1 Kings 17:1-7
In the state of Oklahoma, long-time weatherman Gary England shepherded his listeners through the deadly 1999 Moore tornado. In 2013, he warned them again when another tornado whirled through the same area. Also in 2013, England talked his listeners through the 2.6 mile-wide El Reno tornado. People who watched his broadcasts began saying, “When Gary England takes off his coat, you had better get underground.” His timely warnings saved many lives.
In today’s narrative, God gives Elijah an assignment. He will become a weather forecaster as well as a prophet. God wants him to predict the coming of a severe drought so that people will fill their silos with grain and their cellars with wine for themselves and their families.
Then God tells Elijah to go to the brook Cherith. When he obeys this heavenly command, his needs are met in a most unusual way. Ravens bring him bread and meat in the morning, then again in the evening. Wouldn’t this ancient event make a fascinating episode of “Survivor?” Imagine cases of nourishment arriving to a food-deprived community via huge birds.
But as Elijah stays by the brook, he not only waits on God, he waits with God. While waiting for God to act on his behalf, he spends time in the presence of the Almighty.
We have always needed more than bread alone to sustain us.
How would our lives be enriched if our moments of waiting turned into times of reflection and gratitude? How would we experience God’s presence in new ways?
God, help me spend my waiting time with you. Make me grateful for the ways you meet my physical and spiritual needs. Amen.