Enough for Today
|Hanging out with the birds by the brook. Sounds pretty good actually. At least for a while. I’ve been fantasizing about a cabin in the woods. Some solitude. |
Elijah needed to get away. Things looked bad, and they weren’t getting better soon. Ahab did more to anger the Lord than any previous kings. So Elijah announced that it wouldn’t rain again until he said so. No dew. Drought- a dangerous decree.
Then the Lord’s word came to Elijah: Go from here and turn east. Hide by the Cherith Brook that faces the Jordan River. You can drink from the brook. I have also ordered the ravens to provide for you there. 1 Kings 17:2-4 (CEB)
Each day the birds brought bread and meat, morning and evening. Which must have seemed pretty cool at first. Enough for each day. Like manna. Then, the creek slowly dried up. Maybe Elijah was getting lonely. Just him and the ravens, day after day after day….
There are times of abundance. Periods of plenty. And then there are other times. When the days stretch out ahead, and the end of difficulty is not in sight. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Not that I have ever run a marathon. But it takes endurance. That much is obvious.
The Lord’s word came to Elijah: Get up and go to Zarephath near Sidon and stay there. I have ordered a widow there to take care of you. 1 Kings 17:8-9 (CEB)
This is where the story gets interesting. The mother is gathering sticks for the fire to cook the last meal for herself and her son. She is happy to get water for Elijah. Bread poses a problem. The flour and oil are almost gone.
As a child, I loved the miracle of the story. She gave the last of what she had, serving Elijah first. The flour did not decrease and the oil did not run out, just as he had promised. There was just enough for every day.
As an adult, I find it meaningful, but am less enamored. Not extra. No end in sight. Barely enough to get by.
Some days it feels that way. Then things get worse. Elijah felt it. The widow felt it. Maybe you feel that way today.
Elijah cried out to the Lord…. 1 Kings 17:20a (CEB)
The Lord heard him. So life went on. After many days, in the third year of the drought, the Lord’s word came again to Elijah. Time for rain. It was more complicated than that, of course. A famous showdown between Baal’s prophets and Elijah. But we’re not there yet.
Much of the time, we live one day at a time. Where God provides us just enough for that day. We don’t live by bread alone. We are sustained by the word of God. Alive in those around us. Acts of kindness. Gestures of love.
May we be that bread for each other. May we give water to those who are thirsty. May we be light. May we be salt. May we be given enough to provide for today. And the Lord will again take care of tomorrow.