During the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, more people were looking for work than there were jobs available. I was one of those job seekers. After nine anxious months, I landed employment as a copywriter. But the company soon fell on bad times and I was jobless again.
Ever been there? It seems like the worst is over when suddenly the bottom drops out on you. The widow at Zarephath could relate (1 Kings 17:12). Due to a famine, she was preparing the last meal for herself and her son when the prophet Elijah requested a bite to eat. She reluctantly agreed and God provided a continuous supply of flour and oil (vv. 10–16).
But then her son fell ill. His health declined until he stopped breathing. The widow cried out, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” (v. 18).
At times, we may want to respond like the widow—wondering if God is punishing us. We forget that bad things can happen in this fallen world.
Elijah took the concern to God, praying earnestly and honestly for the boy, and God raised him up! (vv. 20–22).
When the bottom drops out on us, may we—like Elijah—realize that the faithful One will not desert us! We can rest in God’s purposes as we pray for understanding.
For help on the topic of peace, read discoveryseries.org/q1126.
God is good in both the good times and the bad.
It can be easy to think that life will go well if we do everything we’re supposed to do. But today’s story reminds us that life isn’t a formula. The widow was faithful and obedient, and yet her son died. But we can be encouraged that there’s nothing too hard for God, for He is the one who can even bring the dead back to life (v. 23).
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Commit your situation to our faithful God.
For more about the book of Kings, check out our free online course at christianuniversity.org/OT219.