to God and I resigned from my current workplace.
This episode in my life has shown me that despite being 1.5 years late since God told me to move, He patiently waits for me to hand him the reins of my life, and immediately provided what I had needed. On hindsight, maybe if I had been less stubborn, I might not have needed to suffer the past couple of months, although I believe that despite the suffering, God had created opportunities for me to experience His grace.
Brothers and sisters, just like the widow in today’s first reading, she knew that she would have nothing left for her son and herself if she had provided for Elijah, yet she had faith and believed, and God provided as Elijah prophesized. Let us learn to be like the widow, as well as like Abraham, who entrusted his only son Isaac to God, that no matter how dire our situation may be, that God is Jehovah Jireh, He who provides.
(Today’s Oxygen by Hannah Huang)
Prayer: Dear loving Father, help us to learn how to surrender to Your will, entrusting our lives fully to You because You are a God who provides.
Thanksgiving: Dearest Father, we thank You for providing for us what we need, according to Your will. Thank You for patiently waiting for us and not giving up on us even when things seem impossible.