1 Kings 17:10-16 (NIV)
10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’
Let me start by saying this, I believe there is a fine line between being aware and being fearful. The side of the line that one is on often times leads to how he or she responds. Fear causes one to act in the moment where an awareness is more associated with being proactive for the moments or time to come. Fear is a provoked reaction. Awareness is an understanding or knowledge of one’s surroundings. Awareness allows for greater perspective over the situation at hand. Awareness allows one to maintain power over the situation; whereas, fear is a distraction sent to immobilize or control the one under the power of the illusion it creates. Fear is designed to pause or hold still opposed to move forward. Knowledge is instrumental in determining which side of the line you spend the most time on. This can be tricky because knowledge does not always mean that you understand what is happening, but in the moment it offers insight into the possibilities. We know fear to be contrary to faith. Fear puts a pencil in your hand to draw a line of limitation, but faith puts an eraser in your dominant hand and says, “Erase it!”
We dare not be ignorant in this season and ignore what we see. While watching the Democratic National Convention, it was hard to miss the fact that a gathering designed to bring people together displayed such division. There was a line of division in the people. This was somewhat confusing. I tuned in looking and wanting to see something better. Then our First Lady walked to the microphone and in the midst of confusion, in the midst of division, in the midst of opposition, she not only calmed the room, but in the moment she changed the room. The situation didn’t change, she just took a different route. She used her awareness to allow her to find the best route, the higher route! She commanded the room opposed to allowing the room to command her. She said, “I’ve been on this stage before!”
Grab this right now, the place, the situation that you are in right now you can see. You can see it because you’re in it, but don’t miss this: your now is always preparation for your next! Which means we cannot afford to allow our next move to simply be what we see, but rather what we hope for. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Watch me switch! There was a drought in the land, but God provided for Elijah. Things shifted so He said leave where you are and go to Zarephath. I have commanded a widow there to provide for you. Elijah was on his way to get something from someone that didn’t think she had anything to give. Can I go back to our First Ladies speech? She said, “Every morning I wake up in a house built by slaves.” Listen, they had no way of knowing that what they were doing back then would be so instrumental to our now. Can I tell you, Man of God, Woman of God? It might not look good in the moment, but I believe, like God told Elijah, I have commanded a women, the unexpected one, to be instrumental in not just your survival, but your’ next! We must shift not based on what we see, but what we desire. She saw life as ending, but she desired to live. Today we declare our almost has changed, it has shifted. I almost gave up in a drought, but I got a word that my next is full. That empty was just a set up for my next. We came to declare you will not run out anytime soon. We declare on today, “I’m that one! Thought I wouldn’t be instrumental, but watch God take my little and make it a lot!”
You will not run out! You’ve got more than enough! Your little is not just enough for you, but for all of your connections. This woman had enough to make food every day in this drought for her, her son and Elijah. The little you have will help the ones who are sent. What looks like a little in the hands of God is a lot! You’ve been on this stage before! Choose the higher route! Give your little to God and watch Him make it do what it do!
Remember to live your life without excuses!