Has your brook died up?
Have you ever been praising God for his miraculous provisions, when suddenly you lose your job, huge medical expenses wipe out your savings, or some other disaster wipes out your livelihood?
I’m encouraged by the story of the prophet Elijah and the brook of Kerith (or Cherith if you prefer). God had brought a drought upon the land in response to the people’s disobedience, but God had miraculously provided for the prophet:
“Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”
So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land (1 Kings 17:4-7).
This weekend, our brook dried up! (I do see a raven on the horizon as my latest book is set to release soon, but as any author knows, that’s not a guaranteed income!) So, a couple thoughts:
1. Sometimes, we get dependent on the “brook” rather than our God, and he graciously removes it. He wants us to be thirsty and hungry for him—not our earthly resources, even if they were divinely provided.
2. Sometimes we get in a rut (or dry river bed) thinking that God can provide in only one way. God is a God of drama and surprises, so he often provides an answer “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Never assume God will work in ways he always has. We serve a creative God! (See The Ten Creative Commandments.)
Of course, as soon as I learned of this financial setback, I instantly went into crisis mode and began brainstorming ways to replace that income. But God immediately impressed on me: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm” (Exodus 14:14).
So, I’m trying to be still and calm and wait for God to direct us. And I am encouraged by the rest of the story:
Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”
So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”
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.”
But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”
So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family 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 (1 Kings 17:8-16).
Throughout our lives, Lois and I have always had enough “flour and oil” despite the losses of jobs (at least seven) and major medical expenses (major surgeries and cancer). We’re confident God will provide with ravens, widows, or more likely something we’ve never, ever imagined. In fact, the night of the news, we went out to a nice restaurant and, by faith, celebrated that this turn of events would turn out for the best (Romans 8:28).
If a resource you’ve depended on has suddenly dried up, put your faith in the Provider and trust him for something surprising! I’m believing that for you and me!
Copyright © 2017 James N. Watkins
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