December 29, 2023

Kerith Ravine

1 Kings 17:2-6

He went to the Kerith Ravine. . . . The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and . . . in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

—  1 Kings 17:5-6

Last spring Chanell sat on a bench in the vacant lot adjacent to the Roseland Christian Ministries parking lot. A few years ago, with the help of a supporting contractor, that vacant lot was excavated. Good topsoil was brought in. Grass seed was planted, and that lot has become a beautiful stretch of green between an abandoned building and our parking lot.

Chanell was sitting on a bench made by the Roseland Cadets boys club. She sat in the shade, staring at the community garden boxes, in which flowers and vegetables grow in abundance. A bird feeder invites goldfinches and other birds in. One morning I walked over to her and asked, “What are you doing out here every day?”

She smiled and said, “I like to see the flowers growing, watch the birds come and eat. I’ve been through so much—abuse, domestic violence, addiction. You name it, I’ve lived it. I sit here and receive my little peace from God until I’m able to face the world again.”

In a time of drought and famine, when the leaders and people of Israel had rebelled against God, Elijah went to the Kerith Ravine. Chanell sits on a bench at a community garden. In places like those, God provides safety, security, and a restoring of the soul. We all need a Kerith Ravine. Where is yours?

Lord, lead us to restoration and security as you care for us each day. Provide us a place where we can find peace in you. Amen.

About the author — Joe Huizenga

Joe Huizenga serves as pastor and executive director of Roseland Christian Ministries in Chicago, Illinois. He and his wife, Cate, have four children.

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