“The most spiritual thing you can do today is to choose.” – Erwin Raphael McManus
My interpretation of that quote basically boils down to trusting in God or trusting in ourselves. It is so easy to fall into the trap of worry, to let our minds wander into a place that tries to control situations based on what we know of the past or what we fear of the future. This life is a journey with many opportunities to choose. God has a plan. Our choice: Trust and obey even when it doesn’t seem logical, or go at it on our own/disobey and therefore face the consequences.
In 1 Kings 17:8-24 we read about a widow who is starving. Widows in that time were generally poor and had to rely on others for daily sustenance. This widow was no exception. She had enough food for one last meal then after that, death. To make matters worse, while preparing for her last meal she is approached by Elijah who asks her for some food.
Verse 9 says that God instructed (NLT) or commanded (ESV) a woman to feed Elijah. The scriptures do not tell us how he instructed or commanded her, we just know that he did. Her response wasn’t “oh, you’re the guy God told me about”, it was simply something to the effect of “well I have almost nothing, and what I do have isn’t even enough for me”. That was her reality. Give it away and die now, or consume what she had and die a little later.
Elijah then encourages her saying not to worry and shares God’s promise:
For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!” (1 Kings 8:14)
The most spiritual thing she did in that moment was to choose. Through God’s miraculous power, it was on her heart to make the decision to comply even though apparently she didn’t know Elijah, and her decision came with a cost. Maybe you’re like me. If someone came up to me on the street and said to give them all I have because God said so, I’d dismiss them and keep moving (and a bit quicker).
She trusted. She obeyed. God honored her choice by delivering abundance.
The power that filled the container of oil is the same power in Jesus to feed thousands, turn water into wine, raise the dead, heal the sick, and ultimately to resurrect his dead body. This same power is ours as well if we choose to follow Jesus. As he forgives our sins, he resurrects us to a life with him, and as we live for him, he “fills our jars with oil” for eternity.
Jesus is calling. What is God calling you to trust and obey today and how will you respond? There is an abundance of joy and peace on the horizon that only comes from him.
May the Lord prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies. May he anoint your head with oil. May your cup overflow. Amen.