Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.” I Kings 17:13 (NIV)
Elijah lived, walked and talked with God and his spiritual tummy while full did not equate to his natural tummy. It was empty, growling with no food to be found in his journey. God made a very unusual request of him. “Go to a widow of Zarephath for food.”
This woman and her son were about to starve too. She was gathering sticks for a fire to make their last meal with little flour and oil in her home. Elijah arrives on the scene and makes his request. She tells him of her final meal preparation with starvation and death likely hovering near. That doesn’t deter Elijah in making a daring request: “Feed me first and then feed your little family. The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the Lord sends rain.”
Rather than balking and stalking away, she does just as he asks. That takes daring courage to listen to this stranger. Incredibly, she was able to feed the three of them plus others of her family there who later joined them.
At the church in Lahaina was an older woman named Rose. She emanated the beauty of Christ within as she cared for others who were hungry. She would gather local dated bread products from businesses and give to those she knew and visitors that came, at no expense to her or them. Sundays were special as she gave abundantly.
Word came that Rose was dying so a dear friend and I went to pray with her in the hospital. She was unconscious as I prayed aloud. Afterwards holding her hand, I said, “Tell God I love Him when you see Him!” Immediately, her heart monitor’s waves spiked as though she heard me as we all rejoiced together before it stabilized as before. Rose was going home to see the Living Bread, Christ Himself! (John 6:51)
Communion is such a sacred, celebratory time as I partake of the bread that represents You, Lord, in giving yourself on the Cross. The grape juice reminds me of your life blood given for me. What blessed hope to know some day I shall see You in all your splendor. My soul is hungry for You!
“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Hebrews 1:3a, Matthew 5:16
He stumbled into the church, inebriated, and meandered his way to the front after the Christmas service had begun. Much preparation had gone into the beauty and the sanctity of the service. Christmas carols were being sung and during “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” Jim sprang from the pew and made a beeline to the altar. He determined he wasn’t going to wait any longer to experience the fullness of the joy of the Christ Child erupting in his heart. Pastor Larry lead Jim to an understanding that Christ was born to die for the sins of the world, rise again and is now seated next to the Heavenly Father. Jim accepted the Savior into his heart that night and began to experience the fullness of God radiating within. Old life habits disappeared and a new life began. All were amazed at the life transformation. Jim became a caring, sensitive generous man both to family and friends. God was beautifully displayed within and reflected without.
Within the church, there was a wonderful Christian woman named Frances who displayed God’s character within by mirroring Him outwardly to all who knew her. Although elderly, she helped clean the church and climbed ladders to help paint church walls. She made her special spaghetti from scratch for church functions. She was always attentive to her husband, a man heavily into alcohol addiction. She made sure of a clean house and that she had prepared a good meal for her husband before church services or any of its functions. Praying diligently for her husband to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, she didn’t see it happen, as far as we know. That never deterred her, however, from honoring him as her husband who she was joined with in holy matrimony.
God’s desire is that we radiate with His glorious presence through every fiber of our being. That allows us to reflect Him to others with encouraging words, thoughtful deeds and a heart overflowing with God’s love, even when it’s not reciprocated.
Lord, my prayer for this year of 2016 is that I might explode with Your presence in my life and that together we impact this world as only You know how. Great is Thy Faithfulness!