Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in encouragement, relationships | Posted on 11-05-2015
I often wonder about the story of Elijah, the widow and her son in 1 Kings 17. God commanded Elijah to travel to the house of a widow and when he arrived, she had only enough food for one meal. She and her son were starving. In fact, she told Elijah, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”
Elijah asked her for the food she had left so he could eat and promised her a miracle: “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’”
She was faithful and believed Elijah and the promise of God. It must have been a difficult thing to do in the face of starving to death, but she did it. The bible tells us, “The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.”
The thing I reflect on is this – every time the widow and her son went to the jug and jar, they had to think about the goodness of God and Elijah’s visit that day. I’m sure not a day went by that for a fleeting moment, their hearts thought about the miracle that took place. The jar and jug weren’t magical, but the power of God was responsible for the events that day. But the jar and jug were touchstones to the eternal. They were daily reminders to both of them to the power of God and what happens when we place our faith in Him.
The other day, I was reminded of this personally. I don’t own a jar of refilling flour. I have an NIV bible that my Mom gave me one Christmas when I was 17. I wasn’t living the best Christian life possible. I was acting like a little smart aleck most of the time.
Funny thing was, growing up in a Christian home, I already owned about four bibles. But this was different. Mom was reaching out to me with the word of God. And she wrote me a little note in the inside of the bible:
“A long time ago we realized how special you were to us. Challenged by death, at your birth, God reminded us that your life belonged to Him. When you were again challenged by physical problems, god reminded me through my tears that you are indeed a unique individual. Seek God, listen to His voice, reach faith to share the love He has given you through Him Son, Jesus Christ.”
In the back of the bible was a daily reading plan for the year. For some reason, I decided to use it. I hadn’t read the bible in a long time, but I started that day. I started reading and couldn’t stop. Within three weeks, my life and attitude had changed. Why? Because God had changed my heart through His word. What was the means? My sweet mother who loved me and gave me a bible and wrote me a sweet note. A touchstone to eternity. It’s still my favorite bible.
Right now, in your life, there is someone who needs encouragement. There is someone who needs a note or gift from you. Nothing extravagant. Maybe a bible, a bookmark, a book. Write in it. Tell them what you’ve been meaning to tell them for years. Maybe it’s someone who has been like a mother or father to you. Maybe it is your mother or father and you just need to let them know what they mean to you. It may be a sibling, aunt, uncle, teacher, pastor, whomever.
One of the most regrettable things we can do is let time pass without telling someone how we feel. One of the best things we can do is take a pen to paper (not email, not Facebook, but real ink) and write down our feelings for someone. I promise you that most people keep things like that. If you give them a book, a gift or a memento with that message written in it, it will become precious to them. Each time they see it, they will remember you and the love you have for them.
That’s one of the reasons we are put here. To love one another. Take time to leave a mark for eternity today.
Ray Carroll is the author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” which answers many of the questions I get asked on a weekly basis.
If you are a fallen pastor who needs to talk or you are someone who has been affected by a fallen pastor and would like to contact me privately, please click here. You are the main reason this ministry exists. I’m here to help you.
If you are a church, men’s group, association, conference, or news outlet and would like more information about this ministry, please click here.