By Lynette Kittle, Crosswalk.com
A God Who Provides
By Lynette Kittle
“In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty" - Psalm 37:19
Has chatter of possible future food shortages caused you to feel anxious, stressed out, and worried? Are headlines causing you to store up staples, basic supplies, and favorite foods to help get you and your family through possible lean times? If so, it’s okay to create a storehouse but make sure it isn’t motivated by fear but led by God’s wisdom because “The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked" (Proverbs 10:3).
God Takes Care of His Own
Even if a worldwide famine occurs, the Bible gives multiple examples of God taking care and providing for His people during times of lack. Luke 4:25-26 explains how during a great famine in the land, God sent the prophet Elijah to a destitute widow in Zarephath with a son to feed at the most desperate time in her life when she was running out of resources, including food.
Although she wasn’t expecting Elijah, when seeing her at the town gate, he told her to bring him water and bread. Most likely surprised by his bold request, she explained, “I don’t have any bread-only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it-and die” (1 Kings 17:12).
But Elijah didn’t skip a beat in his response to her, insisting, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land” (1 Kings 17:13, 14).
Although Scripture doesn’t explain why in her desperate situation, she followed Elijah’s instructions, she did. “She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family”(1 Kings 17:15).
And because she did, she and her son were well fed throughout the famine.
Food Shortages No Problem for God
Another example is found in 2 Kings 4:38-40, describing a great famine in the region of Gilgal. But like a Food Network Star, the prophet Elisha stepped into action, instructing servants to put on a large pot and cook some stew.
However, with no resources on hand, they went on a scavenger hunt to find wild herbs and gourds, gathering as much as they could and cutting them up for stew. Unfortunately, they soon discovered with their first bitter bites they didn’t know what they were doing and began crying out in fear of the deadly dish. Still, calm, cool, and collected, “Elisha said, ‘Get some flour.’ He put it into the pot and said, ‘Serve it to the people to eat.’ And there was nothing harmful in the pot” (2 Kings 4:41).
Although we’re not recommending gathering and preparing poisonous herbs and gourds for a meal, we can trust God to provide healthy and hearty food for us even in the greatest times of need.
God Excels In Multiplication
As well, Elisha also saw God increase 20 loaves of bread to feed more than 100 men, along with leftovers. (2 Kings 4:42-44). Still, in today’s setting, many of us think it’s all up to us to make ends meet and don’t believe we can ask God to stretch our resources. Likewise, in John 6:9, Andrew asked Jesus, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Undaunted by the task of feeding a hungry multitude with such a small amount of food, “Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish” (John 6:11). We, too, can trust God to cause our food to feed more than expected especially when we read how the amount supplied wasn’t just a nibble because everyone ate as much as they wanted, and as John 6:13 describes, the leftovers alone filled twelve baskets
Bible teacher Marilyn Hickey writes in her book, It's Not Over Until You Win, how when the 3,500 KFC lunches ordered for her 2008 Cairo Egypt training conference wouldn’t be enough to feed the 5,000 who actually showed up, God didn’t let anyone go hungry. With no human explanation, all attendees received meals, along with 1,200 leftover lunches, distributed afterward to the community.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
If you’re spending sleepless nights worrying about a possible food shortage or currently experiencing a lack due to rising costs, ask God to help you turn to Him and trust Him to provide for you in miraculous ways.
Jesus Feeds the 5,000: 5 Miraculous Truths for Today
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Boonyachoat
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.