Speed-reading the story of Elijah and Zarephath’s widow overlooks a key element.  Previously, God tells Elijah to hightale it out of the drought and famine-stricken Kerith Ravine and head northwest to coastal Phoenicia.  There a widow will give him food and drink to nourish his weary body.  He does.  And she does.  That’s it?

Hardly.  There’s much more going on here.  Life involves plenty we never see with our eyes.  As in angels caring for us.  God intervening when we imagine it’s luck, karma or our genius efforts.

Or what the Holy Spirit does for us, unperceived and hidden.  Can’t you sense Him at work?  I do.  Sometimes.  Often I’m as unaware as can be.  Blind as a bat.  It’s usually when I look back that I see more clearly where God’s footsteps have been.  When He scooped me up and carried me through.

In the story of Elijah and the Zarephath widow, there are a few strange verses.  At least, I think so.  1 Kings 17: 8-9–“Then the word of the Lord came to him:  ‘Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there.  I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.'”  Here’s my question.  Where’s God’s command to this poor, starving widow?  Where?  Can’t find it.  Something missing?

As a matter of fact, she objects to Elijah’s request as there’s only enough food for her and her son.  Soon the grim reaper will show up to cart them away, dead as can be.  No mention of God’s command.  Nothing.  What gives?  Is something left out of the biblical account?

What we don’t see is how God works behind the scenes in our lives.  He uses unbelievers, strange circumstances, even prayers offered by people we’ve never met.  God is at work even when our vision is mostly impaired.

Trust Him.  Keep praying.  Remain on alert.  Watch and wait.  Be surprised… but not really.  Expect the unexpected.  Again, trust Him.

Here’s the icing on the cake (and I love icing!)– like that widow from Zarephath, we will be used by the Lord in ways we can’t even imagine.  Get ready.  Be flabbergasted and bowled-over when bolted out of the blue  being God’s helper in unforeseen circumstances.  To an Elijah needing food and drink.  To Jesus incognito.  Serving Him is more than meets the eye!


Thank you, Lord Jesus, for surprising events that lead us to help others.  Amen.


More to follow

Intrigued with this partial devotional.  Think about your own spiritual life.  Better than mine?  I hope so.  Be honest.  Time to get serious with Him.  More to follow at a later date from Psalm 52 and me!

NO ONE’S HOME? 1 Kings 18

We fly Icelandair between Seattle, Washington and Manchester, England.  No-frills airline that rewards me with over a thousand bucks in my back pocket.  That gets my attention!  After a toxic encounter with the car rental people, off we go driving 100 miles to a 15th-century manor house in Droitwich, this side of Worchester.

Somehow, only with the Lord’s help, and I mean only, we arrive safe, sound and pooped-out.  The owner sails the seas off Spain and has a cleaning lady ready to meet us.  But where is she?  No one’s around.  This is the place, yet no one’s home.  Oy vay, already!

No place like home except when no one’s home!  Bags in hand, glazed-over eyes, and finally here she comes, Miss Twinkletoes, ambling along at a snail’s pace to open up ‘The Old Manor House’ for our 2 month stay.

Maybe Baal’s prophets feel something similar when they call out to him for a demonstration of his divine power when absolutely nothing happens (1 Kings 18: 16-39).  No lightning from the sky.  No cloudbursts.  No heavenly anything.  As if no one’s home.  Baal?  Have you bailed out on us?

What do they expect?  They’re crying out to diddly-squat and hot air.  Empty spaces, empty places.  Man-made void.  A big fat zero.  Comes as a surprise when they discover that no one’s home.  Shouldn’t have.  The Bible makes it crystal clear that there’s only one God.  There ain’t no mo’!

The Lord Yahweh is our all in all.  Love, mercy, forgiveness, kindness…on-and-on we go.  Don’t stop.  Thank Him for Himself.  Let your mind roam places of praise to your God.

He’s home to endless glory.  Always has been.  Always will be.  You can count on Him.  With Jesus in your life, what else do you need?


Lord, we press forward knowing you’re always with us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


RAMBLING PRAYER Ephesians 6: 10-18

My mind wanders during prayer.  Rambling here, meandering there.  Ambling, traipsing and moseying thither and yon!  All when I prefer to focus.  Why is that so hard?  Am I alone?

Hear the Apostle Paul–‘And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints’ (Ephesians 6:18).   All kinds of prayers and requests.  Keep on keeping on.

Someone says that when you pray and get off track, just follow the path.  See where those thoughts take you…and pray for whatever comes to mind.  Don’t fight it.  Go with the flow.  Follow His lead without second guessing.

You know something?  That thought is liberating.  I waste too much time wondering if I’m praying in the right way.  Agonizing over which wordy formula will break through heaven’s clouds.  Especially if I could only decipher His code to get what I want!  See what I mean about misspent energy?

Now here’s a clearer picture.  Pray for needs I know about.  But don’t shut down ancillary thoughts that seem out of right field.  Who knows?  St. Paul encourages us to pray using multiple kinds of prayers and requests.  Lay it all out before the Lord, knowing that His welcome mat is out (Hebrews 10: 19-25).  His porch light stays on.  Don’t walk on eggshells.  No need to.

Pray with abandon.  Keep it simple like Jesus’ prayer for His disciples (Matt. 6:9-13).  Short-and-sweet works fine.  Or on-and-on if that’s how you feel.  From your heart to God’s own.  Gets through without any busy signals or weak connections.  First in line, every time!

Anyway, both Jesus (Rom. 8:34) and the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8: 26-27) are interceding for us with the Father.  Imagine a better inner circle on your side?  I can’t.  OJ’s legal ‘Dream Team’ a bunch of unranked amateurs in comparison!

So, go for it.  Nothing to lose…much to gain.   Pray…!


Thank you, Lord, for always hearing our prayers.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


TWO LITTLE VERSES Ephesians 5:10 and Isaiah 44:19

Only two little Bible verses today.  Both packed with big meaning.  When you read them, you’ll see what I mean.  First, there’s that phrase from Ephesians 5:10–‘…and find out what pleases the Lord’.  God’s people wanting to live as He wants us to.

This verse signals that a godly life is something we find out about, to seek after discovering what pleases God.  Here’s the rub.  To please Him.  Not just ourselves.  How much of my prayer life centers on me, I, myself and those people and issues orbiting around me?  Things I need and, more importantly, want!  I…I…I.  Me…me…me.

Alternately,  we’re to search out His will.  His ways.  Remembering that effort will be required.  Time slotted and allowed for.  To discover God’s ways for our lives.  Up for it?  Really?

I am.  At least some of the time, to be honest.  My prayer is for more willingness to get behind Him rather than hoping He’s behind me doing all the dirty work, sweating over the details I’d rather not even think about.  As I said, just being honest.

Then there’s that snippet from Isaiah 44:19–‘No one stops to think…’.  In context, the Lord bluntly proclaims that He alone is God.  No idols make any sense.  None.  Never have.  Never will.  Only Yahweh of Israel.  It’s so evidently true, yet most people, then and now, close their eyes and stop their ears to His truth.

Still God warns– ‘No one stops to think…’  But shouldn’t we be different?  Those of us who claim to be His own? Taking the time required?  Stopping in our tracks?  Up for that challenge?

I pray in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.  It reduces my anxieties, getting my thoughts off myself.  Off worrying and fretting.  Helps thinking about others.  About Jesus.  What I know of Him.  Asking for more of His character, so that I might more closely resemble Him.  Wouldn’t that be nice… for a change.  So much more to be done inside me.  But it’s not over… yet.

Two little morsels from the Bible.  Both cry out for us to take the necessary time to find out what pleases God.  And then to stop and talk with Him about whatever He puts on our hearts and minds.  Whatever.

Two little verses.  Told you they were packed with big meaning.


Lord Jesus, we want to be more like you.  Amen.