An Empty Barrel

2 Nov

Her heart was breaking as she scraped the bottom.

The bounty she had stored was exhausted.

A few drops of oil remained in the cruse, just enough to make a cake for the Prophet.

She took a deep breath, trying to hold back the tears.

It didn’t make sense but something deep inside gave her the courage to surrender what she had planned to be the final meal she would cook for her family.

I imagine her rehearsing Elijah’s words as she placed the cake upon the sticks he found her gathering. 

 “And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.”

1 Kings 17:13-14 

It didn’t make sense, but often God’s requests don’t make sense to our human understanding.

He often asks us to follow when we can’t see where He’s taking us.

To go when we’re not sure where we’re going.

To offer the handful we have left with a promise of blessing in the end.

No, it didn’t make sense for the widow woman to empty her barrel for the purpose of feeding a man she just met when it meant she would go hungry even to the point of death.

But it’s when it doesn’t make sense that He has amazing things in store!

 “And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.”

1 Kings 17:15

“Many days!” She (and her house!) ate for many days though their last barrel was empty after her offering!!!

Longing for the kind of faith that’s willing to offer all though it leaves me with an empty barrel knowing full well it won’t be empty very long!


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