Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Unnamed Women’ Category

Each of these unnamed women in this past week have shared something in common—they gave what they had and didn’t seek recognition or glory for themselves.  One gave her last food items, one only had olive oil to give, another gave generously her gift of hospitality and one gave a mother’s love.  Each gave willingly, uncertain how the gift might be used or what it could mean for her future.

There is another unnamed woman who gave just as sacrificially and she too didn’t seek recognition and yet, her generosity has left a spiritual legacy for us all.  Jesus tells of an unnamed woman who gave “two pennies” that amounted to more than all the wealth contributed by others because it was “everything she has.”  (Luke 21:1-4).

These women, unnamed yet with powerful legacies, have been given to us as examples for today.  Sometimes that lack of recognition (remaining unnamed) can seem like lack of appreciation.  But, as we keep the perspective that we do the mundane tasks of the day as service unto the Lord, recognition from man or family members becomes much less essential.  Of course, we want appreciation but God will provide that for us during our intimate friendship with Him when we accept that what we are doing is for His Honor and furthers His purposes.

Two pennies, a loaf of bread, or extending hospitality—Lord God, show me what you would have me give and help me give it generously and cheerfully as unto You.  Let me reflect Your love today in the tasks I complete for my family and at my work place.  Let me be generous in bringing hope and extending grace without seeking recognition or praise.  Let me do great things as though they were little, since I do them with Your power and little things as though they were great, since I do them in Your name.  Amen.

Additional Study:  Phil 4:13, I Cor 10:31, II Cor 8:1-9, II Cor 9:6-9

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Raised in a Godly home with parents who did their best to live out their faith daily, yet the child goes astray and wanders far from the faith.  All too often that is a summary of the Prodigal child in our families.  What do we do as moms when our hearts are hurting for that wandering child?

An unnamed Gentile woman holds a key to the answer for us.  “A Gentile woman who lived there came to him [Jesus] pleading, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter has a demon in her and it is severely tormenting her.’” (Matthew 15: 21-28).  The disciples tried to send her away and even Jesus told her that he was sent to help “the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep—not the Gentiles.”  But she came and worshiped and pleaded again, even arguing that even dogs are permitted crumbs from the master’s table.  Jesus replied, “Woman, your faith is great. Your request is granted.” Her daughter was instantly healed.

First of all, this unnamed woman didn’t let go of her plea.  She was persistent.  She believed Jesus had the power to heal and was her only solution for her daughter’s healing.  Second, she wasn’t willing to accept that she wasn’t worthy of a miracle from the Lord.  Because of that, Jesus calls her faith “great” and grants her request.

As moms we too can have great faith for those we love and we can be certain they are instantly healed even if the manifestation of that healing takes years to be revealed.  We can trust the Lord God to be faithful, as this unnamed woman experienced.  For her Lord Jesus Christ is the same Christ who loves our children and hears our cries today.

Oh, Lord God, I lift up my child to You today.  You know where her heart has wandered.  You know the plans You have for her.  You love her more than I do.  Draw her to yourself Lord Jesus.  Heal her wounded heart; restore her to the abundant life of beauty, peace and fulfillment that You planned for her.  Keep her safe through this time of searching, bring her to the foot of the Cross and may Your mercy meet her there.  I love her Lord and I surrender her to Your care.  Amen

Additional Study:  Mark 7: 24-28, Luke 15:11-31, Ephesians 2:1-10, Ephesians 4: 20-24

Read Full Post »

Have you heard the news you are going to have a child only later to have that hope dashed with a miscarriage or sometime later lost that child in a tragic accident or illness?  As one who has miscarried, I understand how we can get excited only to have that hope smashed to smithereens.  But there is an unnamed woman who helped me through those dark days.

A wealthy unnamed woman from the town of Shunem opened her home extending hospitality to a Man of God.  (II Kings 4:8-36).  Elisha wanted to return the kindness and asked what he could do for her.  She asked for nothing.  But this woman did have a need that Elisha asked God to meet—she didn’t have a child.  Elisha told her that she would bear a child.  Her response was so like mine, “please don’t get my hopes up” only for me to learn later it is a lie.  She did have a child and from the passage it is clear that he lived a number of years before falling ill and dying.

There is so much I learn from this unnamed woman—how important it is not to miss a visitor from the Lord (perhaps in the form of a stranger, a friend, or family member); how to handle loss with dignity.  She would have had dreams and goals that came with her wealth and position and yet, the one thing she lacked was a child.  When given an opportunity to ask for something from the Lord, she expressed contentment with her present circumstances.  So when she was blessed with a child, she not only saw it as a miracle but as a fulfillment of God’s love.  When the child died, I am certain she could have felt betrayal, anger and loss of faith.

Scripture relates that she laid her dead son on a bed, sought transportation to go find Elisha and brought him home with her to her son.  I can’t imagine what she thought Elisha could or would do, but she believed Elisha would have an answer.  She had faith in God’s plan.

Do I give up too soon when faced with life’s challenges?  Do I continue to cry out to the Lord until He answers?

This unnamed woman made room for God’s miracle-working Presence in her life.  When the miracle of a child happened, she accepted it.  When the shadow of death came over her home, she reached out to God.  Because of her faith, and because it was God’s plan, God enabled Elisha to perform the miracle of bringing the son back to life.  God is still in the miracle working business today.  The Lord is powerful.  We too can make room for His miracle-working Presence in our day.

Oh, Lord God, like this unnamed woman, I want to be generous in welcoming your Presence into my heart, into my home and into my circumstances.  Open my heart.  Heal the barrenness of my life and the emptiness of my heart with your Mighty Power; with Your love.  Draw me to Yourself that I might experience the miracle of Your redemptive power in my life.  Amen.

Additional Study:  Psalm 9:10, Psalm 13:5, Psalm 20:7, Nahum 1:7, Rom 15:13, Hebrews 3:14

 

 

Read Full Post »

Creditor calls are all too common today in many homes.  I know about having “more month than money” all too well these days.  A year ago 75% of my income was slashed with one 30 second phone call.  Maybe like me, because of your circumstances, you too  can identify with the fear and sense of desperation the unnamed widow of a prophet felt when she cried out to Elisha about the creditors demanding to take her children as slaves if she could not pay her debts.  (II Kings 4:1-7).

We don’t have creditors threatening to take our children today in exchange for payment, but they do threaten our peace and our joy.  We, like this unnamed woman of old, can cry out to our Lord God and just as He provided for her through a very practical solution, He will meet our needs.  For this woman, the Lord God took what she had—a flask of olive oil—and stretched it to meet her financial need.  She was able to sale the oil to pay her debts and have enough left over to provide for her needs.

Today, our Lord God can take what we offer to Him freely and stretch it.  Perhaps all you have is a few dollars.  Maybe it is only a few hours of unscheduled time.  Maybe it is your heart in surrendered prayer.  Whatever we have; God can take it and multiply it for His Glory.  He promises that He will not forsake us.  Furthermore, God assures us that His economy will not leave us empty but will fill our needs beyond all we can ask or imagine when we surrender what we have to Him.

Lord Jesus, I determine not to participate in the recession of this world’s economy.  I generously offer all that I have to give—as little as it is—and ask that you multiple it to meet my needs according to your riches and not according to the world’s standards.  Stretch what I have and stretch my faith too; give me a new vision of Your miracle-working power in my life today.  Amen

Additional Study:  Phil 4:19-20, Eph 3:20, Proverbs 3:9-10, 21-26.

Read Full Post »

My dad was out of work.  My mom was working a minimum wage job.  We were living on bread and milk and whatever fish dad could catch.  Times were tough.  We often didn’t know where the next meal would come from.

There was an unnamed woman who mentored me during those days and helped me hang on to hope.  She is known just by the location where she lives—Zarephath—the widow of Zarephath (I Kings 17:9-24).  At the point where she was fixing the last meal before believing they would starve to death–a little loaf of bread for her and her young son—she was approached by a man asking for her to share even that little she had.  He promised her that if she did share, there would be enough food to sustain her and her son, “until the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again.”

She did as he commanded and the Lord provided enough for the three of them to eat “for many days.”  In fact, Scripture tells us that “no matter how much they used there was always enough left in the containers for more, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.” (v. 16).

When you get to the end of your rope, do you have the courage and strength to hang on and believe as this unnamed widow did?  When all that is left is hope do you sometimes feel as though that has dried up along with your resources for food and shelter?  I can identify with this woman.  With the fear she must have felt.  With the sorrow over the future that lay in front of her child.  With defeat.  Yet, in the midst of it, she stepped out and trusted Elijah when he offered assurance that God would provide and meet her needs.

Today, my friends, I can assure you from my own past that God does provide.  If you are feeling hopeless and don’t have the confident assurance of your own faith, find a Friend and cling to His Promises until you are stronger:  Matthew 12:28-30, Matthew 6:32-33.

Even when this unnamed woman’s child became ill to the point of death, she didn’t quit crying out, and God heard her cry.  God is still hearing the cry of our hearts today, whether for our own circumstances that may seem overwhelming or for those of a friend or loved one who is walking through a very dark valley.  We can cry out and He will answer.  His promises are certain and unchanging.  We only have to lay our needs on the altar, leave them in His hands and cling to the Mighty Power of the Cross as we learned about these past two weeks.

Oh, Jesus Christ, Your word tells me that worrying won’t add a single moment to my life, but the situation I am in seems so overwhelming, I don’t know how to stop trying to find a solution; how to stop worrying it over and over in my mind.  Help me Jesus, I need your peace.  Take this burden.  I will cling to You and believe that you will bring hope for tomorrow.  I trust You Lord with me, with my family, with this need in my life.  I know You and You alone will provide the answer; give me courage to wait until it is revealed.  Amen.

Additional Study:  Psalm 34:17; Psalm 72:12; Luke 18:7

 

Read Full Post »