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Jul
26

Single Ladies Part 6: Widows 1-2-3

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joy-singlep6She is… alone. World turned upside down, securities shaken, questions unanswered. Somehow, each day, she must survive. Breathe again. Scrimp and save and make a way. Somewhere, in the midst of it all, she must find something … or Someone … to be her Rock.

The nameless widows of Scripture – don’t overlook them. The Lord included their stories for our benefit, and He knows each of these women intimately. He didn’t see anonymity or ambiguity. He saw hearts, lives, faces. He heard their groans and cries and saw in each one the potential to reach us today. While each account holds multiple truths, let’s glean a single nugget that we can cling to from a few examples of extraordinary widows of faith.

Widow #1: The Zarephath Widow (I Kings 17:8-24) – When God Makes A Promise

She is asked to feed the prophet Elijah when she could barely scrape together enough to make a last meal for her and her son. But God speaks to her through Elijah, and something in those words moves her to obey without reservation. She makes a withdrawal from her last reserves of flour and oil and prepares food for the prophet and then for herself and her son. When God makes a promise, you can afford to give your all. And her supplies never run out. When God makes a promise, you can bank on it. He supplies her physical needs and her spiritual needs. And when life is snatched from her son, God hears her heart’s cry and returns the son to her. When God makes a promise, He doesn’t leave your side. Your famine may not be physical but spiritual. Revisit the promises of God. Find life and hope and every need met.

Widow #2: The Poor Widow (Mark 12:41-44) – When Jesus Notices

The Messiah was watching, observing, waiting for someone, anyone to exemplify His idea of giving. He didn’t see it in the wealthy, who were proudly pouring large sums of money into the temple treasury. Though He sees their “gifts”, He doesn’t celebrate their contributions. I can picture His eyes, watchful, looking at faces, looking into hearts as the tithes are deposited. And then, He sees her. Dirty, clad in threadbare rags, coming alone to give. She’s beautiful. And He notices. Not her outward appearance or the monetary value of her gift. The beauty that draws His attention is her sacrifice, a reflection of true giving. “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.” She. Gave. Her. All. Just like Jesus did. Just like we should.

Widow #3: The Widow in Nain (Luke 7:11-17) – When Jesus Shows Up

She must’ve thought she’d lost it all, even her favor with God. It’s not enough that she is a widow, trying to raise a child alone. Now her only son is gone … what more does she have to lose? Though a large crowd from her city accompanies her, I suspect that she feels very alone. But out of the masses a gentle voice says to her, “Do not weep.” A hand touches the coffin that houses the body of her son, and silence enshrouds the gathering. With authority, He speaks, and life invades the corpse. The Savior had seen her. He had heard her cry, and – Scripture tells us – He felt compassion for her. He spoke life not only into the son, but also into her darkness. He longs to do the same for you. Hope is not gone; Life is not over. He’s standing beside you saying, “Do not weep… I say to you, ‘Arise!’”

When your resources are depleted and you don’t know how you’ll make it one more day, trust His promises. When your all doesn’t seem like enough, remember that He notices your sacrifice. When it seems like all is lost, listen for His voice in the crowd and receive life.

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