1 Kings 17:13-16
No one wants to join a widows’ club. Membership is too dear. Even caring for a spouse with a long-term illness cannot prepare a widow for her husband’s death. The loss must be experienced to be thoroughly known. Grief does not last forever, though. Life moves on, carrying bereavement with it.
When Alicia lost her husband of twenty years, she experienced profound grief. For a few months she cried often, ate poorly, and slept fitfully. Fortunately, her friends were understanding and comforting. Finally, Alicia began taking better care of her health by planning better meals and taking long, healing walks. After a while, she joined a hiking group.
As sometimes happens, Alicia became acquainted with Robert, a widower. They enjoyed many of the same activities and found that they had much in common. Their friendship slowly deepened into love and they married with great joy. Alicia knew she had been twice blest.
In this 1 Kings story, Elijah encounters a widow who is having a difficult time surviving. At one time a loving husband provided for her. Now she is without companionship, without food, and without fire. Additionally, she has a young son living at home. In this dire situation, God provides for the widow through the prophet Elijah. This heaven-sent guest is also in need, and the arrangement works well for both Elijah and the widow. They are in the arms of God.
When have you experienced God’s comfort and provision when you were in need? How does remembering such an occasion help you encounter future needs?
Great Comforter, as we live our fleeting lives, hold us in your everlasting arms. Amen.