It was January 1994 and the Louisville area received their largest snowfall to date (even to this day). Tucked into a subdivision a few miles to the south was our home. As the fluffy mounds rose and the glacial winds blew, our warm home began to chill as the electricity throughout our area had gone out and remained out for several days.
In that frigid winter land God taught me his name Jehovah-Jireh; “The Lord Will Provide”. In perfect conditions, our parents were over 2 hours away by car so our fallback help was not available. Instead God sent us Robert and Doris.
Some 5 months before the storm, Gary and I started attending a small country church called Thixton Lane Baptist. Robert & Doris were faithful members there who became the hands and feet of Jesus that week. Robert came out through the nearly 20 inches of snow, packed up our little family including 4 year old Rachel and 1 ½ year old Jerad, and took us home in his 4-wheel drive truck. For nearly 5 days the Vaughan’s gave us shelter, played with our snowbound & stir-crazy children, and fed us. Our family will never forget the love of God they showered on us that week. Nor will I forget the way God saw to our provision!
As I read in 1 Kings of how God provided for Elijah, I was struck by three interesting parts of his provision. Ahab had taken the throne in Israel and married the heathen woman Jezebel of the Sidonians. It was to this evil king God sent Elijah to declare a drought. After his announcement, Elijah went to hide in a certain ravine where God provided food until the brook dried up. It was then God sent Elijah on a different route to provision… a route that fascinates me.
First, God sent Elijah to a widow in Zarephath of Sidon. Hold right there. For the first time I noticed a detail I have overlooked countless times. God sent Elijah to the homeland of Jezebel the wicked queen who hated Elijah and set out to kill him. Interesting.
Second, God sent Elijah to a foreign widow in that town to ask for help. To this hopeless woman who said she was about to fix the last meal for herself and her son then die for lack of food, Elijah asked for nourishment. This widow bravely stepped out in a faith foreign to her and gave him food. Interesting.
Third, God sent a great miracle in that little home. The flour jar and jug of oil that were nearly empty never ran out until the return of the rains many months later. Interesting.
Through these events, God showed Elijah, the widow and her son, and us today his name Jehovah-Jireh. God is our provider. Sometimes we see God work mighty miracles. Sometimes God works quietly behind closed doors. Always God works in ways we could never anticipate.
When I look back over the years and reflect on the many ways God has provided, I am awed. I am also strengthened for the journey today because I know God will continue provide. Though it will probably be in some unexpected way that I may not even recognize as provision at the time, I know God will be Jehovah-Jireh because that is who he is!
Friends, I encourage you to take a journey down memory lane with me today and remember the many ways God has provided through the years. Let the memories of his provision give you hope for today as you remember your Jehovah-Jireh!
Lord, thank you for being who you are over and over and over again- my Jehovah-Jireh! Open my eyes to see your provisions when I am blinded to them by my own wants and selfishness. I praise your name and bless you my Jehovah-Jireh for you are worthy of all praise. Amen!