The widow from Zarephath lifted her son from his crib. His little body was drenched with sweat. “Oh, my sweet boy, what’s wrong with you?”
She carried him to her chair and rocked with him in her arms. Her thoughts went heavenward. “Dear God of Elijah, You who makes my flour and oil never run out, I know You can heal my precious son. Please, he’s the only family I have.”
Her son’s breathing became harsh. She lifted him to her shoulder and patted his back to try to loosen what was in his lungs. “Dear God, please help me. I know You can. I just lost my husband a short time ago, don’t take my son. too. I can go on because of him. If I lose him I’ll have nothing left.”
She stopped rocking when the rasping quit. Her son’s arm dropped off her arm to his side. “NO!”
Elijah ran down the stairs from his upper room. When he saw the woman holding her son the boy’s head dropped back.
She stared at him through her tears. “What good are you to me, man of God? I know my sins are many, but, did you have to kill my son?”
Elijah approached her quickly. “Give me your son.” He took the boy upstairs.
The woman sat and stared at the ceiling. “Why, God? I’m taking care of your prophet and this is the thanks I get. You know my son is everything to me, why have You taken him, too?”
She closed her eyes and dropped her head. Then, she heard God’s voice. “Am I not enough for you? Will you still follow me? Will you give Me your son?”
The sobs came as shame filled her heart. “You, who makes my flour and oil continue to last, HAVE given me so much. I know You are a living God. Not like the gods of my people. I will trust You in Your provision.”
As an unexplained peace flooded her soul she heard Elijah cry out. “Lord God, please return this boy’s life to him!”
She smiled and thought, ‘I should tell him it’s no longer necessary. God is enough for me now.’ She just sat and absorbed the spiritual hug God was giving her.
She opened her eyes when she heard the door open. Her eyes widened as Elijah walked to her carrying her son. The boy leaned in her direction as they neared her.
Elijah smiled. “Look, your son is alive.”
She caught the baby in her arms and hugged and kissed him. She looked at Elijah with her still wide eyes. “Now I know without a doubt that you are a man of the Living God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
Have you ever been confused by the events in your life? Perhaps you gave your life and heart to Jesus Christ and you expect things to settle down in your life. After all you’re a child of God now. Why wouldn’t God make things fall into place so you can concentrate on serving Him? But, if anything, things have gotten worse.
If you thought life would be easier after you accepted Jesus’ gift of eternal life you probably had that bubble burst rather quickly. God has a way of getting our attention with events in our life that are out of our control. He has as many reasons for these events as He has events. Each test is meant to bring us closer to Him in our personal relationship.
That’s right, Christianity isn’t meant to be lived as a religion. It’s a relationship with the living God of the universe, not a list of ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s, and rituals. God has a plan for each one of us. The deeper He plans on using you to reach others for Him the harder will be the trials that He’ll bring into your life.
So, as it says in James 1:2, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers/sisters, when you face trials of many kinds,” The next 15 verses go on to detail the growth steps being worked out in this spiritual stretching exercise.
So, why did God kill her son if he was so important to her? Beginning in Exodus 20:5 the Bible repeats the theme of God being a jealous God. He longs to be number one in everyone’s life. This woman was close enough to God that she could hear His voice and He miraculously provided for her so she could care for Elijah and her family, apparently God wanted to use her at a deeper level so He required her total dedication.
I’m confident her son had become the focal point of her life. It’s natural for this to happen to someone who just lost a life partner. They cling to the child that was created from their union. I’m sure God used this woman to tell others in her community about His love and provision after Elijah left her home. She would be much more confident of her message because of this event in her life.
So, how am I supposed to handle my close relationships with people? Pastor Chuck Swindoll frequently tells of the time Corrie TenBoom visited the church he was preaching at many years ago. His children were still quite young and very active around his feet after the service when she approached him to talk.
Corrie had survived the Nazi concentration camps during World War 2. Her family was caught helping hide Jews so they received the same sentence as the Jews. She watched her whole family lose their lives during her stay there. The hardest for her was her sister Betsy. She asked Chuck if these were his children. He acknowledge they were indeed his.
She took his hands in her’s and said, “Hold them loosely, because it hurts so much when God has to pry your fingers off of them when they go.”
Believe that God is in control and loves you. Trust Him.
I’ll see you later. Wade