An Empty Barrel

1 Kings 17:13-16
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. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.

Faith comes down to these empty-barrel kinds of moments. It is easy to trust God when the barrel is full, to rejoice in His provision, to know we have enough and will not go hungry. But what faith it took when there was only a handful left to use it up and trust that somehow there would still be more. So day after day, for many days, the widow scooped out that handful to make for Elijah and herself and her son some morsel to sustain them during a time of severe lack. This is God’s provision as much as the full barrel she must have started with.

But what about me? What is my faith like when I get down to the bottom of the barrel? Do I still trust God to supply and provide, even if it looks like a handful that never diminishes? Do I count that a blessing just as much as the overflowing barrel? Do I believe God when He promises to meet all of my needs? If so, my actions and responses will prove that out.

This widow had so little, and yet she was able to provide for her family and still minister to someone else. In fact, Elijah asked her to have enough faith to feed him before she fed her son. When we are selfless with what we do have, God honors that. Even if we have next to nothing, we can still be a blessing to others. May I trust God this day to meet all of my needs according to His riches, and may I be willing to give as He leads me to so that I might help meet the need of another.

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