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Buffy St. John: Blog


Posted on November 26, 2013 with 0 comments

Crisis: A study of Elijah and the Widow

In times of crisis, people react in different ways. Some run away and some confront and face head on what assails them.

Let’s take a look at how Elijah and a poor widow woman handled a crisis. 1 Kings 17:8-24

 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him:

 9 "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food."

 10 So he went to Zarephath. 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 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 cake 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 gives 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.

Other descriptions for a crisis are, proving ground, training, boot camp. Ever heard the saying “what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.”

17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.

 18 She said to Elijah, "What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?"

In times of crisis people try to find the answers to the “Why” and blame others, themselves or God. They try to make some sense in what seems senseless. Some tend to look at the crisis as if they were being punished for something they did or didn't do. All in all they have to make a choice to face it head on or stay in the bewilderment not making heads or tails of anything but wondering and grieving.

Crisis situations call for a strong approach one that seems to come outside of your self yet totally connected. The root lies in are you going to trust God in the hard times? Is this going to be an opportunity to see something from God that you have never seen before or are you going to wallow in the pain? Will the pain be the weight, the instrument that builds the trust, expands the faith or will it be the vehicle for your destruction.

You may be going through a crisis in your life right now that you do not know how to handle. Firstly let me tell you that there is hope. You will get through it. How you get through it will determine how you handle future crisis. Let’s explore your current crisis and I ask you, ‘is this crisis teaching you to run into the presence of God’? Is it calling you to face the areas of weakness in your faith?

19 "Give me your son," Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.

 20 Then he cried out to the LORD, "O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?"

 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, "O LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!"

 22 The LORD heard Elijah's cry, and the boy's life returned to him, and he lived.

 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, "Look, your son is alive!"

Crisis situations are times of learning to trust God's will for your life. I'm sure that when Elijah stretched himself over the body of the Widow's dead son, he didn't stop and say ‘no one has ever been brought back to life before so I guess this is it.’ ‘He's dead'. No he had a track record with the Lord God Jehovah. God had provided for him in a desert place. He had brought ravens to feed him, he provided water from a brook, and he raised up a widow woman to feed him and give him shelter until such time as God deemed necessary before his next assignment. He knew God answered prayer and he was about to see that mighty resurrecting power of God as the widow's son came back to life.

In times of crisis, we need to look back at our track record with the Lord and all that he's done for us. The times God almighty showed up on our behalf, the times he showed up in other peoples’ behalf. This is why our testimony is so important. It encourages others and ourselves to carry on and to trust ever more, because of who He is.

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth."

Has God healed you in the past? Has he provided? When times were impossible, did he prove faithful? He is God and there is no other God like Jehovah. What He has done for you, He will do again. There is no denying the complete transformation of my life. You can not tell me that I am the same person, because I know the truth. God has moved on my behalf. My testimony bears witness. Because I know first hand, I can say with all assuredness I have hope, I will come through whatever assails me.

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Trust in Him today to carry you through your crisis. Knowing that what assails you today will be gone tomorrow, for it is only temporary. Face it head on knowing that nothing is impossible with God.

Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit I come before your throne acknowledging that you alone are God, Omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. You are in control of this situation and you alone can bring me through. I trust in your holiness, your grace and mercy. Give me strength, guide me during this time of stretching. Teach me what I need to learn as I trust you to handle this crisis. In Jesus name. Amen.