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God is faithful and worthy of our trust

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

Facilitator Notes: Rev. Nicole Duncan-Smith

Breakfast & Bible 5.10.2020
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Through our trust in God, we are able to see community in the

strange lands and crisis-filled times.

The best time to see God’s magnificent faithfulness is when we

fallback and watch the Great Creator during times of distress,

trauma, and crisis. Our Mother’s Day word involved a mother, but

she was not the linchpin of the message the writer was trying to

convey. She did not point directly to God, even as God worked

through her and used her as an operative in His perfect will for Elijah.

The passage was really a universal story about how God works with

His people who dedicate their lives to him. It about how that vertical

relationship is crucial, and how trust must be the foundation of our

faith walk.

In this pericope, there is a drought in the land and God instructs His

servant Elijah to go to a foreign town, where foreign people are.

These people are not just strangers but they also worship idols and

are kinsmen with his enemy Jezebel. Now, Elijah is a holy man … not

a warrior fighter … not a great King or Judge … just a Messenger of

God. The bible doesn’t tell us that he trained to do combat. In the

midrash of my mind, pastor calls it the Holy Ghost imagination, he is

a peaceful man that only pops off when God needs to lay down the

law. In my mind, he simply is not a brute wanting or inviting smoke.

So … to travel to this foreign land was not just uncomfortable but

could have been dangerous. Still, out of obedience, Elijah goes and

he goes because God tells him that He has made provisions. (1 King

17: 9) Just as God had a raven take care of him in the wild a few

scriptures back, God secures his life through another operative

instrument: The Widow.

Through the work of The Holy Spirit, the believer (as represented by

Elijah) came into a space with no control over anything but just the

audacious promise of God that he/she would not forsaken. He spoke

to this woman (who was in her own brokenness and space of need)

what probably seemed to be ridiculous: trust me a stranger and feed

me with your lack. And something inside of her, an urging, opened

her heart to this man and she did as he asked. We know what that

was. It was the same urging the turned Pharaoh’s heart soft towards

Moses. God comes in and does what God does, touching the

outside to bless people in His fold. Without our knowing and without

any obvious and grand gesture, God moves strangers into

community and gives sanctuary to those believers — especially in

spaces of crisis.

We see God working this way and here is the life application and

your shout:

* Elijah trusted God to provide all of his needs, even when it

seemed like God was moving him in a space that was uncomfortable

and in a situation that seemed improbable to work out in his favor.

Have you ever been pushed into a space where you were

uncomfortable and but you know that God was going to be with

you? Where your trust in God had to overcast your fear of

uncertainty? That’s growth muscle. If you are not there, don’t worry,

you can push towards it.

* Elijah moved in obedience to God but PAUSED to allow God to

make a way. Elijah could have entered into the town and got a job,

became a beggar, looked for another Israelite, but he did not. He

listened and did what God said, even if it sounded like it might be

crazy. Think about that voice that comes to you telling you to do

something that just doesn’t seem possible. Are you exercising the

trust muscle in your relationship with God and allowing God to lift

the weight for you — letting God organize the spotters around you?

A lot of the times the spotters have nothing in common with you and

seemingly have less going on with you. God uses the people you

would least expect to build your trust muscle.

* God created community. The scripture talks about this woman

taking care of Elijah by opening her home and resources when he

had none. But because she was a widow, and she and her son were

alone, it is not hard to believe that having someone around filled a

void that she might have been missing. God is showing us to be

open to community and not to underestimate what your presence

means to someone else. In a community, if you got the bread, I

might have the butter. You might have the fire, but I have the put.

We can bring something to the table and live in our crisis and chaos

together. That is how we survive, looking at the community that God

sets up for us and not being upset that it does not look as we would

have designed it.

* Lastly in the scripture, we see the death of her son and her

lashing out at Elijah and Elijah going to God to ask for support. What

could that mean to us? Part of building our trust muscle and

understanding this vertical relationship with God (needed to have a

horizontal one in community) is giving the problem to God to fix any

uncertainty in community, especially when you are not the naturally

fitting person in the community. So many times, we find ourselves in

spaces that society says we should not be but God has placed us in.

We are searching for community and God provides that and we are

successfully co-existing and thriving: what happens then? We think it

is our might, it is us. I referenced Moses earlier and that history is

important here as well. Moses did not make it into the Promise Land

because he took credit for the community building efforts that God

did. Everything that Moses did for the people in the wilderness was a

trust muscle exercise that should have pointed them to The Creator

and their Deliverer. But he did not always (though he did most of the

time to be fair) say “this is done by God’s might.” And he suffered.

Elijah learned that lesson. And when there was a problem in his

community, in this case, a child had died, he went to God to fix it.

God restored life to a dead but important element of Elijah’s new

community. To this point be clear: All things are not forever. But

when God gives us community and there is a problem or a death to

an important element of that community, PAUSE, before you

abandon it. Hand it over to God and see if there is a resurrection

that only God can through His grace and mercy can restore.

Thank God for the widow and son for being available to God’s Spirit

and Urging. That is so beautiful that God can use people outside of

our natural fellowship to bless us. But also, let’s celebrate obedience

and trust in the believer — for in our times of struggle (crisis, even

now COVID-19) — God will hide us in the secrets of his tabernacle

and most of the time that is community. Trust and watch and see.

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Dear Rev. Nicole Duncan-Smith,

I was looking for some other information, and saw the Bible and Notes section and clicked on it. I often like to read Andrew's notes from his perspective, as to what the Pastor preached, because it is like I am getting two sermons in one and they are both, rich and vibrant; but with two different views, and still with the same life's applicability message! I often joke with Andrew, that he has created a whole new sermon, within a sermon; and I love it!

I feel that same way, here; as I read your notes! What a relevant word for today!

Thank you very much for sharing your notes; I thoroughly enjoyed it! There were…

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