The prophet Elijah was on the run. He had just delivered God’s message to the evil King Ahab about sending a severe drought in response to the King turning his back on God. Needless to say, Elijah was not the most popular person at the moment. After a few days spent hiding in the wilderness, God told Elijah to head north.
North (modern day Lebanon) was enemy territory – not exactly Elijah’s top destination choice, but he obeyed and stepped out in faith. There Elijah met a poor single mom gathering some sticks to cook what she expected to be her last meal. What did Elijah do? He asked her for some water and the first portion of that last meal for himself! Talk about insensitive. What kind of preacher was he?
First, he was obeying God by doing what God told him to do. Secondly, Elijah was offering this single mom a faith challenge by saying, “Look, if you will honor God first, God will bless you and meet your needs throughout the drought (my paraphrase).” And that’s exactly what happened. This poor single mom put it all on the line to trust God – and God provided.
God often asks the same thing of us. He wants us to step out in faith and trust Him, even when it doesn’t make sense. During the economic downturn in 2008, many people were quite upset when God led me to challenge our church to trust God in sacrificial giving with the economy in a free fall. It just didn’t make sense. It’s in those tough moments, however, that followers of Jesus have the opportunity to step out in faith. And in the same way the single mom was confronted by Elijah, we too will get to see how God cares for us and meets our needs. For many in our church who chose to trust God back in 2008, that’s exactly what happened. May we choose to trust God through giving even when it takes a load of faith.