1 Kings 17:8-16
This always reminds me of one of those fairy tale fables where the poor farmer shares his last meal with a stranger who turns out to be an enchanted prince who then rewards the farmer for his generosity. I suppose this story is just as surprising in that the widow is a foreigner who owes no allegiance to the Jewish prophet Elijah. She has accepted the grim reality that awaits her and her son and is convinced they both will die of starvation. But in Elijah's "Do not be afraid..." she hears something to convince her that giving away the little she has will not simply hasten the inevitable. While we are not facing starvation we do experience times of famine and resigned to our fate give up any hope that help will come in time. A loss of employment, or health, or relationships or struggling with more bills at the end of the month than income at the beginning we find ourselves in need of those same words, "Do not be afraid..." I'm not suggesting there is a magic pot that won't run out of whatever it is we need but there is a place where courage and strength to overcome can be found, a place where the cup is never empty and the plate is always full and it is never too late to hope in the promise of God. When we come to the table of grace, the meal of mercy, there is refreshment for weary and weak souls if only in the sharing.
I've just come in from running the country lanes around LaGrange, TX where Intern Ellen and I are attending an internship conference. It was a crisp morning and I fell into the rhythm of running quickly. With Patty Loveless singing Mr. Man in the Moon in my headset and the sun rising on my right and the harvest moon setting on my left I experienced one of those refreshing moments like a widow's jar that can't be emptied. I think there are moments like that in our everyday and not all of them require physical exercise though it can't hurt. :) My prayer is that your day would include such a moment.