The widow’s barrel was a measure that when full, would provide many meals. But her barrel was nearly empty and so she entered the dusty streets to gather sticks and prepare for herself and her son a last meal of scraps to eat and then prepare to die.
She had come to the place where she accepted her fate and instead of despairing, she went out one last time to collect the fuel that would furnish their final meal. The widow was doing what she could, with what she had. Her son waited for her, and surely his well-being was on her mind as she prepared to feed him, even if it would be one last time. She didn’t quit in a stupor of depression, nor was she mumbling though she faced starvation, knowing she would watch her son starve too.
And then she noticed the man, the prophet Elijah, and he spoke to her, requesting a cup of water, and a little food. In actuality, she was glad to help him, but she told him the truth. They had only a small bit of flour and oil, enough for them to eat and then die. But God had another path planned for them. So she went back to her house with an extra mouth to feed, prepared for him first, a loaf of bread, and then a meal for her family too. The first miracle of many in her house. Her hospitality would not end there. Every day, for many days, she reached into the barrel and scraped out what was there, daily bread to feed them, until the rains finally came and drenched the famine-dry land.
I’m tempted to think, why didn’t God open His great storehouse and provide it all at once to her? But if He had, she would not have had the joy of experiencing the miracle, many times over, every day.
You may find yourself looking down into the bottom of your barrel. That illness that hangs over your loved one’s body, the unemployment that is stretching on, or the oppressor that taunts on a daily basis where you work. And each day, you long for the storehouse to open and provide a sudden healing, a dream job, and an easy burden-less path. And instead, you get grace for today. Strength for tomorrow. A shield around your heart.
Miracles come in all sizes. They are often found at the bottom of the barrel. My fear is that we miss the miracle of the daily provision. The just enough. Just enough for this moment. Just enough for that person. Just enough to keep going.
Let’s rejoice in the one measure of flour. Let’s praise Him loudly for the little bit of oil. Let’s observe the daily miracle, the knowledge that He remembers us every day, precious in His sight, and not ever forgotten.
YOUR TURN! What “daily bread” can you thank God for today? How do God’s daily mercies and grace remind you that you are always on His mind and in His heart? Please share this post with others who may be blessed by it! I love to hear from you!!
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. Psalm 115:1
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