In class we’re watching this video by Eric Foley about “transformational giving” vs. “transactional giving”.
I don’t know that I want to talk a lot about the video right now but I was really struck by a particular story the speaker highlighted.
So here is the story he highlights… it’s in 1 Kings 17:7-24.
God takes care of Elijah in the strangest ways. Just before the story I’m focusing on here, God provides food for Elijah with some Ravens! (This happens again with an angel in chapter 19 when Elijah gets depressed.)
Then God sends him to this “donor”… this person who will take care of his need for food (since there is a drought in the area).
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The donor? A widow. A woman with a son and no husband. When Elijah asks her for a piece of bread she says that not only does she not have any bread, she is about to go home and make one last meal for her and her son with the very last of their food- and then they will die because it is the last of what they have in all the world to eat….
Instead of saying “oh, sorry… I didn’t realize you were so poor”, Elijah says “Ok, well, before you do that, would you make me a small cake? You know, before you make the last meal for you and your son?”
“And by the way- while you’re feeding me and until the drought is over, you will not run out of flour and oil”.
What Elijah says comes true. The widow’s jar of oil and her bag of flour miraculously do not run out.
Lots of people look at this verse and see how God provided for Elijah through the widow. What I think is wonderful and interesting- is how instead of sending Elijah to a rich man to be fed, He sent Elijah to someone who was in desperate need. By saying yes to Elijah’s request for food, the widow’s need was also met. Elijah’s need led to meeting the needs of a widowed woman and her boy.
This last year I have learned many times how my need has actually been the catalyst for my getting to be a part of meeting other people’s needs. THIS IS SO EXCITING to me.
Our love for each other and for God makes a difference. God makes a difference in us with us.
We all get to be a part of this.