Summary: God will always find a way to speak to us. Sometimes its a verse of scripture. Sometimes its a song. Sometimes its His voice we hear. Sometimes He will use a person. For this woman, God brings the prophet Elijah into her life.
Today is Mothering Sunday and in many places around the world the focus will be on mothers.
I think it is fair to say that simply having children does not make a woman a mother.
Abraham Lincoln said: No one is poor who has a godly mother
Napoleon said, “The future destiny of a child is the work of a mother”.
The Spanish say, “an ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.”
This morning I want us to consider a story from the Old Testament about a mother and the prophet Elijah.
In 1 Kings we are told a story of a mother, a single parent with a child, who was facing the type of financial difficulties that many parents still face today.
Except there was no benefits available for her, no credit cards to fall back on, no companies offering pay day loans with 1000% interest.
No regular income coming in, she lived on what she could scrape together to live on.
And on this particular day, God works a miracle.
Let’s read 1 Kings 17:8-16 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying, 9“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 11And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’”
15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.
You would think that today, Centuries later, poverty would not be a problem.
But it is, and not just in the third world. There are parents and single parents struggling to make ends meet all around the world.
The seemingly endless Credit of the 80’s and 90’s no longer exists.
People are in despair even in seemingly rich areas.
A few years ago there was a stigma attached to shopping at Lidl or Aldi now its viewed as the sensible choice.
But still people are struggling and it seems like every week a new food bank is opening somewhere to help those who really need assistance.
Maybe you know some people who are struggling or maybe you can identify with this woman.
Maybe at some stage in your life you have struggled, maybe your struggling now.
Maybe you know what this woman was feeling.
She had nothing left - and she was being asked to give what she did not have.
She was out of food, out of money, out of hope.
In fact all she had left was enough to scrape together one last meal, and she wanted it to be a hot meal.
So out she goes to collect wood. So that she could cook over a fresh fire.
You know, when we are at our lowest, God will always find a way to speak to us.
Sometimes its a verse of scripture.
Sometimes its a song.
Sometimes its His voice we hear.
Sometimes He will use a person.
And for this woman, God brings the prophet Elijah into her life.
We know a lot more about Elijah than we know about this woman.
In fact, we know very little about this woman apart from the fact that she was a mother and a widow.
Apart from that we know almost nothing about, we don’t even know her name.
We may know nothing about her - But God knows everything about everyone.
God had a purpose for this woman.
God had a plan for this woman.