abundance, scarcity, and giving our all

Today's first reading from 1 Kings is one of my all time favorites. It really speaks of abundance, scarcity, and giving our all.

The brook near where Elijah was hiding ran dry,

because no rain had fallen in the land.

So the LORD said to Elijah:

“Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there.

I have designated a widow there to provide for you.”

He left and went to Zarephath.

As he arrived at the entrance of the city,

a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her,

“Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.”

She left to get it, and he called out after her,

“Please bring along a bit of bread.”

She answered, “As the LORD, your God, lives,

I have nothing baked;

there is only a handful of flour in my jar

and a little oil in my jug.

Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks,

to go in and prepare something for myself and my son;

when we have eaten it, we shall die.”

Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid.

Go and do as you propose.

But first make me a little cake and bring it to me.

Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.

For the LORD, the God of Israel, says,

‘The jar of flour shall not go empty,

nor the jug of oil run dry,

until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’”

She left and did as Elijah had said.

She was able to eat for a year, and Elijah and her son as well;

the jar of flour did not go empty,

nor the jug of oil run dry,

as the LORD had foretold through Elijah. (1 Kings 17:7-16)

Sometimes we do need to say no when we feel our supplies of energy going low. In modern terms that's good self care. But by the same token, I'm sure that we've all had those moments when we found it inside of ourselves to say yes, and instead of finding further scarcity discover an abundance. The woman in today's reading had such an experience. I think I'm going to journey with her today.

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