According to Scripture, Israel was punished for the sins of Ahab. There was a drought all over Israel and even Elijah had to suffer. In the midst of the drought, Elijah met a widow.

They had never met before but Elijah asked the widow to bake bread for him. The widow could refuse to do this for two reasons: It was their first meeting and it would seem quite forward of Elijah to ask for such a favor from her. The second reason was because of the famine stalking the land. The widow only had enough flour to make bread for herself and her son. She herself said, “When the flour has been all used up, my son and I will just die of hunger.” She had two valid reasons not to accede to Elijah’s request, but she did.

She baked bread for Elijah for two reasons. She did not see in him a stranger but saw in him the face of God. Secondly, even if she could die of hunger if she made the bread for Elijah with her last measure of flour, her criterion for helping somebody was not her need but the generosity of God. The widow told herself, “God has been so good to me. The way to repay God is to do an act of goodness to a stranger. I see the face of God in Elijah”.

Let us look at ourselves. Let us look at the way we live. Very often, we would prefer to give to somebody who is a friend, to somebody who can repay us, to somebody who is influential, to somebody we know so that at least we can be thanked for our goodness.

I want to assure you that even non-Christians give their friends. What makes us Christian is that we are able to see the face of God in every stranger, in every street child, in every disabled person, and in every person in need. When we are able to see the face of God in the face of a stranger, we are not very far from God’s kingdom.

The second challenge for us is that we should be ready to suffer inconveniences, to suffer pains and to be hurt for the sake of helping other people. We often hear that we must give until it hurts. There is something wrong with that. When you give until it hurts, soon, you give up on giving. We should give until it no longer hurts. Give until giving becomes so much a part of you. Give until giving becomes something like breathing. Give until giving becomes like food which will sustain your life. Give until it no longer hurts. Until giving becomes so much a part of you, that you cannot survive without it.

We thank the Lord for such goodness. We are strangers before Him and yet He has seen in us a beautiful person. So much so that He was willing to lay down His life for us.

We thank the Lord for His goodness to us. He never runs out of flour. He never runs out of generosity. He is never satisfied until He is able to give Himself.

Let us ask the Lord that the same generosity be ours. To give to strangers. To give to people who will not thank us. To give until it no longer hurts.

I Kings 17:07-16
Only Jesus, Always Jesus


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