Unexpected answers

Have you ever prayed about a problem that seems to have no human solution and received an answer that looks very surprising to you? This happened once to a man whose experience is found in the Bible.

During a time of great drought, the prophet Elijah was told by God, "Get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee." I Kings 17:9. A "widow woman" of all people! How could a poor widow help him to survive?

We might find it understandable if Elijah had doubted this answer, perhaps thinking that a wealthy nobleman would be a more appropriate provider. But the prophet's trust in God's wisdom and goodness led him to seek out the widow and ask her to bring him some bread, assuring her that God would provide for her and her son. Although she had only a handful of meal and a little oil left, the woman did share what she had. Her generosity and faith and the prophet's obedience to God's direction resulted in ample supply throughout the period of drought—not only for them but also for the widow's entire household.

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Jonah—an object lesson for today
January 23, 1984

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