By Beth Bramstedt
Beth serves as the Church Life Administrator for Christian Fellowship Church in Columbia, Missouri. She has served in ministry for much of her life, and she is passionate about helping people discover that God created everyone for a unique purpose. She is a storyteller at heart as she loves hearing, sharing, and experiencing what makes each of us special. Beth and her husband, Chris, have two grown sons, and in her spare time, you can find her writing, traveling, listening to country music, and trying out all the new, local restaurants.
“This is the word of the God of Israel – The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty…” 1 Kings 17:14
Almost ten years ago, I traveled over spring break to visit a friend. We spent the weekend having fun, staying up late, eating rich foods, and trying to maximize the most of our sight-seeing experience. By Sunday night I wasn’t feeling well, hadn’t slept much, and had a long drive home ahead.
I woke up Monday morning and saw the light on my cell phone blinking. The text sent me into a tailspin. One of my team members had fallen off a balcony and cracked his skull. His brain was bleeding, he wasn’t breathing on his own, and they were rushing him into surgery.
I sat down on the bed, stunned. Paralyzed. Then I cried. Exhaustion washed over me – physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It was a feeling I will never forget. Somehow, I managed to get in the car and head home, only to pull off just outside Kirksville to throw up. I ended up at home on the couch, unable to do anything for several days.
I soon realized I was experiencing grief, and more intensely than I ever had before. The life-threatening accident brought back all the feelings of relational loss I had experienced the previous several years. Honestly, I was mad at God. How did he expect me live life with people only for them to leave in some way? In that overwhelming moment, I truly wondered if God was asking too much.
As I’ve found myself having similar feelings of relational tension and loss this past year, it’s been comforting to think of the widow in 1 Kings. She was living in a time of drought. She was a single mom. She barely had enough food for one last meal. Yet the prophet Elijah shows up in town and asks her for something to eat. She explains her predicament. She’s gathering firewood to make one last loaf of bread for her and her son before they die. They have nothing left to give.
Yet God makes a promise through Elijah. “Don’t worry about a thing,” he says, “Your jar of flour will not run out and your bottle of oil will not run dry.” In her grief, her pain, God promises just enough to sustain her. And he does. Day by day, he provides exactly what she needs.
I want to trust God like that.
What is your jar of flour today? What in your life needs filling up? Will you let go and trust God to provide for your needs today?