Today’s mom of the Bible wasn’t even given a name! She had every reason to worry and feel alone in her struggles, but God saw her, and because of her faith, He provided for her in an unexpected way!
Today’s mom of the Bible is known as the widow of Zarephath, but I am going to refer to her as the widow of “Z” for short…it’s a lot to spell Zarephath that many times! She is living proof that God will meet you in your greatest needs. When you feel all alone, He still sees you and won’t leave you there. This woman shows us that if you will walk in obedience and faithfulness, God will provide a way for you every time you are in need!…It just may come from unexpected places, like it did for her.
Her Story unfolds…
In 1 Kings 17:18-24, so I encourage you to go back and read that alongside this blog.
We first find the Widow of Z, after she has lost her husband and is now a single mom, trying to provide for herself and her son in the midst of a famine. This poor mom was not concerned about her own needs of hunger, as much as she was broken-hearted over not being able to feed her little boy.
You know as kids do, he was asking, “Momma, when can we eat? What will we eat?”
My kids are begging for a snack every afternoon and by 5pm and want to know what’s for dinner because they are STARVING, like they haven’t eaten ALL day! So it is devastating to think about a little boy that was truly hungry..
In the story, she was just trying to hold it together enough to feed her son one little meal of bread a day. And if you read the passage, you will see that she comes to a day where she knows it will be their last meal and there will be no more flour and oil to make bread.
So she goes to gather sticks to prepare their last meal, probably thinking she is completely alone, that nobody sees her. I’m sure she was devastated and worried, but God saw her and sent the prophet Elijah to her in this very moment.
Elijah asks her for a glass of water and a piece of bread, and if you are like me, you have to think she said to herself “You have got to be kidding me,” but she is kind while still being honest with him and says:
“As surely as the Lord your God lives, I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour and a little olive oil. I am gathering these sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”
She had to be hopeless at this point, when Elijah tells her not to fear and to go home and make the bread he has asked for and bring it to him. Then, she is instructed to make some for her and her son. Elijah promises her if she does this, then her oil and flour will not run out for the entire famine!
She was likely desperate, so maybe she was willing to try anything, but she could have just said, “you are selfish and crazy and go ask somebody else,” but she didn’t. She obeyed, had faith and tried it, and it was her faith that led to her miracles.
Can you imagine, every morning waking up wondering, will there be enough flour and oil left today for us to eat or will this be the end? And every morning the flour and oil were still there…but How?
She had to know God was the real deal at this point, and if she didn’t yet, that wasn’t even the only miracle in this story. Her son goes on to get ill and die. And Elijah calls out to the Lord to bring back his little life and the Lord does another miracle for this woman.
God no doubt made it clear that HE saw her, even when she thought she was all alone, and because she took that first step of faith, He promised to take care of her over and over again!
How can I relate to this story?
If you are a single mom today feeling alone in your struggles, like the Widow of Z -or- you are walking through something in your family that seems to be all consuming, and your worry alert is at an all-time high..
Take comfort to know that God sees you. He isn’t seeing you and saying all poor_____, (fill in your name) and patting your back saying, “I’m sorry this is happening to you!” No, God steps into our messes! He pours out his power and provision on us. He really is a miracle worker, and even when we can’t feel it, He really is working, like that song “Waymaker” says: “You never stop, you never stop working…”
In this widow’s case today, the miracle was a jug of olive oil and a jar of flour that never ran dry, but for you it may be:
- You are a single mom with one income and don’t know where the money is going to come from to keep the lights on.
- With all this inflation, there isn’t enough leftover and you aren’t sure how you will buy winter clothes for your kids who have grown two sizes since last year.
- Your marriage is on the rocks and you don’t see a way to make it work.
- You feel alone and long for friendships that will encourage you and understand where you are in this stage of motherhood.
So in this moment, cry out to the Lord. He wants to meet your needs! He wants to be your “Waymaker!” and there’s no doubt HE alone can do it!
How does it do it?? Well, maybe a check arrives in the mail for the light bill. A neighbor gives you nice, hand-be-down clothes in the perfect sizes for your kids. Another couple speaks into your marriage to help rekindle and challenge your love for each other. You meet a new best friend at the park where your kids play or a Biblestudy at church you were reluctant to try that is in your same stage of life, or maybe the Lord simply gives you peace in your circumstance. HE alone is enough!
The need can be something different for everyone, but the point is, to keep your eyes open, because the Lord sees you and won’t leave you! He will find a way to provide for you, even in the most surprising or strangest of ways!
You have to be willing to look beyond your narrow expectations, and realize, God isn’t limited to those. No matter how hopeless things may seem, God will honor your obedience and faithfulness every time. He will provide, it just may come from unexpected places, so ask Him!
So How Can I Learn to Overcome My Tendency to Worry?
First identify your trials and struggles that are causing you to worry. Then, ask yourself, are you letting anxiety and fear for tomorrow overtake you about this and steal your joy?
Remember, Elijah was running in fear in this story and trying to make it alone. And the widow was worrying about her son the very life and death of her and her son, let alone, trying to take care of someone else too…
If you find yourself anxious, like we as moms often do, or are trying to do everything alone, remember these:
3 ways to overcome worry:
1. You can’t control the future.
- So then why do we try to do this, when we KNOW we can’t! right?
- Matthew 6:24 says, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And that we can’t add a single hour to our life by worrying about our future.”
Adrian Rogers said: “WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EFFORT, NOT THE OUTCOME”…so stay faithful…that is all the Lord asks..
2. Keep Your Faith
- Just like this widow taught us, she didn’t argue when Elijah told her God would provide, she was just obedient and did it. And it was her simple act of faith to obey and believe that led to a miracle that God did in her life.
- So keep your faith, even when things seem impossible or hopeless, because God sees you and your needs, and it’s your faith that is the key to unlocking His blessings and provisions for you.
- How do I do this? Stay in communication with Him. Through prayer and reading his word. 1 Proverbs a day is a great place to go for 30 consistent days of praying for wisdom and help with whatever you are going through.
Start each day with a grateful focus.
- Starting each day with a focus on thankfulness and God’s faithfulness to you, will help you break the power of worry in your life. So for example when you wake up in the morning, tell God something you are thankful for: like a friend, your child’s smile, a healthy baby or whatever it might be for that day….
- And if you are focusing each day on celebrating good things God has given to you or miracles he has done in your life, then you are less likely to spend time worrying about the next thing that might go wrong.
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