Listen to this devotional:
1 Kings 17:2-6 – Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there." So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. (NIV)
I am a small businessman, and I can't help but worry over the state of the economy today: "What if all the work I'm doing now gets finished and no new clients call me? What if clients do not pay?" I think, among other worries, "What if… What if…?" I see others losing their jobs and livelihood, and I worry, worry, worry.
But I must look back at Elijah and remember that I am, and we are all, every one of us, just like him — all the time, whatever the economic conditions, good or bad. We are all fed by ravens. We are all completely dependent on God for everything in our lives. Those clients call me or walk in the door of any business just like the ravens came over the hill with bread and meat to feed Elijah each day. I am fed by ravens every day. There are no effective "business plans". There are no meaningful "economic stimulus programs" — and there never were — throughout human history.
We may mean well in planning, and certainly, we should help as many others as we can. But as to each of us individually, no matter what position we are in, it can all disappear in an instant. That business can dry up; that grant can end; that job can disappear; the economy can tank; poor health can rob us at any time of the ability to care for ourselves. This is true today, and it was also true when we thought, "The times are good." We just forget this essential fact more easily when we believe that things are going well. Being self-reliant is a good character trait, but we can never save ourselves. Our reliance on our own abilities or on another's charity is always, to some extent, an illusion.
Although I must work hard to build my business and support my family, and everyone must work hard to the best of our ability, if I am in God's will, as Elijah was, in the long run, one way or another, God will care for me and my family as He so chooses. If we are obedient, He will care for us. He will provide our daily bread. All that we have comes from Him each day of our lives and always will. For that, we must be truly thankful.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for sending the ravens to feed us today and every day. May we remember that it all comes from You, whatever we may think, moment by moment. Thank You for saving us. Amen.