Laundry Soap and the Widow at Zarepath

I’ve been a homemaker, pretty much all our married life. For over 38 yrs I have been doing our families laundry. I have seldom worked outside the home and have always been the sole person responsible for managing the household responsibilities, not that Jeff isn’t willing to give a hand when I need help  I just prefer to do somethings myself.  

Jeff and I both have jobs around the house early on in our marriage we divided them up between us. Jeff is in charge of making Kool Aid (because he is the only one that drinks it) He is also responsible for replacing all lightbulbs in ceiling fixtures (because he is the tallest) He is also responsible for making all Jello because, try as I might, I can never get it to set. He also is the resident handyman that fixes or builds anything I need. 

But laundry, laundry is my job, because when I married Jeffrey he was doing his own laundry and I found all his underclothes were grey because Jeff thought it was okay just to wash everything together.  So, that is solely my job now. 

The thing is in doing laundry for the last 38 years for our family there have been times we have run low on laundry soap before payday got there. I can remember as I finished putting in a load of laundry in the washer and using what felt like was the last git of laundry soap in the bottle, then looking at the pile of clothes still on the floor. I said, “Lord, you are gonna have to stretch this laundry detergent” 

I went off and waited for the washer to finish its cycle. When I returned to move the load from the washer to the dryer, I then put in another load in the washer,  grabbed the empty feeling bottle, turned it over and began to pour a cap full of laundry soap. It slowly came out but filled the cap full and I continued to do laundry the rest of the day. This has happened more than once to me. 

Everytime that happens I really believe God is multiplying my laundry soap and I am reminded of the story of the woman in 1 Kings 7 when Elijah asked the widow at Zarephath to bring him some bread  and she tells him all I have left is a little oil and flour. My son and I are going to eat it then die. 

In verse 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”

That little widow was blessed by her obedience to Christ and I know Jeff and I are being blessed because we have followed what God has called us to do. No, we are perfect. But God knows it is the desire of our heart to follow Him and be in His will. 

What has God called you to do today? Oh! Maybe it isn’t like us to go out and remodel and build churches for a living? Maybe it isn’t living by faith depending on God to speak to individuals hearts to partner with us so we can live? (Just like Elijah and the widow at Zarephath) Maybe it isn’t  to stand behind the pulpit and share the gospel. But God has something for you to do! God has a plan and purpose for your life.

 He promises us that in Jeremiah 29:11”For I know the plans I have for you declare the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” 

But we have a choice. He isn’t just going to wave a magic wand and suddenly everything is okay? The widow had to trust what the prophet said and follow what she believed was God’s words through the prophet. She had to gather the wood for the fire to cook on, she had to make the bread from scratch (no bisquick was available back then) There was work to it. But there was also a reward to it as well! 

That she and her son would live and be provided for during the drought in the land. I don’t know what you need today. But I know that God has provided for Jeff and I time and time again. 

But we have had to be obedient to His word and our heart has had to have a desire to follow Him. The bible says He knows the desires of our heart. I don’t believe that is so He can just give us what we want, but it is so He knows where our heart is and it should be to desire to please Him first and foremost. 

It has been my experience that following God usually requires some sort of step of faith from me. Something like giving up a secure income and trusting God to bring partners alongside us to commit to a monthly support so we can travel full time and build churches for Him? 

Something like going 10yrs and being unable to have the additional children we desire, then just when we follow what God has called us to do, He blesses us again with exactly what we asked for. 

Or the time we lost our car, but a few years later he gave us one back better and newer than what we had before or when Jeff had to pawn one of his guns because he was out of work and we had to pay our bills,  a few years later He gave us one exactly like it through a random friend. 

Time and time again, God has shown up, He has even used our disobedients at times to guide us back to His plan, He always rewarded us with better when we got back on track. 

We serve a God who loves and cares for us. He knows our name and the very hairs on our head. So whatever God is asking you to step out in faith and do. Do it! If it is to support some missionaries, do it! If it is to start paying your tithes to your local church, Do it! If it is to  take a cake to the neighbor so they know they are loved Do it! If it is to forgive that person who was unkind to you Do it!  

All I can tell you is, just like the widow in the bible, it has been my experience that when I follow what God tells me to do. He always provides! 

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