A Little FartherDo you hear much about lament in your local church?
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1 Kings 17:7-16
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” (vv.8-9).
After graduation from college, I worked for an
Sometimes I couldn’t even afford my next meal.
During that time, my mother became sick. I felt awful not
being able to help pay for her hospital expenses. It was
one trial after another, and each new trial was harder
than the previous one.
In 1 Kings 17, we find God training Elijah. By the
waters of Kerith, God used ravens to bring Elijah his
daily meals. But as the drought persisted, the babbling
brook became a silent stream, and then it slowed to a
We read: “But after a while the brook dried up . . .
then the Lord said to Elijah” (vv.7-8). Often we would
rather have God show us the next step before our
resources are totally depleted. Waiting can be nerveracking.
It can be frustrating. But this is all part of the
training process. We need to learn that we’re dependent
on God, and Him alone. We need to learn that when
our comfort zone is compromised, God is still in control.
Elijah was told by God, “Go and live in the village
of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed
a widow there to feed you” (v.9). Zarephath was
enemy territory. Why would anyone offer Elijah shelter,
especially a widow? They were often the poorest of the
poor! Everything God told Elijah to do defied man’s
wisdom; it demanded trust. God was training His servant to walk by faith, not
by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
He learned the lesson reflected in these lyrics: “Now I can see testing comes
from above, God strengthens His children and purges in love. My Father knows
best, and I trust in His care; through purging, more fruit I will bear.” Are you
ready for God’s training? —Poh Fang Chia
Read John 15:2 to
discover why, according
to Jesus, God prunes us.
What is your usual
response when faced
with difficulties? What
new perspective should
you work on?
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