Summary: What happens when your dreams have been restored only to be ripped from you again. This message looks at the story of Elijah and the widow who lost her son.
So we are picking up our story where we left off last Mother’s Day. You remember where we left off last Mother’s Day don’t you?
For the few of you who don’t recall last year’s message. It began with a drought in the country of Israel, God’s prophet Elijah was instructed to go to a town called Zarephath where a widow would take care of him. Starting to sound familiar?
He arrives in town, finds the widow and asks her for food and drink to which she responds by saying in 1 Kings 17:12 But she said, “I swear by the LORD your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”
Doesn’t sound very promising does it? Well, Elijah convinces that woman that you are never a loser when you are generous and she takes a step of faith and believes God’s representative and prepares him a meal. The result is found in 1 Kings 17:15-16 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah.
And that was where we left the story last year. And it was truly a celebration of generosity and faith. And the result was that she was rewarded and blessed. And we all love stories like that. But as I finished writing the message I read ahead into the next verse and discovered a story as old as humanity itself. Because it wasn’t long before celebration gave way to grief.
Lets’ pick up the story in 1 Kings 17:17 Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died.
The child who had been saved through his mother’s generosity and faith has now died. And what could possibly be more heartbreaking than the death of a child?
And it is interesting that the first death recorded in the bible is the death of a child, the younger son of Adam and Eve. But that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Children are supposed to bury their parents, parents aren’t supposed to bury their children. But it happens, as can be testified to by some of you.
And so on this day that we celebrate Mothers there are moms at Cornerstone who grieve for children lost and children never born. And our hearts go out to you, again that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.
And it was easy to find positive uplifting lessons from the earlier story. Last year we discovered that this woman was An Appointed Mother, A Caring Mother, A Practical Mother, A Believing Mother, An Obedient Mother, A Rewarded Mother.
But what is it that we learn from the rest of the story?
1 Kings 17:17 Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died.
The Reality of our Mortality The tragedy wasn’t that her son died, the tragedy was that he died too soon. One of my favorite shows, when it was on, was House MD, and Dr. House’s ionic line was “Everybody lies”. That’s not necessarily true, at least I hope it isn’t but here is something that is an unchangeable truth “Everybody dies”
Manlius said, “We begin to die as soon as we are born, and the end is linked to the beginnings.”
Homer wrote in the Iliad “Like the generation of leaves, the lives of mortal men.
Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth,
now the living timber bursts with the new buds
and spring comes round again. And so with men:
as one generation comes to life, another dies away.”
And the other Homer summed it up when he told Bart at bedtime “Don't let Krusty's death get you down, boy. People die all the time, just like that. Why, you could wake up dead tomorrow! Well, good night.”
That is the reality, why you could wake up dead tomorrow.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 9:27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment. Notwithstanding all the heavenly tourism books that are out there, each person is destined to die once.
And Jesus’ brother tells us in the book of James James 4:14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
And maybe at this point you are thinking: Well that has really cheered me up, this is supposed to be cheerful, non-threatening Mother’s Day message and Denn pulls this out of the hat.