1 Kings 17:8-16, Then the Word of the LORD came to him [Elijah], “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the Word of the LORD that He spoke by Elijah.
Psalm 107:9, For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.
Here is a widow who was expecting to starve to death with her son, and God commands that she offer hospitality to His prophet Elijah who is in need of food. She reveals to Elijah that this is impossible, since she has no food; but no worries, Elijah says, God will provide and it will not run dry until the opportune time God has prescribed. For many days, the oil and the flour do not run dry.
This is a portrayal of God’s character—an image of His grace for us. This woman was in despair, and a man of God came along and supplied her needs with food that never ran dry by the power of God. This woman gave up, but God did not. Through Elijah, God performed a miracle to save this woman and her son. Have you ever been in such despair that you desired to die? Are you in such despair right now? Have you ever been hopeless? Do you feel as if you have no hope right now? Fear not, for God is not giving up on you. When you are in despair over sin, stress, bereavement, whatever it may be, God’s grace never runs dry. God did not give up on mankind when he rebelled against Him. God performed a miracle to save us through Jesus Christ on the cross. We rebel against God every day, and He does not give up on us as His adopted children in our Baptism. God’s grace never runs out through forgiveness; there is no sin that cannot be forgiven. There is no problem too big for God.
Do you have any empty jars in your life? Is it your bank account? Is your body becoming weary? Give it all to God, and He will fill you with HIs grace, for it never runs dry. Trust Him that He will provide a job. Trust that He will take care of your bodily needs. During my time in the Army, I injured my back and I suffer from lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica) and mild lumber spinal stenosis. It’s a condition I was apparently born with and the physical stresses of the Army exacerbated the issue. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition that puts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel throughout my spine—particularly the spinal canal—which caused my sciatica and causes cramping in my left leg at inopportune times, not to mention constant back pain. I’m only 27-years-old and my back and leg are in pain every day, and I have the choice of sitting here and whining about it, or I could trust God. I’m not about to share a miracle story where my back and leg were healed, because that hasn’t happened because it’s not God’s will to work that way, which I accept. However, by God’s grace, my healthcare is 100% covered by the VA hospital and my condition hasn’t worsened much over the past four years. God is taking care of me in numerous ways because His grace never runs dry. Even if my condition does worsen, I have family and friends who love me and will help take care of me. God never abandons His people; He supports them through various means, often through other people, just like with Elijah and the widow.
While suffering from this condition is not preferable, I’m ultimately not bothered by it because I know by the grace of God that I will receive a new body in Heaven. I will receive a body that does not have a deformed spinal canal and suffers from illness and disease. I look forward to this day because God’s grace never runs dry. The image of God’s infinite grace can be seen on the cross with Jesus taking God’s wrath upon Himself for our sins. Grace is receiving what we do not deserve. We receive God’s salvation, although we do not deserve it. We receive God’s grace instead of His wrath because Christ took God’s wrath upon Himself on the cross, which we do not deserve. God fills many parts of our lives with His grace, even though we never deserve it.