October 20, 2011

From Weeping to Witness

1 Kings 17:17-24

“Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”
1 Kings 17:24


You would think it was enough. To have a jar of never-ending flour and a bottomless jug of oil was a sign of God’s favor, right? (See 1 Kings 17:14-16.) Surely that was enough for this mother to have faith.

But then the woman’s son became sick. His condition worsened, and he died. The jar still had flour and the jug still had oil, but it was not enough. Her life felt empty, and she cried out against Elijah, questioning the motives of his God.

Elijah asked her to give him her son’s body, and she did so. He carried the boy upstairs, where he cried out to God and stretched himself over the body. In his mercy God gave the gift of life again, and death was vanquished.

Elijah had the great joy of returning the son, alive, to his mother. The body that was so heavy as it was carried to the upper room was no burden in the return trip to a mother whose groans of sorrow turned to shouts of joy. God had turned her doubt and emptiness into faith and fullness—and she gave witness to her faith in God and his Word.

Sometimes we weep and question God. But when we center our life on Jesus, the one who died and came back to life for our sake, we begin to see God’s plan to replace the tears and sorrows of this world with testimonies of faith and joy.

Dear God, wipe away our tears. Surround those in deep sorrow with your care and comfort. May we find, in you, faith and life eternal. Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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