Summary: This single mom’s faith has great lessons for us as we celebrate Mother’s Day in 2003.
12She said, "I swear, as surely as your GOD lives, I don’t have so much as a biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we’ll die."
13Elijah said to her, "Don’t worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you’ve said. But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what’s left for you and your son. 14This is the word of the GOD of Israel: "The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before GOD sends rain on the land and ends this drought.’"
15And she went right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked. And it turned out as he said--daily food for her and her family. 16The jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty: GOD’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!
17Later on the woman’s son became sick. The sickness took a turn for the worse--and then he stopped breathing.
18The woman said to Elijah, "Why did you ever show up here in the first place--a holy man barging in, exposing my sins, and killing my son?"
19Elijah said, "Hand me your son."
He then took him from her bosom, carried him up to the loft where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20Then he prayed, "O GOD, my God, why have you brought this terrible thing on this widow who has opened her home to me? Why have you killed her son?"
21Three times he stretched himself out full-length on the boy, praying with all his might, "GOD, my God, put breath back into this boy’s body!" 22GOD listened to Elijah’s prayer and put breath back into his body--he was alive! 23Elijah picked the boy up, carried him downstairs from the loft, and gave him to his mother. "Here’s your son," said Elijah, "alive!"
24The woman said to Elijah, "I see it all now--you are a holy man. When you speak, GOD speaks--a true word!"
In this story we can see this mother went through a lot. She experienced a real roller-coaster of emotions didn’t she, famine in the land, almost dying of hunger, no husband to provide for her? A single mom with a son to feed? I know that’s tough for I have 3 sons to feed… It can be stressful! How do u think she feels?
Then she experienced the joyous providence of God when Elijah the prophet entered into the picture. She had food to eat. It was miraculous. Ah, joy! But suddenly her son took a turn for the worst. The boy couldn’t breathe, as if SARS had attacked him, he stopped breathing – he was dead. Her world just fell apart and v.18 speaks of her utter despair. Her hopes for the future is gone, she has no one left in her life – alone, afraid, with no backup plan, no life insurance, nothing! Perhaps she felt guilty of her sins – but most of all, it was just pure pain!
Don’t we react the same way, many times we ask Why? Even Elijah was confused (v.20) he probably was attached to the boy. After all he was a guest with them for many months. More than likely he stayed up nights with the boy, telling stories of God’s heroic deeds, horsing around with him. He lived with them, ate with them, spent time getting to know them. Then the boy died. What a shock! It seems to be purposeless, meaningless loss of a life! “O God my God, WHY…,”cried Elijah.