Tuesday, March 8, 2016


hesitate = slow to act or decide, reluctant.

I was thinking about hesitation as I read the account in I Kings 17 about Elijah and the widow in Zarepath.

King Ahab has abandoned God and followed the gods of his wife, Jezebel. Elijah, the prophet, is sent by the Lord to tell Ahab there will be no rain or dew for the next few years. God tells Elijah to leave the area and go to Zarepath where a widow will take care of him.

When Elijah arrives at the entrance to the city he sees her gathering sticks so he calls to her and asks for a drink of water. The drought, far-reaching,  has affected even this area but she does not seem to hesitate to fetch him some water, probably from the community well. However, as she is going, he also asks for a bit of bread. Now she does hesitate. her reluctance may have stemmed from the explanation she gives him: "As the Lord thy God liveth (his God not hers), I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks (it is all she would need to cook so small a bit of bread), that I may dress it for me and my son (already feeding two people), that we may eat it, and die". They would finish all that was left and then starve. But is was a great breach of hospitality not to offer to share with a guest. So this second request, unlike the water in the well, takes directly from her household.

Elijah reassures her that the Lord God of Israel has said her barrel and cruse shall not fail until the drought is ended. She no longer hesitates, but did as he has asked. And the barrel and cruse did not fail.

How often do we act on the opportunity to share with someone when it is easy and convenient, but hesitate when we would be drawing upon our own resources, perhaps having to make a meal stretch for an extra guest? Tricky enough under normal circumstances but she was asked to give all she had to this stranger on the word of his God that she and her son would not starve as a result.

God, the source of all supply, substance and good, does not withhold that supply. Spiritual substance is always available, usually with enough to meet the need and even some left over to help others.  Mrs. Eddy writes: God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you your daily supplies. Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help: and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment (Miscellaneous Writings 307)

I printed this out and taped it on the front of my check book. It is II Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. (KJV)
God is able to bless you with ample means so that you may always have quite enough for any emergency of your own and ample besides for any kind act to others."

There is never a need to hesitate to be generous.

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