Elijah said to her, “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.” – 1 Kings 17:14
The widow of Zarephath had a choice to make: Use what little she had to make one last supper for herself and her son or, instead, use it to feed the bossy prophet who promised his God would provide.
We don’t have to be in dire straits to recognize these basic life options: to withhold or to give, to cower in fear or to step out in trust, to settle for perceived scarcity or to recognize and embrace abundance.
Play it safe, or take a risk. Trust what we think we know, or put our faith in the promise of an unimaginable love. Barely survive, or bet on the fullness of life.
Most of us face some version of these choices every day: To forgive or to grow embittered. To stew in our worries or be grateful for what is. To open our hearts or wall others out. To get involved or remain a bystander. To go to the march or to the movies. To say what we think or to be kind. To stop and pray or to kill another hour on Insta.
Rarely are our options so clear or binary or conscious. Still, our choices shape our days, and our days shape our lives.
The widow had very few options, but still she chose: empowerment over surrender, the hope of life over certain death.
What will you choose today?
Holy One, thank you for giving me choices. Help me to recognize them, and to choose what makes for life.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.