by Christopher Harbin

By Raven and Widow
Christopher B. Harbin
1st Kings 17:1-11

Who is in charge of meeting our needs? We are often stuck between competing realities. We hear on one hand how we must work and earn our own living by the sweat of our brow. On the other hand, we hear that God provides for our needs. The Bible often goes a step further, saying that we are responsible to meet the needs of others. It should be no surprise to us that we get confused amid the mixed messages. So who is responsible? Do I meet my own needs? Does God meet my needs? Does someone else meet my needs? Is it some mix among all of the above?

Life is full of uncertainties. We are consistently faced with crises big and small in which we have little to no control. Ultimately, we can't protect ourselves from getting sick, accidents, loss of income, or random acts of violence. We take steps to limit or avoid those crises, but none of them are foolproof. We are simply not in sufficient control. We can't make it rain, cause the grass to grow, the wind to stop blowing, or the temperature to rise or fall. We can't decree the ongoing health of an industry, guarantee consumers for our products, or prepare ourselves in advance for the next new wave to come. We can purchase insurance to pay our beneficiaries in the case of accidents, illness, or some other tragedy, but we can't ultimately keep tragedy at bay through any power of our own.

At the end of the day, there are forces beyond our control, unforeseen consequences to our actions and the actions of others. Depending solely on ourselves does not always do the trick. We find ourselves coming up short. God steps in to offer provision, and we can't figure out how that provision could even be possible. We can't see the future clearly, nor understand why we should be comfortable depending one a God we can't see to meet our needs in ways we can't expect or even imagine.

Elijah found himself struggling with concerns over growing idolat ...

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