A Deficient Woman

Deficient (adjective): not having enough of something that is important or necessary; not good enough or as good as others.

How often do our deficiencies keep us from completing an assignment that God has asked us to do? Maybe God has asked you to show hospitality to someone by bringing him or her a meal, but you do not have enough money or time to do it. Maybe He has asked you to teach a Bible study, but you don’t believe you are smart or mature enough. Maybe He has asked you to mentor someone younger in the faith, and you don’t think that you have enough Bible knowledge. Maybe He has asked you to write a blog, volunteer at church, reconcile with an old friend, or spend more time with your family. You don’t believe you have enough of what it takes to do what He has asked of you. Well, let’s just be honest. Our deficiencies are paralyzing us from moving forward in the call of God in our lives. I am not suggesting that you will NOT have deficiencies, and I am not going to tell you that you can overcome your own deficiencies with a few easy steps. The only way that we can obey the call of God is by entrusting Jesus with our deficiencies, knowing that He can move despite our circumstances.

In 1 Kings 17:8-16, we come face-to-face with a widow who knew what it meant to be without. She had lost her husband, who provided for her and took care of her. She was almost to the point of starvation when God stepped in and asked her to do the unthinkable.

The Call

In the first part of 1 Kings 17, we learn that the land was in a drought. There was very little food or water anywhere. Elijah, a primary messenger of God at this time, was told to travel to Zarephath. God had commanded a widow to feed Elijah (v.8). God knew that this widow was in dire circumstances because of the drought, but He specifically asked her to provide food for Elijah. Why didn’t God ask a rich person to feed Elijah? Why did He seek out a poor widow to answer His call? Maybe it’s for the same reason Jesus let Lazarus die before he made it to him, so that people would come to know him through the death and resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:14). He knew this woman didn’t have what it took to answer His call, but He also knew that He could work through her anyway.

The Deficiency

In vs. 9-12, we become more acquainted with this widow and her situation. Elijah found her and asked her to bring him some water and bread, and she told him that she barely had anything left. She was actually preparing for her and her son to die soon because they were starving. Elijah knew that this was the woman that God had commanded to feed him, yet she only had enough to feed herself and her son one last time.

Dealing with Deficiency

What Elijah told this woman after she revealed that she did not have enough to feed him is something that all of us need to hear when struggling with a lack of resources, time, belief, courage, love, talent, and etc. He said, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said” (v. 13).

Do not fear! This woman was afraid. She was approaching the end of her life, and she was going to lose her son at the same time. I can’t even imagine the fear paralyzing her heart. God had given her an impossible task. There was absolutely no way she could obey it, but you know what is amazing about God? He is King of the impossible! Priscilla Shirer says, “When a task seems impossible, that’s when God starts!” That’s when He starts! 

Go! Elijah wanted her to take her eyes off of her deficiency and go! God’s call in our lives will never be answered until we take the first step.

Do as you have said! Despite the fear or actuality of not being enough or having enough, he told her to obey the call of God. God would be strong where she was weak. He would do amazing things because she simply decided to trust and obey. (v.14)

This woman chose to trust and obey God, and he showed up in a huge way. In verses 14-16, we see that because of her obedience, God provided the food she and her son needed to eat “for many days.”

All this woman could see was her family’s impending death due to lack of food but she saw something much greater when she obeyed God’s command. She saw a God that loves to show up in impossible situations.

What has God asked of you? What is keeping you from doing it? A fear of not having enough? A fear of not being enough? This is what God is asking you to do: Do not Fear! Go! Do as you said you would do!