A few weeks ago, my university hosted a Poverty Awareness Day, where we had an Awareness Fair on our student union’s lawn. At every table, there were pictures of starving children and their ailing mothers or over-worked fathers. The people I talked to told me about their dealings in some of the world’s poorest countries, and it really got me thinking.
I decided to do some biblical exploration of poverty, so I opened my Bible to 1 Kings 17.
When Elijah goes to the city gate and finds the widow woman whom he was told was going to feed him, she replies by telling him that she only has a little flour and oil. This is all she has, and she was about to go and make it for her and her son’s last meal.
As I’m reading this, I’m seeing the dark bags under her weary eyes and hearing the sheer desperation in her rough, scratchy voice. I see the physical pain it takes her to even gather what she came there for.
Elijah continues by telling her to make her food and make him some too, and God will bless them. She agrees, and, at this point, she has nothing else. There’s nothing else for her to offer.
The story goes on to say that because of the woman’s willingness to give up her supposed last meal, God blessed her and her jars of food and oils never ran dry.
What I think is pretty cool here is that it’s the poor woman giving. It’s not a rich woman giving to the man of God. It’s the poor woman giving to a man who also has nothing.
Here, I believe God shows that He is enough. He showed that even though that woman was destitute, because she was still willing to give, He blessed her. Just like the manna that fell for the Israelites, His grace is enough for today, and it’s enough again for tomorrow.