Yahweh revealed Himself to the widow every day as He kept the flour jar plentiful and the oil flowing, just as He’d told me to speak to her. (1 Kings 17:8-16) She did not worship Him before (1 Kings 17:12) so I had hoped that through me, she would believe and worship the One True God.
Since starting my journey, I have come to know the Lord more deeply and I long for her to know Him just as I do. I’ve seen the shape of His sovereign heart as He led me to prophesy against Ahab’s wickedness, I’ve seen Him be enough in the never ending supply of basic necessities, and omnipotent as the God who commands even unclean birds to feed me.
There is none like Yahweh.
But now this tragedy has happened with her son. What she thinks of my God, she is placing on me. How Lord do I show through a dead son that You are still the truth she seeks? I have nothing against her and I don’t believe Yahweh does either. Though the gods she worships might be shifting shadows, my God is not. (James 1:17)
I should believe without a doubt, but I cannot understand why, after such a grand display of power and faithfulness, this loss would befall her. Help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24) Only the Lord can fix this. I am the messenger and God’s vessel. May I hear and obey how He plans to bring new life to the seed of faith that was planted in her. (Matthew 17:20-21)
This God of Elijah’s. How can I trust Him? Yes, He showed great favor by not allowing me and my son to die that day I met Elijah by the city gate. (1 Kings 17:10-12) I began to think maybe He is truer and more powerful than my gods. But now, my son lies dead. Just like the Baal gods, Elijah’s God also put his anger at my sins on my son and sent Elijah here to kill him. (1 Kings 17:18)
I cannot take back my sins, but watching my son die, I wish I could. All I can do is weep over my son and how my shortcomings have surely caused his death. I feel this is the suffering I’ve earned, but I struggle to reconcile my sin with the loss of my son. Is this the right punishment? (Psalm 119:75) How can the man of God help me? Do I believe he or his God can do anything? Is He even willing?
I have taken the boy and will go to the Lord in private to not harm what little faith the widow might still have. (Matthew 13:20-21) I fear the Lord and so I put my hope in His word, praying the widow will see and rejoice. (Psalm 119:74) “Lord my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow I am staying with by killing her son?” (1 Kings 17:20) The Lord is not like the gods of Baal, but how can she know the truth of who my God is when the outcomes can look the same? How can I be reassured of that truth?
Dare I be bold like Abraham (Genesis 22:1-18) and believe for that which has never been done? (Mark 9:23) What if the Lord does not do it? But…what if He does? Stretching myself over the boy three times, I pray, “Lord my God, please let this boy’s life come into him again!” (1 Kings 17:21) The Lord’s “faithful love comfort(s) me” (Psalm 119:76) and the boy’s life returned to him and he lived again! (1 Kings 17:22)
My son lives! Elijah has done this!
No; my heart pulls back at those words. It is his God, his Yahweh. Recognition and realization of truth washes over me as my heart and voice affirm what my eyes have seen, “Now I know you are a man of God and the Lord’s word from your mouth is true. (1 Kings 17:24) Were my sins overlooked? Discarded? I do not know. But I know Elijah’s God gave me “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair.” (Isaiah 61:3) Though my grief was great and my sins were before me, my joy overflows abundantly more. This God works so differently, so graciously.
The gods I have followed all my life do not operate in truth and compassion. But this God, He had compassion on me and now my son lives. If I follow Yahweh’s instruction I will know the truth and I will LIVE. (Psalm 119:77) Blessed be Elijah whose beautiful feet brought the good news of The One True God. (Romans 10:15) Now I will tell of this God to my son, who lives because of Him! May my son also follow Him.
I wept as I saw the seed of faith grow in the widow; my own faith grew alongside hers. As she embraced Truth for the first time, I thrilled all the more in the veracity of Yahweh’s Name and character. Because I have delighted in God’s instruction, His compassion came to me by granting of my bold prayer (Psalm 119:77), solidifying my faith and growing hers. I think forward to our promised Messiah. He will be the Living Truth. (John 14:16) He will rescue us from all our sins and He will fulfill all the Lord has told us about Him. When He comes, we will worry about nothing for He will be God with us. But while we wait for the Promise, I will testify to all people of the unchanging truth of Yahweh, who continues to shape my heart as He has done for this widow and her son.
Sketched XI, Day 7
May your faithful love comfort me as you promised your servant.
May your compassion come to me so that I may live, for your instruction is my delight.
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