"A little water in a vessel"

Elijah introduced himself to the widow of Zarephath with the humble request, "Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink." The story of hard times is as ancient as the history of mankind. Compensation, however, there is for humanity in the fact that materially easy times are not growing times. How surprised the widow of Zarephath would doubtless have been if she could have known the far-reaching consequences of her humble working out of the problem of lack during the hard times which once persisted in her country because of a drought!

God had commanded her during the drought to sustain a prophet who would come to her house. Even those who desire whole-heartedly to be spiritually receptive do not always find it easy to dismiss the seemingly plausible arguments of material sense. It may be that she could not readily believe that it was actually the voice of God requiring such a strange thing of her. At any rate, when Elijah arrived he did not find her joyously awaiting his coming. She was dolefully gathering two last little sticks to make a last little fire, to bake a last little couple of cakes, which she and her son would eat, and then lie down and die. What an epitome of mortal sense—always just about to "run out"!

Reflecting Divine Intelligence
May 16, 1931

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