The Keystone – Part Two (Julia Schmidt)

If you missed Part One

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I opened my Bible and read 1 Kings 17, where it describes a drought that was in the land of the Israelites. The Lord told Elijah to go to Sidon, to the city of Zarephath, because He had commanded a widow there to take care of him. Elijah found the widow and asked for some bread. 1 Kings 17:12 gives her reply:

“As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”(NIV)

As I read, the tears began to flow. This widow did not have enough to do what she needed to do. She could only see one outcome – to make one last meal for herself and her son, and then to die.

“Lord, this is exactly how I feel,” I prayed.  “All I have is a handful of flour and a little oil in a jug.  It’s not enough to go around, let alone to share. And I see no way out of the situation.”

But God had told Elijah, even before the widow went out to gather some wood for a fire that day, that He had commanded her to supply Elijah with food. So even as she went about on her final grim task, in the back of her mind there must have been a nagging thought that she also should be feeding the man of God. She couldn’t see how, and it flew in the face of logic that God would entrust her, a poor widow who was not even an Israelite, with the care of His prophet.

At any rate, when Elijah asked for bread, and reassured her that it would be okay, it must not have come as a complete surprise, and she believed him. She stepped out in faith and did what he said.  And it was okay.  Her handful of flour and little oil was enough, just as Elijah had told her, and it did not run dry for three years, until the Lord sent rain.

I sat there in awe. I had been so focused on the not-enoughness of my own resources that I had missed the power of God.  I had reached the point where I was numbly gathering twigs for the fire, knowing that I was about to run out of everything I needed but not seeing any other option but to keep doing what I normally do. But now the Lord was telling me that my handful of flour and my little oil in a jug were enough.  My faith needed to be no bigger than a mustard seed; it would be enough. Because Jesus is enough.  And because Jesus plus nothing equals everything.

And then I felt the Lord nudging me to look again at that photo I had snapped earlier of the arches.  This time I paid closer attention to the view through the arches.  In the right hand one, the view is obscured by the mist rising off the hot springs. That view is the future — I don’t know what it holds.  But in the left hand one, there was a large vase on a pedestal, which immediately brought to my mind the jug of oil. That view is the promise of the Lord’s provision, regardless of what the mist-obscured future may bring.

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What does it look like to wait confidently in Him? It looks like intentionally choosing to put off negative thoughts and attitudes and put on faith in Him. It looks like knowing that He has made a way for me through any obstacle life may throw across my path.  It looks like trusting and obeying Him even when his direction flies in the face of logic. And it looks like knowing that when I do so, the handful and the little I have will be enough.

7 thoughts on “The Keystone – Part Two (Julia Schmidt)

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story! It was so encouraging and I loved reading about the beautiful ways God spoke to you through the retreat. 🙂

  2. Beautiful and true!! Thank you Julia! I, too, must step out in faith while acknowledging visibly and tangibly I have little flour & oil, but faithfully, trusting, it will NOT run out 😉
    Spiritual is so much different than visible. Seen vs unseen…
    Is it just me, or amidst the mist in the right arch is there a very visible cross??

    1. Wow, Melanie! Thanks so much for mentioning the Cross in the right arch. After looking closely, I see it too. That’s so cool! What a great reminder that Christ is our Everything…and will be with us even in the unforeseen future 🙂

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