Widows figure prominently in the Bible. God always has a soft spot for those who can do nothing for themselves and are therefore completely dependent on Him. Widows in Bible times definitely fit this category: they could not work, and if they had no sons, they had no means of support at all and were often destitute.
The Widow of Zarephath was no exception.
1 Kings 17 tells us she had a son, but he was young. In the midst of a famine, she had only enough oil and flour left for one meal, and then she was prepared to die. God sent Elijah to her, and he promised that God would provide every day until the famine was over.
She believed, she acted, and God supplied.
Since losing my job in June, I feel a little like the widow of Zarephath. For months now, God has supplied through various means; the Church has really come around me to help me through this time, and I am grateful beyond words.
But I realize something true about the widow's story that isn't really talked about in the Bible. God supplied every day, miraculously. The jug always had oil and the basket always had flour. But just like manna in the desert, there was only enough for one day.
Every morning her little boy looked in the jar and said, "Mom, there's only enough for one meal."
And, I believe, she responded, "Yes. The man of God said there would be." And when the little boy doubted and asked, "But what if He doesn't provide more tomorrow?" The Bible tells us that some time later, the boy got sick and died, Elijah prayed and he regained life, and then she believed. There was some measure of doubt in her heart every day, even though she saw God's miraculous provision every day.
Every morning was the same: on the brink of starvation, their situation as dire as it was yesterday. I think the pressure of it weighed on her as much on day 366 as it did on day 1. Until some time later...
What is my point, here? Honestly, I'm not sure. I feel like that woman: God is providing enough -- every day, enough. But every morning I look in that jar and say, "But there's only enough for one meal. Then what?"
There are two miracles at work in this story. The first is tangible: God provided daily in a miraculous way. The second is not tangible, for it is in her heart: every day she believed tomorrow there will be enough, too.
God is constantly giving me that first miracle. I ask humbly that He would also allow me the second.