Never Give Up!
September 1, 2008 • By Ed Wrather
Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you." So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, "Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink." And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand." So she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die." And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’" So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah. - 1 Kings 17:8-15 NKJV.
In 2005, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States was responsible for the creation of 245.7 million tons of garbage. However, that is close to 1.6 million tons of garbage less than the year before and that is about 4.5 pounds of trash per person per day. The good news is that one-third of the garbage was recycled in 2005. The EPA goal for this year is 35 percent to be recycled. As you can see the United States creates a huge amount of garbage every day. We are a throw away society and disposable seems to always be better than the reusable, but it wasn’t always that way. During the depression years, and through much of the World War II years in the United States things were different. During those years not very much of anything was thrown away, because everything was needed to survive. Everything was used down to the last drop, down to the last tiny bit.
During WW II, tires were very hard to find, because of use of the material in the war effort. Neighbors would sometimes share tires with each other in order to have one vehicle, they could all use. If someone in the family was ill, having a vehicle that had tires became very important. Because of that, my Dad hoarded old tires for years after the war, because he still remembered a time when an old tire could have meant the difference between life and death.
In these modern times, I believe we give up too easily. We give up too early. We give up before it’s down to the last drop. We give up before we are down to our last dollar. We would do well to remember Elijah and widow of Zarephath. God gave them the food they needed as long as it was needed. We should remember the example of our Lord at the feeding of the five thousand and of the four thousand. Only a few fishes and a little bread until our Lord blessed the food, and it was multiplied into a provision for the thousands with baskets of food left over.
Before we give up, before we bail out; let us give God an opportunity to work that miracle in our lives. Let us thank God for all that we have and are. Ask Him to sustain us. When we think we can’t make it another day, let us live one more and see what God will do. When we’ve gone our last mile, let us walk one more. As we do, we will see the hand of God upon our lives sustaining us each day as we trust Him to provide. Never, ever, give up!!