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The Widow's Choice

The Widow’s Choice

            And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.” (1 Kings 17:13)

It is a most difficult time for the widow of Zarephath. All that remains in the poor woman’s house is a handful of flour and a little oil to make one last meal before she and her son wait for death. At this moment, Elijah asks her to make him a small cake first and then one for her family afterward.

In today’s turbulent economic times, we face a similar dilemma the widow had to face. With over 12 million people unemployed in the U.S. right now, many of us struggle to make ends meet. If we are recent graduates, we may have already sent hundreds—or perhaps thousands—of cover letters and resumes attempting to find a job. And if we are so fortunate to already have a job, we may have been constantly working overtime in fear of being laid off. Like the widow, we often find ourselves forced to make a choice: Do we use the precious time we have to serve God first in His church? Or do we put ourselves first to ensure our survival?

It seems like a more logical choice to put ourselves first. After all, the urgency of our needs is certain. We have bills to pay and mouths to feed; poverty is already knocking at our door.

But the widow chose to put God first and herself after. The result? She was able to serve God and have enough food to feed her son and herself until the drought was over.

Likewise, when we are asked to serve in the church, let us also have the faith to prioritize God before our own worries. It is not an easy choice. With our mental strength already stretched paper thin by the pressures of finding or keeping a job, it is easy for us to feel hesitant and reluctant when asked to do holy work. We may even feel that no one cares about our sad predicament. But just as God took care of the widow, His promise to us is the same today. If we put God first, we shall witness the glory of God in our lives also—“The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD.”

Questions for Reflection

1.      Do we use the precious time we have to serve God first in His church? Or do we put ourselves first?

2.      Do we have the faith that God will take care of us when we seek first His kingdom and righteousness?


Author: Daniel Jeng