I hear the desperation in her rough, scratchy voice, see the bags under her eyes as she wearily replies to the prophet, “I don’t have any bread – only a handful of flour in the jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”
I know this kind of desperation.
But the prophet knows more. And he says to her, “ Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said, but first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me. and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.’”
So she went. And she did exactly what he said.
Do I know this kind of trust?
To Hope, when nothing seems to make sense. To Know that He knows best, even when what He is asking of me seems impossible.
I don’t know much, but I am learning, and God is showing me this: I beg Him to bring me close to His heart. Orphans get us close, this is how He sees us. Adoption gets us close, this is how He brings us into His family. The poor, the widow, the prisoner, the beggar, they get us so close to His heart, these people are dear to Him. But nothing gets us closer than injustice. I think of a Savior, who spent His whole life doing nothing but good – saving and healing and feeding and helping – dying on a cross like a thief or a murderer. A Father, a Father who desires good things for His children even more than I want good things for mine, a Father who could have stopped it at any time, watched it happen. For me. For you. And I weep at the injustice of it. And I think that while NO part of me wants to be here, not at all, this is where I asked to be. Closer and closer and closer to His heart. He knows this pain. He knows what it is to lose a child to the injustice of a broken world. And so while I still cry and beat my fists on the floor, I find comfort in that, and ask to be closer still.
The ending of this story is Redemption. As is the ending of ours as we continue to place our hope in Him.
This weekend we put up the tree that has watched our family grow year after year. We still hung 14 angels on the tree. We still have 14 stockings. Only 13 sets of little hands helped make our tree glitter, but still 14 places are notched out in my heart.
Amy Grant sang in the background, “do you wonder, as you watch my face, if a wiser one should have had my place? But I offer all I am for the mercy of your plan.”
I think of Mary. Young. Tired. Alone. Completely unable to understand why this would be his plan for her. Chosen. Carrying our Savior into this broken world.
Jesus is coming. And I am young, and tired, and completely unable to understand why this is happening. But I am chosen, instructed to carry the story of our Savior, to shine His light into a broken world. His love and His strength, they will not run dry until He gets here, fresh rain on a parched land. And I wait in hope for Him.
“So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.”