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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

A little jug of oil

Then the word of the Lord came to (Elijah), saying, “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah. ~ I Kings 17:8-16

I'm hope that like me, you've never been on your last morsel of food. Or been asked to share what very little left you had for your family. Or been driven to despair deep enough that you wanted to die.

I hope not.

That's where this woman finds herself.

And that's where God's grace finds her.

There is thread of the "theology of glory" that runs through modern Christianity. It's a thread that speaks of God's power and glory showing up in places and people of strength and wealth. It's a thread that makes us think there is nothing wrong with wanting more and more, and seeing the more and more we get as God's divine providence.

But where God's grace truly shows glory is in the small places: a woman needing only a jug of oil and a morsel of meal to bring life for her family.

God meets us in the lowest places in our lives. God, - the God who loved the universe enough to show glory on a cross - loves us enough to desire life for us.

Not our own power or glory.

But life.

All glory is yours, O God. Help me to see that glory in the places in this world where we often forget to look. Amen.

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