When your brook dries up

Published 7:00 pm Friday, January 15, 2016

In these early weeks of 2016 some might be feeling the squeeze as bills start to pour in and the thoughts of income tax season close in upon us. And there are other pressures that arise suddenly and unexpectedly that we had not included in our plans.

Those thoughts can be overpowering, but we can rest assured that God is always trustworthy and we can look to Him in all aspects of life. I find tremendous direction and comfort in the words of Hebrews 10:23 where we are wisely counseled: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He Who promised is faithful” (New International Version).

As I revisit the years that I have been involved in ministry, I can see more clearly the value of holding on to hope in God. When I entered Bible college with a wife and two young daughters I did not fully understand what was ahead for us. I thought those four years were tough, but it only got tougher as we proceeded into the world of pastoral duties. We served in some challenging situations—most of which we were not as prepared for as we might have thought—yet God provided as we held on to hope in Him. After all those years and experiences, holding on to hope in God’s promises is still a powerful force to enable me to face the ever changing adventures of life.

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God’s Word is filled with many examples of those who refused to give up in the face of huge obstacles and experienced His intervention in awe inspiring ways. One of those is the Old Testament prophet Elijah.

In 1 Kings 17, God instructed the prophet to take refuge in the Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan River. There God would miraculously provide for Elijah. A little detail mentioned is that the prophet drank from the brook (v.6), but the next verse records a game changer for Elijah’s circumstances: “Some time later the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land.” There are some commodities that we can do without for much longer than we think, but water is not one of them—it is essential to life.

What do you do when your brook dries up? We can do what he did—continue to maintain hope in God, hold unswervingly to it, and allow His plan to continue to unfold. God sent Elijah to another location where He provided for him through a most unlikely means—a poor widow who was willing to share her last resources with Elijah in obedience to God’s instructions. Because of her obedience, there was never a lack of food for her, her son, and the prophet: “She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah” (verses 15-16).

Do you feel like your brook in life has dried up and hope is fading? He intervenes for us in different ways, but He always knows exactly what we need and precisely how to provide it. When your brook dries up, hold unswervingly to hope in God for He is faithful.