Examples of great faith inspire me. The scriptures contain numerous of these example. One such is the story of Elijah, the prophet, and the humble widow who lived in Zarephath. This account occured during a period when the people in the Kingdom of Israel had largely turned to the worship of Baal under the influence of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Because of this wickedness, Elijah caused a severe three and one half year drought to afflict the land. As the drought began, Lord told Elijah to hide himself by a brook where he would have water to drink and ravens would feed him. Eventually the brook dried up. Then this happened,
“The word of the Lord came unto…[Elijah], saying,
“Arise, get thee to Zarephath…and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
“So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
“And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
“And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
“And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
“For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
“And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
“And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.” (1 Kings 17:8-16; emphasis added)
Before the widow received enough flour and oil to keep her, her son alive and Elijah alive for the duration of the drought, she needed to take all she had and make a meal for Elijah. With Elijah’s words, “Fear not; go and do” she went to fix the meal with her remaining flour and oil. Faith replaced any fear and doubt. She obeyed. Her faith in following the direction of the Lord through His prophet preceded the miracle that sustained her and her son.
This likewise is a lesson for us—let faith replace our fear in times of uncertainty and go and do as the Lord directs.